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Reader Comments (11)

Posted: Jan 23rd 2009 1:51PM (Unverified) said

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I'd like to think that this may be the one server they are willing to keep running with enough interest, but I doubt it...

Posted: Jan 23rd 2009 1:57PM BaronJuJu said

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Honestly, why are they even bothering to do this? Is there was a plan to save it? Seems kind of a foolish waste of time, manpower, resources, etc for a shutdown in 4 weeks.

/shrug

Well I hope the folks till playing this free time enjoy it at least.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2009 2:10PM hami83 said

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lol I will laugh and applaud NCsoft if this is a marketing plan.

Convince everyone the game is being shut down, get a TON of attention and players trying the game...

Then...The day before the shutdown, say there was so much interest that you changed your minds and decide to keep one server up.

That would be....funny.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2009 4:12PM (Unverified) said

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It would be something alright. I had wondered about that when they said they would continue to roll out new content... strange.

But honestly, it can't cost that much to keep up a single server and assign a skeleton crew to manage it and occasionally release little tweaks here and there.

I'd like to see TR continue beyond NCSoft. I think it would work best as a free game with micropayments for boosts.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2009 4:16PM Seraphina Brennan said

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I'm thinking that they're merging all the servers together so that when they launch the final days, the entire community can spend it as a community.

I dunno why, I just see a giant Bane invasion coming on to herald the end of the game and signal the end of the war in one way or another.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2009 4:42PM Nadril said

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It really is odd to hear this. No doubt NCSoft has something up their sleeves planned...

Posted: Jan 23rd 2009 5:51PM TheJackman said

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Yeah they putting to much manpower in this this.... but all in one server is kinda wierd..

Posted: Jan 23rd 2009 7:06PM (Unverified) said

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Fuck, when I saw the headline, I thought they were keeping one server on in lieu of shutting down the game. Well, I guess I should finally get around to playing now since it's unlikely this one server will have the level-upper NPC and gives-away-boatloads-of-cash NPC currently on the test server.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2009 9:22PM Graill440 said

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Once they get the last server going they need to start the never ending and increasing bug drops showing it is truly the end, i may even log my old toon on to see the game die.

Posted: Jan 24th 2009 3:59AM Psychotic Storm said

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I really think its the developers attempt to do their job right even under these very last moments.

beyond the usual aka "the developers are those to blame for everything" they are humans too and they do want to see their work completed.

Posted: Feb 19th 2009 11:43AM (Unverified) said

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First to those who thought Saving TR through NCSoft wouldn't work, you were right, and I was wrong.

NCSoft turned us down about a week ago, after making us wait 2 weeks for the reply. I sent them an actual proposal to save the game, the only non negotiable item was the establishment of a 25% ownership in the game by a charity.

It seems to me genocide is politically neutral while carrying decent celebrity power, and since the game is about ending the genocide of humanity, it only made sense that these would work together.

Instead we were rejected, and here, is the reply, please note not one negative comment about the proposal, which leaves me to wonder what the hell is going on at NCSoft:


"Dear McGillicutti,

First I would like to thank you for your enthusiasm about Tabula Rasa. The TR team and everyone at NCsoft are honored by your passion and commitment to the game. I respect not only your innovative thinking on this proposal, but also your commitment to using games as a vehicle to better the world. It is a noble concept that I can stand by.

While examining our options with respect to Tabula Rasa, we looked at this issue from many possible angles. Your proposal is creative, which is to be applauded, but unfortunately we are unable to take you up on the offer at this time.

I appreciate all the efforts you have made in getting people interested in this project, and I’m glad to have a player in our community as dedicated as you are. I sincerely hope we can earn the same level of passion and excitement you have displayed for Tabula Rasa in some of our future games.

Many thanks for your thoughtful proposal.

Sincerely,
Jeff Strain
President, Product Development - NCsoft West"

A previous Massively article that mentioned us being Auto Assaulted, I think it got it right in that regard. NCSoft cut the budget on this game in February of 2008, and I believe that was a reaction to what most thought was just an anomaly in the economy that started in December of 2007, the recession, but no one knew that at the time -- 2 months after the game goes golden.

So Tabula Rasa is more a casualty of the economy than anything else, though I have to say that the free players coming in since December, who are entirely excited, and then entirely shocked to learn the game is shutting down, their comments are, "I'd pay to play this...I just didn't know about it....A friend told me about it the other day."

But it is an old adage in marketing not to throw good money after bad, and with a down economy, February's 50% budget cut found marketing to be the victim, and that killed the game. At first one thinks it's just the economy, but then you realize: They announced closing the game 4 days before the retail hell day known as "Black Friday," you know, the one last year where someone died in a Walmart trampled by the crowd.

To me that's just plain incompetence to not let a second Christmas have the opportunity to improve revenues, and also, to not have used the player community 2 months before to stir interest in the game.

Lastly, in the proposal I mentioned using the Tabula Rasa music as another revenue stream. I have heard numerous people over the last year asking where to get the music. NCSoft didn't make it available anywhere, but, here is a link to affirm the idea:

http://www.blizzard.com/us/press/080904.html

So again I am trying to figure out what is going on with NCSoft. If they aren't going to use the means their competitors are using to gain an edge then maybe they are just getting ready to go out of business, to go bankrupt -- Aion the last attempt to save themselves knowing full and well the loss of 600,000 jobs a month in the U.S. alone will disallow this.

But then again maybe it's just this situation that has NCSoft panicking:

http://www.blizzard.com/us/press/080812.html

Sure there is a battle.net server in Korea, but now throughout the larger portion of Asia? And we Asians are competitive between each other, that's one way to chip at the NCSoft Korean market.

So Tabula Rasa, a game that took another year to become reasonably polished, ends for a variety of reasons and potential ones, and the players find themselves remembering this first time subscription experience....Yes a large portion of Tabula Rasa players are older players who are frugal with their money, and Tabula Rasa was their first subscription, an expansion of the gaming market, but NCSoft missed that to.

These frugal players like myself have vowed never to subscribe again, we hadn't, often for 10 years or more as gamers subscribed to any other game, we just thought this one was going to be different and, well, it is, but the company can't see the forest for the trees of their financial woes other than Tabula Rasa.

Profits are up but sales are again down another year for NCsoft, and cash flow is the key to success. They are labor burdened. Activision Blizzard has $2.8 billion in sales, with 2,600 employees. NCSoft has 3,000 employees and $352 million in sales. It is not hard to see what's inevitable. (source: http://www.hoovers.com)

Please no I haven't given up, 2 other companies are to be solicited, however I am now working on getting the costs associated with the server and maintenance operations as that is something I did not have to be concerned with in regard to NCSoft. The proposal to NCSoft was primarily an aggressive marketing plan with the incentive of those involved owning a piece of the game.

The idea was that by legal joint venture NCSoft was to continue the hosting and related server operations, patches to be paid for by the player consortium from profits once the game is made profitable by those who made the proposal work to get more subscribers.

Again, Mr. Strain did not point out issues with the proposal, the issue is NCSoft and what they can or cannot do "at this time" as though something is wrong internally.

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