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Old 2009-10-11, 11:57 PM   [Ignore Me] #16
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


Cooool, its he!

As far as marketing goes, I know you guys did a little bit, I remember seeing an ad in PC Gamer way back. Thats all though, why was the advertising so weak compared to the other games you guys had. I know theres the whole thing of eastablished brand vs. new brand, but that still doesnt explain, atleast for me, why there was hardly any advertising done for Planetside.

Also, what was up with the engine? From what I heard it was a pain to work with.

Anything you can drop or hint at yet?
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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2009-10-12, 12:21 AM   [Ignore Me] #17
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
I'd like you to comment on the marketing. And in spite of my vitriolic statements, I want to make it clear that I do appreciate you taking the time to address these concerns on a personal, individual level.

If you browse this thread as I am sure you already have, and if you check out the thread regarding the PS2 announcement which is also in this forum, you'll see several mentions of marketing foibles. Since you've stated that you don't disagree, I won't continue to hammer that fact in.

I will be frank with you, Smed. It killed me to cancel my subscription. This was my first MMO, and it was the only FPS that consistently held my attention. BF1942, BF2, TF2, DFLW, RtCW... decent games, but nothing special like Planetside was. My Planetside subscription is currently active only because I reactivated some months back, and it's been off and on since about 2006. Prior to that it never lapsed. After the whole "Outfit Wars" thing, I stopped playing because it just made me sick to think of how things were done to this game. This game was something special to a lot of us.

You say there were business decisions made that you weren't happy with. That's fair - I understand that, because I work for one of your competitors and I've seen a lot of decisions made that no one was happy with. I further understand that some of those decisions remain behind closed doors for proprietary and confidential reasons, examples being lay-offs and restaffing.

If you ask a hundred players to give you one reason why they quit, you'll get ninety reasons. For me, it was the constant turn-over that created a lack of content and lack of mission for Planetside. It was the lack of marketing support - we players can only take word of mouth so far, or at least... back in the day we could. I got tired of hackers. I got tired of the fucking Vanu and their stupid Lasher. I got tired of people using a BFR to camp a door. I got tired of waiting years for content. But mostly, I was tired of not seeing any support for Planetside.

And again, having worked in video games now for a while - if there are reasons why developers get pulled off games, one of them is because of failing subscriptions. Failing subs falls on lack of development, lack of content, cheaters (thank G-d we didn't ever have to deal with gold farmers), and marketing. I've seen subs fall in an MMO and the result was layoffs, restructuring of departments and reassignments. Other projects come along and you want experienced talent there.

But let's be honest here Smed. Planetside... there ain't a game out there like it. I wondered WTF you guys were smoking - you have the market on MMO-FPSes. Huxley? GTFO - that game has been in development for four years. Tabula Rasa? Not even close (was that even an MMO?). Global Agenda - instanced combat with a lobby, which is lame. You guys have a viable product with Planetside.

Seriously. Help me understand, why this game appears to have been left on the back burner. If there are confidential reasons, I can accept that (if they're actually confidential).

I've seen SOE's track record and I feel like you stabbed my baby and then tossed it in the garbage. Planetside was something special for a great many of us. You want my trust in Planetside 2, I'm willing to give it - but it's gotta be earned. It killed me to cancel my sub for the first time. And I know at least three hundred other people from my guild that will tell you the exact same. You have a loyal fanbase for Planetside.

Can you woo them again?
When Planetside launched, it actually had quite a big marketing campaign for it's time. Keep in mind this was our first big game post EverQuest. We launched it at retail and we had a very strong launch campaign.

Over the years we've continued to advertise it, but most of the members of the core development team no longer work at SOE for a lot of reasons. At some point we've had to make choices about where to put additional resources in the company, but we absolutely never walked away from Planetside. I think it is fair to say it didn't get the attention it deserved, but I also think the market is a whole lot different today than it was when we launched Planetside.

Just to put it simply - I think we launched Planetside a bit before the really large wave of online games that we see today. That makes it an entirely different economic equation. So here we are right back into the breach.

I'm sorry if you feel that we undersupported Planetside. That certainly was never the intent... it was just about doing as much as we were able with the fixed amount of resources we have available to us.

