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 Post subject: Re: EE Facebook Announcement!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:06 am 
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Ronin wrote:
As Earth Eternal Reborn was only open several months, it's hard to see how Turn Out could just casually walk away from the project without some discussion over whether it would be successful or not. I suspect they were disappointed in it in some capacity and thought resources were better placed elsewhere. The other MMOs that they cut have been around for quite a while and may have been partially a decision based on TurnOut's poor financial position. Earth Eternal on the other hand was only JUST released and for it to fail so catastrophically so quickly cannot exclusively be blamed on TurnOut.


Earth Eternal as a project simply isn't up to the standards that it has to be at to be successful in todays market. This was true at Sparkplay, it was true at TurnOut. Still though, as I just mentioned, Earth Eternal wasn't expected to be a large success. Like many TurnOut games, part of the strategy would be to use the MMO to grow the Earth Eternal brand, hopefully creating more products on that brand. Do you think the value in a product like, lets say Ben10 Online to a company like Turner is in the money they bring in via credit shops? No, the value is in brand engagement. I mean, you can not believe me all you want, but try looking at the game from the view point of a company with the financial resources like Turner and understand what they would want to do with a game like Earth Eternal.

It's very hard to look at this as a player, peeking into the business world that powers the games that we've become emotionally attached to.

Edit: I didn't really answer your questions with that last paragraph. Yes it is possible for an MMO to be judged immediately after launch or while in beta. And the reality is, MMO populations rarely grow over time. (Eve Online and a few others bucked this trend, but it's rare). TurnOut could make a very educated guess on how the game will perform by simply observing what happened at Sparkplay. In that regard, there was never any way for Earth Eternal to bring a sizable amount of revenue in. And while both our parent companies (who were fantastic to the team and to me) tried to provide us with the support they could, it's very hard to justify assigning us more resources based on this very harsh reality.


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 Post subject: Re: EE Facebook Announcement!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:13 am 
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I notice piggy tends to bring up this "furry stigma" thing quite a lot, and the only stigma that comes to mind is that which a certain wiki ran by a internet bullies slandered it as. If someone actually gets to know the furry fandom they would know it's nothing like that at all.

But as I have said before; If you make a game with mostly anthropomorphic characters in it, don't be surprised when you attract a community of *gasp* people who enjoy anthropomorphic characters. To think otherwise, I might ask you; what the heck were you thinking? To then change you're mind and want to appeal to a wider range of players, naturally would leave the player base thinking you're either dumbing it down, or trying to appeal to the WoW kiddies. If it's the first one, subtracting racial choices just chases people away. If it's the second, there is no way anyone can do that. Many have tried, and gone bankrupt. WoW is ran by a HUGE company that advertises it's games everywhere, even bathroom stalls. To compete with that would be like competing with Wall Mart. It's economical suicide. To even try you'd have to be as big and powerful as Sony EA or SquareEnix. Sparkplay, TurnOut, and Sankando are too small for that. Plus if people want a game like WoW, why not just play WoW? Every MMO out there has Humans, Elves, Trolls, and Dwarves. It's not very creative to repeat that.

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Last edited by Eschia on Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: EE Facebook Announcement!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:25 am 
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Again, has nothing to do with any furry stigma. I'll be the first to admit, I had no idea what a furry was when I walked into work for the first time two and a half years ago. Today, I've made great friends who are part of that sub-culture and my understanding of what it is has improved greatly.

But I'm not your average person. Nor does your average person have a negative association with the furry sub-culture. They simply don't know what it is.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, should honestly expect to compete with WoW. But having a limited audience will kill your product right from the start. Some steps we took to broaden the demographic (while still giving players the option to play the furry characters) was to split the available races half animal and half non-animal. We then planned to introduce humans as a playable race, as well as introduce the races that didn't make the cut. (Some were to be sold as a micro-transaction, but many were actually going to be quest rewards)


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 Post subject: Re: EE Facebook Announcement!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:38 am 
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Excellent point Eschia! I think it goes to the heart of the issue as well. I don't want to be combative about it but the "furry" issue or label is obviously one that has to be discussed. I'll refrain from adding anything on the issue at this time.

I would like to thank Piggypops for his time in posting here tonight. I truly feel bad things didn't work out for everyone. It seems TurnOut is tanking and I'm sure Earth Eternal was partly swept up in it.

The idea of an Earth Eternal "brand" is interesting though as it would seem to imply to me that you didn't see the re-release as a "fresh start" but wanted to expand on the enthusiasm and interest of a loyal, devoted community.

For veterans I suspect there were high expectations which were met with disappointment at the game (for a number of reasons I wont go into here). It would seem to me by a "brand" you were seeking to diversify beyond MMOs. Was there consideration for a cartoon show? What other products were considered?

How much of the time and resources allotted by TurnOut were invested in the contractual obligations with the publisher Sankando? It would seem to me they're still quite devoted to making their version of EE succeed in the Japanese market. I'm sure this is something you're not able to answer for us sadly.

As you may have noticed this site is diversifying into other directions, both in other MMOs as well as community content. Given the high expectations the community had for Earth Eternal to be re-released, don't you think it's just best at this time to assume TurnOut will not return to Earth Eternal and to just move on? As MMO Fallout wrote: "But now that the game has shut down a second time, and the community will experience a second character wipe, I should say not to be surprised when, if you do decide to attempt a third launch, your community is not as willing to support you."

