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Loading... Stargate Worlds Going MLM?

Updated Thu, Jan 15, 2009 by Ethec

Welcome to the 992nd Edition of Loading...

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The Pulse

First, you vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is Pulse?).

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Warhammer Online
  3. Age of Conan
  4. Lord of the Rings Online
  5. Atlantica Online

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 today:

  1. DC Universe Online (UP 5 to # 19)
  2. Champions Online (down 4 to #18)
  3. Star Wars: The Old Republic (UP 3 to # 8)

Loading... Daily

Loading... along with coffee, the perfect antidote to Monday.

I hope you had a good weekend. Mine was split between shoveling snow, watching the NFL playoffs (here we go, Steelers!), and a little Atlantica Online and WoW thrown in for good measure. I'm really enjoying Atlantica, but man, the RMT spammers. If subscription games requiring a box purchase have a tough time keeping them at bay, how much more of a problem does a free-to-play game have with this, since there's really zero barrier to entry and only a risky IP ban will cut them off.

Some of you might be familiar with the buzz phrase "multi-level marketing" or MLM. Fact is, if you know how Quixtar, Herbalife, Avon, or Mary Kay products are sold, you know a little about MLM. The jist of it is that independent, unsalaried "distributors" are authorized to sell a product, earning a commission based on volume. If the thought of this scheme raises your buyer beware hackles, it's with good reason. Illegitimate MLMs are prone to make their money in pyramid schemes, false advertising, and price fixing, which is one reason that Amway now does business as Quixtar in the US, though the brand remains intact overseas.

Why am I bringing up MLM? The concept may be the last hope or last nail in the coffin for Stargate Worlds and other Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment properties. Supposedly CME-affiliated Mmoguls.com began a viral "pre-launch" marketing campaign this past week, appearing on an MLM-geared website and posting on several forums, including Ten Ton Hammer (we've moderated the thread, both because advertising in our forums is verboten and, well, we're skeptical).

I'll save you a click, here's their pitch:

"The chairman and primary fund raiser of Cheyenne, Gary Whiting has decided to share the spoils of this phenomenon, and create an unrivalled opportunity, the scale never been seen before, where the games will go live, globally, after the first 200,000 Platinum members register in the network.

A Platinum member is $250 with $50 monthly subscription that gives you full access to STARGATE WORLDS and 6 other 3D online games from a Motor Racing Game (where you get to choose the car of your choice, and if you win the twice monthly tournaments, you also win the real version of the car.) To American Football Game [sic] (like Madden NFL) and other new 3D Fantasy Worlds, 15 Future Games & a 3D Social Networking site with Shopping Mall.

After the 200,000 Platinum members have been filled in the BINARY tree the Game will go on sale (est. May '09), and everyone who purchase [sic] the software for the game will be allocated pro-rata, so therefore evenly distributed among the 1st 200,000 platinum members downline."

So basically, once MMOguls raises $50 million, they'll take an attractive stable of games live and everyone will share in the box sales and subscription profits. Sounds fishy? For sure. But let's give this the benefit of the doubt and say 1) this is legit, and 2) it goes live as intended. I'm guessing that $50 is at or around the average gamer's online entertainment budget each month - would you fork it over for SGW and a bunch of no-name clones? Either someone didn't do much market research or they simply have bad intentions.

As to the truth behind of CME's affiliation with MMOguls, my sole amateur Internet sleuthing tool WhoIs shows that the domain is registered to an address in the same building (though not the same suite) as the address we have on-file for CME. It's worth noting that the MMOguls site doesn't mention SGW but does cast itself as owned by Cheyenne Mountain Affiliates, LLC.

If this is a fake, its a very cunning one, though cash-strapped CME probably doesn't have the legal muscle to fight for their trademark. As for the valid yet ugly chance that this is illegal pyramid scheme, the FTC probably wouldn't start investigating until the money starts flowing. In any case, we know that CME was planning a social portal of some kind, but as of yet we've not been able to get any kind of official comment.

I'm personally hoping that this is all a poorly orchestrated fraud, because the concept seems to have a better chance of creating intense distrust in online games at large among investors than becoming a winner for all involved. Far better that SGW be taken over by another publisher and developer at a fire sale bargain than find itself and its worthy dev team at the center of a scandal not of their making.

Comments are welcome in the Loading... forum and interact with whoever you find there, or email me directly if you like.


Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Aion: The Tower of Eternity Forum

Aion at Ten Ton Hammer

Our members requested an Aion forum, and we served one up. Ten Ton Hammer community member Finn has been posting informative threads in the new forum. (He sold his soul to me when he promised to help get the new forum rolling.) Now it's your turn to join in and learn more, or share what you know, about NCSoft's visually gorgeous upcoming MMOG, Aion: The Tower of Eternity.

=================================
Awesome Quote from the Epic Thread:

No quotes this time, just info.
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Do you have a favorite Epic Thread? Let us know!

7 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 39 in January! 39 in 2009!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today [Thanks Phil Comeau for links and Real World News]

Op/Eds

Previews

Features

Giveaways

Community

Guides

Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:

  1. Ten Ton Hammer's MMO Gaming Predictions for 2009 - Part 2
  2. Lunia
  3. Top Ten Free-to-Play Games: Investment Opportunities for Developers
  4. Fasaria World Beta Giveaway
  5. Ten Ton Hammer's MMO Gaming Predictions for 2009
  6. Warhammer Online: What to Expect in 2009
  7. Age of Conan: Border Kingdom Cryer - The End of the Road
  8. Goob & Begud: "For PETA's sake"
  9. Champions Online: Cryptic, Champions and the Console MMOG
  10. World of Warcraft Celebrities - NFL Punter Chris 'Warcraft' Kluwe

Real World News


Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

-Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer team



Lawsuit.jpg

Stargate Worlds returns to the news for one final hurrah of drama and epic fail for the cancelled sci-fi MMOG.

News
Tue, May 15, 2012
Martuk

It's certainly been an interesting ride for Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment (CME) over the last few years.

News
Tue, May 15, 2012
Martuk
JimBrown-100px.jpg

The Stargate IP has had a colorful gaming history.

Features, Interviews
Wed, Dec 29, 2010
Martuk

If you've been following the sage out of Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment, you already know that Stargate Worlds is dead in the water and that the developer’s third-person shooter, Stargate Resistance, will be getting the axe on January 15th, 2010 as part of the licensing termination from MGM in November.

Features, Interviews
Tue, May 15, 2012
Martuk

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