Updated Thu, Jan 15, 2009 by Ethec
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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:
Biggest Movers in the Top 20 today:
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.
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]
Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:
Real World News
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-Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer team