Thank you very much to all who participated in the September 17th drop. Please read the News for a summary of events and current status.
The UniteAndDrop concept was essentially born on the evening of Wednesday 21st August.
When it first hit the MWO forums, it was an emotionally-charged mess which was open to interpretation.
The genesis of the UniteAndDrop idea was a world-wide sync-drop at a specified time, to demonstrate PGI/IGP in terms that are measurable by themselves, the number of customers who feel betrayed, or otherwise disgruntled customers that are within, leaving, or have already left the MWO community.
Support from the #saveMWO townhall cemented the idea in my mind as a viable initiative and this is why we are here.
One of the most important factors to understand about UniteAndDrop is that we are not protesting about any specific gameplay aspects of the current state of MWO.
Our protest about the following points:
- The way that PGI/IGP staff have treated the community in general.
- The lack of a communication conduit between PGI/IGP staff and the community at large.
- The method of gathering feedback and ignorance of the feedback provided by many in the correct channels put in place by PGI in the community forums.
- The general state of the MWO due partly to failures in the above aspects.
Whilst it cannot be denied that the recent deception regarding 3rd person view is by far the worst protagonist, the situation between the developers and the community that has got them this far has spiralled out of control and precursors to this can be traced back as far as closed beta.
The primary objectives of UniteAndDrop are as follows:
- Demonstrate the realistic size of ‘the vocal minority’
- Demonstrate the monetary value of investments made to the MWO developers by ‘the vocal minority. Individual investments will remain confidential, the total will be made public if deemed necessary by the UniteAndDrop community.
- Collect accurate record of all participants in the event(s) in order to have numerical data and records of the success of our initiative.
- To recall as many former MWO players who we know have left due to the state of the game in order to have them drop with us and be recorded as unhappy customers of PGI/IGP.
Why, Why, WHY?
There have been many questions posed by members of the MWO forum, and I am extremely happy to report that many of them are answered constructively by supportive members of the UniteAndDrop community. A F.A.Q about UniteAndDrop can be found here. The biggest question I have been constantly asked over the past week is:
What do you hope to achieve?
It is my hope that we can demonstrate to PGI and IGP the true number of our community that they have alienated since open beta. I hope that our demonstration of this number will give them pause, and cause reflection and reaction similar to that in which the community of EVE Online stirred in their developers historically.
To quote the CEO in this instance:
“You have spoken, loudly and clearly, with your words and with your actions. And there were definitely moments in recent history when I wish I would have listened more and taken a different path. I was wrong and I admit it.”
A link is provided for the complete apology, and illustrates exactly the kind of apology and shift in developmental approach a company can take when its core player base expresses its discontent.
This turnaround in development mindset has inevitably led EVE Online to greater success and has grown to be arguably the most sustainable MMO to date. The point I am making is that EVE Online shifted the focus back to keeping its core community satisfied and has continued to be profitable over the course of the last 5 years dispite yielding lower player numbers when compared to more ‘general appeal’ games. Also of note is that the company that develops EVE online is much bigger than that of PGI and IGP put together, and as such, would have significantly higher operating costs. This is relevant when you look at the bigger picture, but I digress.
I’m hoping for the same shift in development mindset to occur within PGI and IGP, and the resultant changes to lead to a refined feedback system where proper analytical data can be gathered. If we succeed – and then stick around to participate in improved feedback systems – we should inevitably end up with a game that is much more aligned with what was originally envisaged, and originally supported by what was primarily the Battletech community.
Additionally, by publicly disclosing a total investment by this community, we effectively show the continued revenue lost by these players leaving PGI to spend their gaming dollars elsewhere. Every business has to make a profit – PGI and IGP are no exception. We will demonstrate we account for a large portion of their revenue to date, and continued support from us is essential for their survival in a tough free-to-play market.
In order to enact this change, we NEED to make this work. We NEED to demonstrate these numbers effectively. We NEED everyone who signed the #saveMWO petitions to be online and accounted for. We NEED to contact those who have already gone, so that they can return and bolster our numbers. We NEED to publicise the event at every turn, so nobody in this industry can miss its significance.
We need to UniteAndDrop.
How WE are measured is up to each and every one of YOU.
Hang in there,