Right to Reply: GOA

IainC stopped by to comment on our post about our concerns about GOA (actually, as I write this, I’m stopping to think ‘Is GOA an acronym or do they just like capital letters?’ Memo to self: go check this later).

I thought it was interesting that they estimate that the Euro market for this game will be larger than the US one.

I guess this one is for me.

From the top then with the bullet points and then I’ll waffle for a bit on vaguer points.

  • Our relationship with EA Mythic for WAR is designed around the premise that EU customers will get a service that is equal or better than the US operation. Both we and EA Mythic know that this is going to be a huge game and no-one wants to see the European side (which is likely to be the biggest market) get undersold.
  • We are looking at extra value that we can add for all of our customers although there will be limits to that due to the fact that we aren’t the developers and our rights are necessarily restricted in that regard. Having said that (and to slightly avoid the question as a lot of the plans are still very speculative) we do intend to focus on providing the highest quality community support that we can. I’m not going to say that EA Mythic’s will be rubbish by comparison but we intend to be 100% focussed on the European community and that’s probably not something that EA Mythic could do if they were running it themselves.
  • You’ll be able to contact support in a variety of different ways. There will be 24/7 ingame support, there will be a knowledgebase and FAQs so that you can help yourself and there will be webform based support for people who can’t access the game for any reason. Again, the design is that EU and US players will have the same options and services available to them.
  • Once again, this comes back to the central mantra of ‘everything they have, you will have’. It’s an important part of our arrangement with EA Mythic that development is done in parallel with localisation so that we can launch simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic. For a lot of reasons, that wasn’t possible with DAoC and so both parties wanted to avoid a similar situation arising in WAR. You have to remember that DAoC was not originally designed to be localised, it was written to be an English only game by developers that had little experience with localised projects. WAR on the other hand is specifically designed to make localisation as streamlined as possible.

Ok those of you with ADD can stop reading now, the rest is probably going to end up as a tl;dr bullet point on WHA or somewhere.

Basically a lot has changed since DAoC launched. We aren’t the same company, EA Mythic aren’t the same company, the MMO market has moved along and – as spinks points out – players have different expectations these days. Back in the day we did what most of the other MMO providers did, we relied on word of mouth advertising with targetted marketing pushes for expansions and other major milestones. WoW changed the rules and by the time that lesson had been learnt, DAoC was an older game that was difficult to get journalists and editors excited about. Three or four times a year I’d go across to the UK to demonstrate the game to the press and gush about whatever the selling point du jour was but a lot of editors wouldn’t touch MMOs that weren’t WoW at that point.

There were a lot of things that we wanted to do for DAoC that we couldn’t do for various reasons – legal reasons, things to do with our contract with Mythic, things to do with French labour laws, things to do with the fact that we were a tiny part of a very large company and so forth. When we talked to EA Mythic about partnering up for WAR, we made sure that all of those restrictions were removed. Six years is a long time and GOA is a very different company now to what we were when we started running DAoC in Europe,

So anyway, enough about DAoC, this is a WAR blog so I’ll get back on topic.

If you want an idea of how seriously we at GOA are taking the success of WAR in Europe consider this:
We started a new company based in Ireland (to get around some of the restrictions I mentioned above) just to run WAR. A lot of us who were in Paris sold our houses and uprooted our lives to go to Dublin and make WAR work properly. We didn’t just say ‘We’ll do better’, we spent a lot of money and put a lot of people to a lot of trouble to make sure that we can do better – before we have a single subscriber and before we’ve made a single Euro from the game.

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12 Responses

  1. And again here, thanks for this IainC.

  2. GOA isn’t an acronym (or an abbreviation for that matter), it’s just a name that happens to be officially spelt all in capitals. The name is apparently supposed to evoke happy, party-island type thoughts. I have no idea however why there is the insistence on all caps.

  3. I have been continually impressed with the communication between producers and community for this game. Thanks very much for this information Iain.

    I currently only really have one problem with GOA and that is the quality of the website compared to the US one. While there is in some cases more information on war-europe it is badly presented and looks quite amateur. I know this is a niggle but good design is important to me 🙂

  4. It’s also hard to search for GOA and not get references to India 🙂

    Agree that the website could be better, but it’s already made some huge improvements for me, as long as things get better, I’m generally ok with stuff like that. There’s also less reliance on the official page, because of community sites passing on the info!

  5. That is all really good to hear, and I’m a US lad. 🙂

    As for the web design… hire me! I’ll fix it right up.

    Good stuff, guys.

  6. Want to do ours, JoBildo? ;p

  7. Sounds like good news for EU customers. 🙂

  8. […] IainC swung over to Brook of Grudges to clear some facts up about GOA. […]

  9. hmmm this has been posted on WHA without any credit given. I don’t know why but it really annoyed me.

  10. Yep, we noticed that.. but well, things happen 🙂

  11. How about answering one question..

    WHY NO OPEN BETA/INGAME ITEMS FOR PRE-ORDERS?????

    GOA can talk all they like…address the question of why US have these “benifits” and EU is left in the cold?

    ALSO limited shops to buy Pre-order/CE from a “recognised partner”…..

  12. Dunno what about you, Cliff, but Im getting Rittenbach’s portable camp and Guardian’s iolite band with my CE Preorder.

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