Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Not only did I have to laugh about the Toboldgate title, but the analysis of Boathammer is pretty much spot on: Critics get free samples all the time, so why exactly shouldn't a MMORPG critic get a free subscription from a MMO company that wants him to cover their game? Every single video game review you'll read in a print magazine is based on a free copy of that game. And as I am certain that Mythic hasn't created that free media subscription program only for me; I'm sure that at least a bunch of print magazine journalists got exactly the same free subscription. They just didn't mention it, probably because they thought it was perfectly normal, and for me it was something unusual.
I think the main question in the MMO blogosphere is more along the "Why him? Why not me?" axis. Some people seem to be rather miffed at me. Ethic from Kill Ten Rats felt it necessary to post a "we would never accept any free subscription" manifest, and then blocked comments to that thread. Which is easy to write if you didn't get a free subscription offered in the first place. Honestly, how many bloggers would have refused a free subscription to WAR or any other major MMO?
I have no idea whether I am the only blogger who got one, or just the only blogger admitting he got one. And I don't know either why I received it. Was it my Paul Barnett interview? The 3,000 visitors per day, or 2,000 feed subscribers? My Blizzard press pass, on the logic that if Blizzard thinks I'm press then the other companies follow? Even if I'm the first, you might find solace in the thought that I probably won't be the last. Your blog might be the next big thing if you put enough effort in it, and if it becomes customary for MMO companies to hand out freebies, then maybe one day you'll get one too. It is not as if we bloggers had a huge income from our activity, so some recognition is nice.
I consider the value of that free subscription to be somewhere around $200, based on the fact that I bought a lifetime subscription for LotRO for that amount, and that the monthly fee of LotRO and WAR are similar. For me $200 is not really a huge amount of money, it is less than what I make in a day in my job. I would be disappointed in you if you thought that I could be bought for that little. But if you really think that I'm in Mythic's pocket now and won't be able to write anything unbiased from now on, I'd recommend not reading my WAR coverage and especially not my upcoming WAR review.