Tobold's Blog
Saturday, April 10, 2010
As if WAR wasn't dead enough yet

EA Mythic made a small "billing error", billing current and previous clients up to 44 times in a single day. The charges have been reversed, but banks being banks it might take until middle of next week until the money is back. If you've been affected, you might want to read the helpful hints at Game by Night.

How many game companies did YOU give your credit card details to?
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what credit card? :D
I have a card just for such things. I keep 1-200 Euros on it. If some shady company steal it, not a big deal.
My credit card? no way!
In WoW, it's cheaper to use prepaid game cards anyway (hint hint).
Just how dead is WAR? I am curious, and I agree that this drives a stake through its heart -- what chance of getting new players do they have with this kind of news? It has to hurt them.

And since WAR is an EA game and EA is looking at the BioWare Star Wars MMO, I don't see WAR getting much of a budget for new development.

Anyone know what their subscription numbers are at?
I gave Warhammer a fair shot a few months ago, played for awhile. It's not doing well. They've consolidated down to four servers in the US and they consolidated the leveling experience to concentrate players in only one of the three areas. And there's still no news about any expansion. They do keep tweaking the game, and their recent free to play to level 10 trial has brought some life in the game. But it's clearly not doing well.

Billing mistakes happen. They're also hugely embarrassing. And expensive for the company who screwed up.
As far as screw up's go, this is about as big as an MMO company can make. You are screwing with your paying customers, you are screwing with their real life, and worst of all, you are screwing with their finances. This could be the big nail in their coffin. WAR will definitely go down as a lesson on how not to do things in so many ways.
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That's ridiculously scummy. People trust their details to you, and you charge them for hundreds of dollars? Even more so in the case of retired players -- Why did they still have that information anyway? They did their best to fix it, but it never should have happened.
I played WAR two weekends last month with the free account and was surprised by the number of level 11s I saw. You can't reach level 11 with a free account so that indicates were quite a few paying customers.
"I played WAR two weekends last month with the free account and was surprised by the number of level 11s I saw. You can't reach level 11 with a free account so that indicates were quite a few paying customers."

Doesnt mean anything. All it is is bored higher levels rerolling alts. Game is still dead
The game is not "dead." I play it regularly and have people to play it with regularly. I also have been running up alts and run into new subscribers who have moved past the free trial all the time.

It's not WoW numbers, not by a long shot. It's not the numbers they would have liked when the started the game. They lost a lot of nunmbers early on and had to consolidate servers substantially. There are portions of the game that are quite empty, to be sure. However the same can be said of WoW and no one would declare it dead just because they don't run into many players in some of its zones.

All of these factors are true and yet, the game is not "dead." Bioware management released a statement not long ago confirming the game is profitible.

As for the billing issues, yes, that's a major problem, and it won't help the game at all. When people are eager to declare the game dead or dying anytime the name of the game comes up, this is just more fuel for the fire.

It's a damn shame. I got hit by it. They refunded the money. they have promised to make good on any overdraft charges, but I didn't have any so I can't speak to that. They made a huge mistake and have tried to do the only thing you can do: appologize and fix it as soon as possible.

I can say that the overall point that this is poison for a game is true. I feel pretty bad for whoever was responisble for that error because it's a huge public relations fiasco. I can also say that I haven't seen a single person I play with leave because of it. In fact, my guild had the highest online attendance last night that I have seen since I joined them.

I think the real damage will be for players thinking about playing the game for the first time. Time will tell if it is a mortal blow, but as of now the game is still chugging along.
Always use pre-paid myself.
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