Long, long ago, in a gaming genre close to our hearts…there was a developer called Sony. Most people loved Sony, because it brought them good things. Epic fantasy, fun online with friends, outlets for their creativity, and yes, even Star Wars.
Still, there were those who were cautious. They noticed a…well, let’s call it a bad habit. Sony had this tendency towards a roving eye. They did not always dance with the one that brought them, but were constantly wooing others – newer and younger faces. The solidly practical ones noted that this was good business practice, and nothing to be frowned on. After all, you were already a fan, but more fans would make things better for everyone. But others were worried about the underlying thought process.
But things were good for a time, and mostly the warnings and nervousness were swept under a rug of placidity and contentedness over the content available. And then…it all came crashing down. The chase, the desire for more and more people, had led Sony so far away from its devoted followers that they simply left. Suddenly all those veterans who the business experts said they could never alienate because they were already fans – were alienated. Sony, of course, learned their lessons and took their lumps. These days, veterancy, investment, in their games and system is rewarded, not ignored.
Fast forward to 2011. Bioware offer us the next Star Wars MMO. And they have a policy not seen since the early days of Sony: investment is not rewarded, dedication earns nothing. Random selection and statistics are king over relationships and community. Sign up today for testing, and your odds of being selected are the same as someone who signed up a year ago. Or two.
Yep, I signed up for testing nearly two years ago. Some players I know predate me by a year. I don’t have a beta invite. They don’t have a beta invite. Yet others I know of who signed up less than a month ago are happily enjoying the beta as we speak. Laugh at the comparison if you want to. Deny it if you will. But approach the future with caution, because a precedence is being set here.