Recently I got a ping from a Discord server that I’ve not visited in several months, and it reminded me that the annual Blaugust blogging celebration was right around the corner. I was reminded of a community of fresh-faced content creators who, without the desire for status, fame, nor fortune, explode onto the scene once every year to start up a new hobby or revive an old one. I likewise pictured the selfless mentors who give time and advice freely throughout the course of the event, hoping to encourage the follow participants and subsequently add to their ranks. Lastly, my mind wandered back to a bygone era when I was much more active both on this blog and within the greater community. I realized that I have not recently posted about the latest step in my writing journey.
Is there such a thing as a good and bad game studio? In this episode, I’ve got game bloggers Murf and Doone to discuss our perceptions of game studios, what influences them, and whether the ethical practices of a studio have any relation to the quality of games being produced.
Participating in blogs, fansites and podcasts can be a tremendous experience. It can also be a little confusing when trying to determine where you fit in the grand ecosphere of press/new media/indie media. Just when you think you’ve got a good handle on your role, a new wrinkle is thrown into the equation. Video has stormed onto the video gaming/content creation scene thanks to accessible tools like OBS and Twitch. It was on one such stream a few weeks ago that I heard LOTRO community manager Frelorn make a statement that surprised me a little. Frelorn mentioned that the applications for the 2015 LOTRO Players Council would be going out soon. Upon questioning from the chat, he also validated that LOTRO streamers would be eligible to apply for the council. While this may not seem like a big deal to the casual observer, it does seem to draw an interesting line revealing who LOTRO considers “press”. Continue reading “LOTRO: Bloggers are Press, Streamers Aren’t”
Well, that was unexpected. I’ve been involved with the game of LOTRO for about four years now, and have followed it fairly closely for my responsibilities on LOTRO Players for about two of those, but never have I read such an in-depth “first-person” viewpoint of the inner workings of Turbine as what was posted by ex-QA dev Aylwen in the LOTROcommunity forums – not to be confused with the official LOTRO forums – yesterday. Oh, we’ve heard grumblings and whispers and rumors, and we’ve read the glassdoor reviews, but never have we seen so much from the inside of the traditionally tight-lipped company. Aylwen claims to have no beef with his former employer, and seems to wax nostalgic as often as he criticizes.
Producer’s note: Since the completion of this show, it has been announced that parent company AOL is closing all Joystiq properties, including Massively. I toyed with the idea of recording a short segment for the beginning of the show explaining these developments, but considering the amount of work involved and short timeframe, I decided to release this episode as-is, from a time before either of us were aware of the closures. Justin is an amazingly talented writer, and I look forward to reading his musings on gaming and MMO’s for years to come. If not on Massively, then wherever he decides to post them. Best wishes to all at Joystiq.
This month, I’ve got Justin Olivetti from Massively and Biobreak. We talk about how Justin moved from a purely amateur blogger to paid gaming journalism, the relationship between blogging and journalism, some of the criticisms to come out of #gamergate, and the inception of the Newbie Blogger Initiative.
Yesterday the rumors started circulating that media conglomerate AOL is planning to close down all sites associated with joystiq.com. A day later, and without any evidence to the contrary (including from AOL), it would seem that a closedown is imminent and that we will soon be without one of the staples in the games news industry.