Under Sparkplay there was consideration on opening up Grunes Tal, Swineland, Frosted Peak, etc. so the community could see the un-released regions. Was there discussion to do that this time?


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 Post subject: Re: EE Facebook Announcement!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:56 am 
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And to quote Eschia.
Eschia wrote:
...If you make a game with mostly anthropomorphic characters in it, don't be surprised when you attract a community of *gasp* people who enjoy anthropomorphic characters. To think otherwise, I might ask you; what the heck were you thinking?
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. What you should have done was just ACCEPT the group you gotten and grow with it instead of denying it and trying to attract another group with the wrong material. Who were you kidding anyway?

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 Post subject: Re: EE Facebook Announcement!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:33 am 
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Piggypops wrote:
Like many TurnOut games, part of the strategy would be to use the MMO to grow the Earth Eternal brand, hopefully creating more products on that brand.


*facedesk* I can't see EE as anything but an MMO. Already spent my two cents on this subject though.


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 Post subject: Re: EE Facebook Announcement!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:41 pm 
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I'm glad that I think we reached an understanding Ronin. I truly feel bad for the lack of communication in the last two months leading up to the closing of the game. But it was simply something out of my control. I know how frustrating it can be to be part of a community and feel in the dark (I play Vanguard: Saga of Heroes). At Sparkplay, we were very open and vocal with our players and that went a long ways towards establishing the great community that were still a part of even today.

To answer your questions, I can't talk specific products in regards to the Earth Eternal brand. Plans frequently changed and we discussed a lot of different possibilities.

At the beginning of the project, we did some discussions with Turner's brand management and determined that Earth Eternal would best identify with a 18-24 year old male demographic and should relate closer to the Adult Swim brand than to say, Cartoon Network. We decided the brand should feature more humor, should have more stylized graphics.. but maintain it's generally mature storyline and background story.

100% of our resources were devoted to the Japanese launch. A decision wasn't made to relaunch in the US until after we launched in Japan. Part of the reason we went with a US relaunch was because bug reports/feedback was easier to digest from English players than dealing with translated feedback from Japan.

I don't know if TurnOut will just "move on" from Earth Eternal. It's still a Turner brand. There are still several million dollars and man-hours worth of assets there, a great and flexible game engine... a recently purchased $50,000 scaleform license... there's a ton of reasons not to simply write it all off. No idea though if the Earth Eternal MMO will return or in what form though.

The zones were going to be released in an expansion pack that we were targeting for a Christmas-y release. Would include the zones you mentioned and raise the level cap by 10. Swineland was pretty well fleshed out and I added some more content to it when I had down time but we simply never had the resources to put full steam on it. We basically scraped the idea of opening new zones until we had a better core game to work with (pvp revamp, crafting revamp, etc.)


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 Post subject: Re: EE Facebook Announcement!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:46 pm 
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And then Icy will rawr all over this.


As for the game, what is to happen to the intellectual property? Would turnout consider selling it to the community? Can you ask Turnout these questions?

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 Post subject: Re: EE Facebook Announcement!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:05 pm 
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Jackuul wrote:

As for the game, what is to happen to the intellectual property? Would turnout consider selling it to the community? Can you ask Turnout these questions?


Not at this point, but in the future they may be open to selling it... probably not to any individual community member... unless that person has like... millions of dollars.


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 Post subject: Re: EE Facebook Announcement!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:10 pm 
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A few things.

Firstly, to be honest, I think it's unfair that players are angry that they wanted to make the game to apply to everyone, and not just furries. Non-furry population > furry population, no matter how you spin it--there are simply more people that don't know/aren't part of this group than there are people who do. Not strictly labeling it a furry game would have given it a greater chance of success, if it ever went live with a cash shop. Some people aren't furries, yet they enjoy playing animalistic characters. I know I had no clue what a furry was--I had never even heard the term--when I first started playing, so that culture was not what drew me to the game. It didn't turn me away that most of the players I've met and made friends with are furries, but I know it has the possibility of being too overwhelming for some.

Secondly, it's not fair to blame Piggy for the company's silence. He was a community manager of sorts, if I understand it, and thus it wasn't his decision what to release or not to release to the public. It was TurnOut's decision. While I do detest that he labeled this forum as a negative environment, and the fact that he kept volunteer mods on their forums that drove many of us away (though possibly that wasn't his decision, either), I don't blame him for us not being given what we'd been promised, or TO's unwillingness to speak to their playerbase.

Thirdly, TO was, frankly, incredibly stupid. How they thought releasing a game in this state would actually be a good idea, I don't know, but they win the award of the year for Most Asinine Decision Ever. IF EE ever gets re-(re?)released, which is not too likely, it needs massive improvements BEFORE anyone from the public can so much as design a character. It was really the skeleton of a true MMO, and why they didn't work with the devs to fix some of the glaring issues before opening it up, I don't know. It was just idiocy all around.

EE is/was a great idea for a game. If done correctly, it would have succeeded. Antilia is still in development (if it ever gets released), and I'm sure more will follow. Just have to hope any future games don't have bad luck with companies that run out of money.

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