Monday, December 12, 2005

Another middle-finger to fans from Lucasarts

Sometimes I wonder if George Lucas and his company actively hate their fans. Not just unintentionally...but actually hate them. They do so many things to alienate their core audience and fans, be it Jar Jar Binks, refusing to release the "classic" (ie, un-enhanced) versions of the original trilogy of films, constant tinkering with the movies, becoming licensing/merchandise wh*res, or closing down any website that posts information or rumors. One wonders how they have any fans left at all.

The latest stupidity was picked up by the NY Times over the weekend and it features the multiplayer online game Star Wars Galaxies. Sony and Lucasarts were apparently unhappy with the game's moderate level of success, featuring loyal players devoted to complex gameplay, economics and a fun community. A moderate success wasn't enough. They want a massive success. So...they retool the game, transforming it into a mindless click-and-kill fest that appeals to younger players who aren't interested in complexity. And in the process, alienating all of the fans of the game and forcing them to go elsewhere.

Okay...I'm not a SW geek and I also don't play online computer games. That said, if I was either of those things, I'd be seriously offended by the decision. It really is a big "f*ck you, we'll do what we want" kind of decision and while I'll agree that this is entirely within their rights, the decision seems mostly to have been made in order to increase their profit (although they attempt to mask this in platitudes about it being more SW...whatever). I wonder if they'll ever realize that these kinds of fan-unfriendly decisions are part of what has driven people away from their franchise. I wish I was optimistic that this would be the case, but...in today's world? Not bloody likely.

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