Over the years I have thanked the guys at Kesmai for many things. I thanked them for creating my favorite MOG of all time, Air Warrior (whose three country setup directly led to the decision to create DAoC’s three realm RvR), I thanked them for allowing Mythic and I to be part of Gamestorm, I thanked them for development deals and of course I thanked some of them for the friendships that grew out of a rather inauspicious first meeting. What I will thank them for now, is on behalf of the entire online games industry (players and companies alike) because if it wasn’t for them, I doubt that the online game space would be what it is today.
I won’t go into detail about their studio’s development history because that isn’t necessary here. What is necessary is to remind people that if the guys at Kesmai hadn’t been working so hard on creating the earliest and most successful of online games (they were one of the few companies that even predated me in making pay-for-play online games), I doubt anybody else would have until much later down the road. At a point in time where almost nobody believed (maybe a handful of people worldwide) in online games, the guys at Kesmai were creating games that were going to influence, teach, train, infect, addict, etc. a generation of gamers (albeit a small group) who would later go on to either create their own games or support the creation of such games. Now, there were other developers who were around at the same time but Kesmai’s creations had more impact than any other developer based solely on their games’ numbers, presence on multiple networks (Compuserve, GEnie, AOL, etc.) and envelope-pushing features. And when they came out with their masterpiece, the Air Warrior series , they proved that you could play a 3D flight simulator over very slow dial-up modems and slow networks and it still be a lot of fun. That technical achievement ranks as one of the most important events in the history of online games. Yes, it was simplistic by today’s standards but at the time, it was an eye-opening revelation to those who doubted there would be a future for online games. While the debut and the success of AW didn’t immediately lead to giant sacks of cash pouring into the industry, what it did lead to was that many people began to believe that an interesting future was at hand.
So, thanks to all the many talented and hard-working people at Kesmai, from two of the founders who I got to know well, John Taylor and Kelton Flinn, to guys like Gordon Walton, Jonathan Baron (still miss flying with ya buddy), Rich Lawrence (who coined the phrase, don’t trust the client software), Jeff Hanna, etc., you also have my thanks. Kesmai, and its contributions to the industry should never be forgotten and certainly deserve better than this pathetic wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kesmai). As I have done so in the past and will do so until I stop talking, I will remind people of what you and the earliest online developers meant to this industry.