Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
In case you wondered

Somebody was asking for my FTC (it's FTC, not FCC) disclaimer on my material relationship with Cryptic for the Star Trek Online review. There was none, because I do not have a material relationship with Cryptic. The only thing I received from them about STO was press releases and screenshots for publication, which aren't a material advantage. I didn't even get a closed beta invite from them, I got in the old-fashioned way by buying my way in via a Fileplanet subscription. I do not have, nor was I promised one, a free subscription to Star Trek Online, nor did I receive money or other material considerations for writing a review on STO.

And hey, I didn't even recommend the game, being disappointed in it, like so many other beta players were. Nevertheless I still think it isn't all bad, it just didn't live up to the hype and hopes of many. STO is a simple game, much simpler than lets say World of Warcraft, more linear, more scripted, less open world and different possibilities of gameplay. And as for some people even WoW is too simple, there is no chance they'll be happy with STO. But tastes differ, and if you are looking for a game that doesn't overwhelm you with lots of options and possibilities, maybe STO isn't so bad.
I think STO developers made a huge mistake. While marketing surely pressed them "be more available than WoW", they forgot, that STO has a natural target playerbase: ST fans. It's unlikely that someone with 0 ST experience will bother to even try out an ST game. But ST fans are not 12 years old, nor they are dumb housewifes. ST was an intelligent TV show (as far as a TV show can go), so I dare to say that an average ST fan is more intelligent than an average gamer. So making a "more accessible" game to ST fans is a stupid move I guess.
As a non-American, why would you even care about any FTC disclosures?
I started playing in the Open Beta yesterday and so far your comments have been spot on. Quite dissapointing, this could have been a great opportunity to make an open world, Eve-like game in the Star Trek universe. I find their narrative on rails style to be contrary to the whole concept of Star Trek: To explore strange new worlds and so on and so forth. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that perhaps Bioware will take their Mass Effect IP and create a deep, open world MMO out of it at some point. A man can dream....
Hi tobold,
Ive been reading your blog for over a year now if not more. I like your comments. Do people really feel that they need to talk to you about these things?
For whatever this is worth, Morpheuz, this is the internet and I am sure that people feel the 'need' to complain about everything.
What is FTC ?
The Federal Trade Commission, a US authority. They recently published a ruling that bloggers have to disclose their "material relationship" with the companies whose products they "endorse", or be fined.

Note that for such rules it doesn't matter whether I am American or not. Having a different nationality, and even living elsewhere, does not make me any less liable for breaking US rules, unless I could prove that no US citizens read my blog.
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