MMORPG Scams - You Need to be Aware!
Yes, I’m calling these publishers out because this is getting ridiculous. Last week, Echo of Soul shut down.
Or, at least they shut down the Steam version of the MMO – an iteration of the game that ran separately from Gamigo’s. Echo of Soul has always been a free-to-play MMORPG, back when Aeria Games published it, and further when Gamigo took over and published it.
The Steam version of Echo of Soul went online December 6th, 2018, less than 2 years ago as a buy-to-play MMORPG that cost players $10 for the basic edition, all the way up to $70 for the Diamond edition.
And then after a brief time online – with thousands of players, maybe tens of thousands of players purchasing a free MMO they went ahead and took the game offline. And the best part? They’re still an “early access game.” Yeah.
Even after the Steam page explicitly states “We will be in Early Access for up to 6 months.” That’s the sign of a great publisher, guys. Speaking of.. when I downloaded KurtzPel last week it was in Early Access still as well – yup!
The official closing statement reads:
“We have discussed about the directivity of Echo of Soul on Steam internally. It has come to a conclusion that it to be hard to provide stable service continually and thus, Echo of Soul on Steam service will end on December 7th, 2020.
Players who want to play EOS more can create a new account at Echo of Soul through ‘Aeria Games’ after the steam service ends. Aeria Games is currently preparing various events such as new user events. Please make a new account to play EOS (North America/Europe).”
It’s worth noting that according to Steam, there have been an average of 2 people playing over a 24 hour period. Aeria Games, and further, Gamigo are going to be holding “new player events” to welcome all of the 2-ish players that will be transferring servers. Yeah, right. Of course they will.
And while we’re talking about Echo of Soul right now, that isn’t where this actually ends.
Yes, the publisher that decided to scam players out of money by taking a free-to-play MMORPG and charging players for it is a distasteful, vile, disgusting thing have done, but it isn’t the first and it won’t be the last.
Neowiz did it with Bless Online when they took a free game and slapped a price tag on it, going free-to-play after it ended up failing.
Warlords Awakening did it as well – and I actually called the devs and publisher out on this when I made a video stating that the game was a disgusting cash-grab and would shut down after they failed as a paid title – from which I garnered a lot of criticism. And you know what? After scamming players out of a ton of money, they shut down.
Yes, developers and publishers are taking older MMOs that were at one point free titles, slapping a “buy-to-play” business model on them, marketing them as something “new, exciting and innovating,” milking players for every cent they can, and then vanishing.
And the reason we’re here right now is because we’re falling for it. Every. Single. Time. Hundreds of players, thousands of players buying into not only the new business models – but also buying Founder’s Packs, deluxe editions and more, supporting these loathsome, shameful tactics from developers preying on gullible players.
Can we stop? Honestly, all we’re doing is making things worse. We’re not only providing them with new opportunities to scam us, but we’re also diluting the market with games that leave bad impressions on players. It’s asinine that this is even something that is done – let alone as frequently as it is.
It also isn’t exclusive to MMOs that have their business models changed. Nope. Take DK Online as an example – that relaunched after years of being shut down and had cash shop items that cost hundreds of dollars. Guardians of Ember. Kingdom Under Fire II.
I can name so many games that have released over the last couple years that have had the same aim: To take advantage of us. At least games like Blade & Soul, Revelation Online, and Astellia Online were all MMOs that had yet to have ever released over in the West when they finally launched over the last few years.
I’m just sick of this continuing to happen. Sick of seeing MMOs that were so bad they had to close down coming back, equally as bad, taking money from players that want to support these new developers, these new publishers, and subsequently losing their money, time and efforts.
Don’t support games like this. Us supporting rehashed content that has shut down in the past – when they’ve shown no signs of improving the game is actually part of the problem, and we need to acknowledge this. Once we do, things might change. Maybe for the better. Maybe for the worse. Who knows.