Well, today was an interesting day. Brett Favre starts for the J-E-T-S and Chad Pennington (who I still think is a great leader I just wish he could throw a football further than me) almost leads the Fins to a come-from-behind (no jokes please) victory. Oh yea, on a minor side-note, we launched Open Beta for WAR today in the US and Oceania and we had a semi-launch in Europe.

Semi-launch is a good phrase because at times it felt like I was being run over by a gaggle of semis. The US/O launch was fantastic, nary a hiccup and almost 50K (about what Freddy Mac is worth today) concurrent players. Not too shabby for an Open Beta’s first day. Unfortunately, Europe had more than its share of problems. So, I spent about 10 hours today dealing with the situation and reading some of the type of stuff that gives humanity a black eye.

Why do some people feel it is okay to threaten, curse, abuse and be downright hostile to other people over a game, especially in this case when it is only over access to a game that is still in testing (Open Beta Test = Not Yet Ready For Prime Time, Players)? While I’ve become quite cynical over the decades, I still find myself amazed at times at certain people’s reactions to stuff like this. I don’t mind when people get upset but to treat other people in such a callous, mean and immature manner is really a bit much. Again, it’s not the complaints I mind and nor am I excusing GOA or Mythic when we mess up but to apparently take things like this so personally is just hard for me to understand even though I know that most of the very hateful things are being said just for effect. However, I’ve worked with online communities for a long time and I do know that some of what was being said around the ‘Net was really coming from people’s hearts. I won’t quote any of it here, since doing so would simply encourage more of it, but I would ask anyone who said those kinds of things and who reads this blog to look at yourself in the mirror and ask how you would like it if you were treated this way in the real world? Are you really the kind of person who thinks it’s socially acceptable to threaten people just because you are having problems with a game? Are you and your life so perfect that you don’t have your own issues or make your own mistakes?

Like I said earlier, this is not an excuse for GOA. We had a number of conversations with them today about everything that happened. GOA messed up and their CEO has apologized and promised to do better going forward. While this isn’t enough to mollify everyone it’s still a good start. It’s just a shame that we had to wade through hours and hours of anger, frustration and bile to get where we are now. None of the actors in this little play came out of this unscathed and only those people who took these problems for what they were or who were able to register their disappointment/unhappiness/complaints without resorting to foul language, threats, etc. can hold their heads up high.

Oh what a night…

– Update –

So, since I wrote this post I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on it, some of it quite critical of GOA and of my defense of them.  While some of it centers around defending players’ rights to be angry some of it also centers around comments made by IanC regarding the situation.  Let me be really clear on this:

1) GOA messed up, they apologized and they are working hard to do better.  This is a good start but not an excuse for them.  Neither their CEO nor I am defending what happened yesterday.  It was an ugly day.

2) I think that the players have every right to be angry, disappointed and frustrated.  I agree with them 100% but what I do notagree with is the level of threats and abuse that followed.  I know why some players feel that way but my not agreeing with their reactions does not mean that I’m excusing GOA, clear?

3) I have read IanC’s post on the situation and I have just communicated to GOA my thoughts on it.  I’ll simply say this, I do not agree with what he said, I do not support what he said and his comments were, in my opinion, way out of line.