Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Someone Just Knocked on the Door

I picture it as when a police squad finally arrives at a parent-free party going on in a house in the middle-class suburbs. A window is broken, there’s litter all over the place, and someone has puked in the garden. Finally one of the neighbours made the phone call to make it stop.

“Party’s over kids! Get out of here, time to go home!”

The party is over at MMO Champion and they have removed all content about the Cataclysm Alpha for the time being, and it will remain this way until the NDA is lifted.

Boubouille doesn’t say right out what has happened, but from what I can read out of it, they have probably done more than just ask him nicely to take it away. There are most likely lawyers involved.

“I don't have any reason or project to be an internet superhero because none of the underwear I have look nice over my pants”.
What took them so long?
I’m just a bit curious what took them so long to act. It’s as if the Blizzard lawyers have walked down by foot the entire way from their headquarters in Stormwind to MMO Champion's operation in Booty Bay. Don’t these guys have flying mounts?

Maybe it just took them a while to make up their minds on how to do. The buzz was nice to listen to, but there was a backside to it too. Maybe they finally listened to the complaints from the official fansites, put at disadvantage by sticking to the NDA, and realized that they had to do something if they wanted to keep them as allies? Maybe they wanted some space to keep working on the expansion in peace and quiet.

I believe a major reason for them to put a stop to it is that they needed to make a statement and show that Blizzard are serious enough about their own polices to take action when they’re violated.

If it would become too apparent that the NDA didn’t mean anything in reality, what would that suggest about all the other stuff at the three-page-agreement that we click through without reading thoroughly every time there’s an update? They have to take some sort of action every now and then against violation of their policies – be it gold selling, hacking or leaking of NDA material. Their credibility was at stake.

Another reason might be that they wanted to get some more attention to what’s happening in Wrath. There hasn’t been that much talk going on about Ruby Sanctum. With less of Alpha distractions right in front of our noses, they might be more successful in getting attention to their own, planned agenda.

Moving to the Evil East
Of course the action against MMO champion doesn’t mean that all the Alpha material is gone now. Once something is out on the webs it’s there and there’s no way to put back the genie into the bottle again. However the curious guys will have to look a bit further away to find it, in the “Evil East” as Tim Howgego called it on his by now classic map over the Warcraft communities.

And if you travel to those areas you’ll do it at your own risk, as Spinks points out in her comment today. Do you want to download viruses and other crap to your computer? Go ahead. If not you’d better stay here in the safer areas of the community, where the sun is shining, keeping the shades away and where you’ll still get teasers about Cataclysm, although in the pace that Blizzard decides.

The Cataclysm Alpha party is over. Now, let’s try to get some energy and enthusiasm back into Wrath. Let’s start longing for and speculating about Ruby Sanctum!

10 comments:

Sephrenia said...

I think they finally got fed up of having to answer qq things from people who don't actually understand what a beta test means. Ghostcrawler probably didn't want to be forever remembered for promising something other than a sparkly pony :)

That and Blizzards lawyers got their money's worth ;)

Sephrenia said...

D'Oh - I mean Alpha test :/ Too early in the morning to be commenting :(

Dwism said...

The big machinery works slowly, but once those cogs and steam gets a rolling...

Im not really supriced this happened, like I tried to communicate in the last post you wrote; Blizzard PR makes a lot of weird unpro mistakes, and boub just showed datamined pics before all his readers went.. well east.

Keeva said...

It was nice to get a taste; but I'm not particularly upset to have to wait for the beta now.

Jim said...

Seems to me that when MMO champion did all the Alpha leaks back during BC they just made themselves too popular. Now its a first go to site for everyone on news and forthcoming images. And yes what took them so long is mystifying to me as well for that very reason.
Spoilers in WoW mean nothing to me, as playing the game is so completely its own experience, I still run into things I did not know about after 5 years. The beta will be here very soon and its not really that big of a issue. Good on MMOC for becoming such a popular site.

Grimmtooth said...

Ima gonna beat the same drum as last time and propose that it the same usual operational cluelessness that they've exhibited for the past 5+ years.

Seriously, did this conversation really take place?

"Well guys, MMOC has outed the alpha client."

"Wait for it ..."

"Wait for it ..."

"OK, NOW, get 'em!"

No, it took close to a week to shut down because they needed a guidebook to tie their shoes before they went out the door, more likely.

They're very good programmers and artists. But if their operations / PR / legal office were a gas station, some bum selling gas in mayonnaise jars would put them out of business.

SRSLY.

It's very entertaining if you're into Keystone Cops / Three Stooges, though.

Gronthe said...

I've worked with hundreds of lawyers in my line of work. Do you know how long it takes them to return a phone call?

Blizzard probably forgot to call them 10 times a day, that's all. But I'm also sure that they wanted to make sure that legally there were no loopholes before threatening...er, asking MMO Champion to take down the alpha content.

Sure, there may have been political reasons as well, but legal issues take time. They just wanted to be sure they were on solid ground first.

Grimmtooth said...

@Gronthe

See, that's just it ... by now this sort of thing should be all boilerplate, practically a checklist. "In case of alpha client leaks, break glass, remove document, and follow the instructions therein."

Dwism said...

@gronthe, they have in-house lawyers, this should not have taken this long to shut down. In the past it has not taken this long to stop things they did not like.. Unless...

Mmo was allowed to post the screens for a few days to up the excitement about cata. hmm.
Ill betcha, that I can prove this. If I did up some cata pics and post them on my blog, we will just see how long it takes blizz to stop me!!

muahahah (dont go to my blog only because of this, Im not really going to do that)

Larísa said...

@Sephrenia: I'm leaning towards the "slow lawyer" theory, although others are more fun.

@Dwism: I feel a little bad about bashing the PR department at Blizzard all the time. They're probably trying to make a good job from the circumstances they have. It's definitely not an easy job they have. I would love to see them one day, colleague to colleague and hear about their experiences.

And yay for more conspiracy theories!

@Keeva: I'm not upset about it either, although things are so slow in the community right now that I hope they'll find up other stuff that we can talk about in it's place.

@Jim: Oh yes, I too find new things, and know I have a ton of undone things after three years. I think MMOC isn't just popular because of the alpha leaks - they have a very good news coverage overall, the best there is imo.

@Grimmtooth: hehe! You meanie! But there is a core of truth in what you say.

@Gronthe: The ways of lawyers is a mystery, that's for sure.