By Gaming News
Tuesday September 30 6:08 AM ET
FAIRFAX, Virginia - High school sophomore Ben Goldstein of Norwalk, Connecticut called WAR the "worst game eva" on his Facebook page today. In his blog, an artfully designed page with a black background and red text in Copperplate Gothic Light font, Mr. Goldstein said in part:
zOmG!!!! iVe bEeN pLaYiNg 4 aLmOsT 4 hRs eVrE dAy 4 a wEeK aNd iM oNlY lVl 27! wTf?!?!?! wHeN dO tHeY eXpEcT mE tO cUt mYsElF aNd pUt oN mY eYeLiNeR??? sOmE oF uS hAvE lIvEs lOlZ!! pLuS tEh cHaT sYsTeM sUcKs!!! hOw aM i sPoSeD to hAvE tEh sYbEr sEkS wItH mIdDlE aGeD mEn oN mY sEkSy wItCh eLf aNd gEt fAt lOoTz 4 fReE?? tHeRes nOt eVn a /fLiRt eMoTe!! pLuS eVrE tImE i aLt tAb oUt tO lImEwIrE tO ad dAsHbOaRd cOnFeSsIoNaL sOnGs tO mY pLaYlIsT tEh gAmE cRaShEs!!!!! ePiC fAiL mYtHiC gG kThXbAi
Gaming News managed to arrange a sit down interview with Mark Jacobs, Mythic's General Manager who was writing something when I came in. It appeared to be a list of personal items with names beside them.
Gaming News: Mark, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. Tell me, where were you when you heard the news?
Mark Jacobs: Well I was in a development meeting, we were finally nailing down a list of content for our first big patch when one of the people we pay to monitor the internet for chatter about WAR came rushing in. She handed me a printout of Ben's blog and I read it. Then I read it again, I couldn't believe it, it was over.
GN: What happened next?
MJ: I tried to go back to the meeting, I guess I was in denial, but Ben's words kept echoing through my mind. I tried to put on a brave face but they could all tell something was wrong so I told them to talk half a day and sent them home. I mean the game has been out for almost two weeks, what's the point of putting out a patch now? I have been working on this letter to my wife ever since. Do you think a few hours at the bottom of a lake will smudge the ink?
GN: I uh, I'm not real sure...What do you have to say to the loyal fans of this game?
MJ: Ha! Fans? What fans? Have you been reading the forums? Upwards of 3% of people who actually play the game post there and like half the posts are negative! How could we possibly keep the game going when people obviously hate it so much? I have even seen polls asking people if they will keep playing once their free thirty days is over. Some of them said no!
GN: But you set a new record by shipping 1.5 million copies to stores.
MJ: So? We only made like thirty million dollars. How long do you think we could continue on a pittance like that? Plus if they don't sell the stores can send them back. What do you think would happen if a year from now every single independent retailer and chain store rounded up the few hundred thousand copies that didn't sell and sent them back? They paid like ten bucks each for those! I can't risk the shareholders' money like that. Do you want a tire pump?
GN: Um...no thank you. Going back to the forum issue, do you think it hurt the game to not have official forums?
MJ: Oh definitely! I had no idea there were so many game programmers out there. It would have been much easier for them to fix the game if we had one central place for them to post their ideas. I think the players have to share in the responsibility here though. Not nearly enough of them put "@ Mark" or "Mark read this" in their post titles or sent me PMs. How were we supposed to find the legitimate solutions to all the games problems? Do you know anyone who needs a desk name plate that says "General Manager"?
GN: No, I don't think I do....Thanks for your time Mark!
Our European desk contacted GOA but the declined our request for an interview, instead releasing the following statement:
While we certainly feel bad about what has happened today and we send our best wishes to our partners in America we will not let this minor bump in the road stop GOA from providing the level of service our company is know for and our customers have come to expect.
In order to fulfill our contractual obligation to meet or exceed the level of service provided by Mythic we will keep the European servers for WAR up and running. Granted there will be no central database for people to log into but judging from peoples inability to create accounts or access the game during the head start we don't think anyone will notice a decline in service.
Mr. Goldstein has since cross posted his blog to his MySpace page where it currently has almost two dozen views, five comments and thirteen kudos.