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Old 2009-10-12, 12:27 AM   [Ignore Me] #18
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


Originally Posted by Smed View Post
When Planetside launched, it actually had quite a big marketing campaign for it's time. [..] Over the years we've continued to advertise it, but most of the members of the core development team no longer work at SOE for a lot of reasons.
Are you able to go into detail, or even give less-specific info on what constitutes "over the years we've continued to advertise it"? I'm curious because I really am having trouble remembering anything more than the large-spread article about the BFRs (wonder of wonders, it showed the VS BFR in the article), outside of the handful of articles that I saw regarding the game's impending release.
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Old 2009-10-12, 12:34 AM   [Ignore Me] #19
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


I remember hearing about ingame ad's through other SOE titles, though that doesnt make much sense, just encourages cannibalization, unless the idea was to sell all access passes.
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This is the last VIP post in this thread.   Old 2009-10-12, 12:39 AM   [Ignore Me] #20
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
Are you able to go into detail, or even give less-specific info on what constitutes "over the years we've continued to advertise it"? I'm curious because I really am having trouble remembering anything more than the large-spread article about the BFRs (wonder of wonders, it showed the VS BFR in the article), outside of the handful of articles that I saw regarding the game's impending release.
Over the years we've done many campaigns as well as all the magazine ads back when we launched (and around the launch of Core Combat).

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Old 2009-10-12, 01:18 AM   [Ignore Me] #21
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


The magazine ads worked back in the day. I had a Game Informer article that I had clipped out for a year before I could get a job and build a rig (I was such a young thing back then...) and actually play the game. But after a while, like Firefly, I was unnerved by the way the game was being run. Focusing on balance, I can recall very few instances where TR or NC received a buff while VS got nerfed. I ended up canceling my subscription shortly before Outfit Wars. I picked it back up again last year, but the game was virtually unchanged from when I left off. There were a couple of nifty new guns, but besides that, zero new content. The game looked, handled, and felt the same.

Planetside was everything I had ever wanted in a game, and to this day use it as a standard to compare new games I try. It's a truly unique game in a world of WoW and WoW-clones. I'm equally as baffled as Firefly as to why the support was so sub-par.
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Old 2009-10-12, 01:58 AM   [Ignore Me] #22
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


I'm excited to come back to this site again and see this game back in the works. This is truely great news! Its also great to have another developer posting on PSU

I am not to concerned with the lack of advertising: The game had a bad launch, and recovered very well from the beginning. Anyone remember the original engine? It took em a while to get it right, but when they did there was definatly a strong population. (This is back when Sporkfire was still around) The changes that came in the beginning of the game were great, until the concept of Planetside starting to ultimately change.

I miss the days of dogfights and air combat, I feel like air got the shaft and thats what hurt the game for me. It felt like when I quit I couldnt go anywhere near anything, be it a tower or a base or a road without getting 50,000 lock on warnings and being destroyed the second my afterburners were gone.

I love Planetside, this was a game I was addicted too and I absolutely and uttelry loved. Finally earning CR5 felt like a major accomplishment, and the fact that a guy playing 2 years and max level and a new character could compete with each other fairly was incredible. The "Class" system where leveling meant versitility versus overall power was great, the way stealthing was handeled, the ground vehicle combat, the empire differences, I loved all of them.

Honestly, the one thing I hope to see in PS2 is not more marketing, just a general and honest look at the original planetside seeing what doesnt work and what does. Also a nice bit of air combat and more empire versitility wouldnt hurt (<3)

Anyways, glad to see the game back in the spotlight and the guys here on PSU. Also glad to see the support for vista in the future (I will definatly resub for a month, if only for nostalgias sake)

EDIT- I forgot to take the time to tell you not to take our harsh words personally. I think most of it is just a group of us loving our game a little too much and not wanting to see it go badly and kill any future of it. We <3 you =)

Last edited by Exano; 2009-10-12 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 2009-10-12, 08:38 AM   [Ignore Me] #23
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


Smed - take all of the FPS gameplay of CoD:MW, add vehicles like those in BF1942(3), and make it massive and you'll sell as many copies as you did with EQ.

SciFi doesn't sell as well to the public as Near Realism.
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Old 2009-10-12, 09:25 AM   [Ignore Me] #24
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


What i wander is why you didn't say this earlier Smed, (the posts here and the blog), like the last year when half of the userbase decided to unsubscribe.
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Old 2009-10-12, 09:46 AM   [Ignore Me] #25
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


Smed thank you for coming by and taking some time to speak with all of us Guys make sure you keep things civil try not to burn things into the ground to much.

I will echo what these guys have said, the marketing overall really seemed to lack. Promotions like reserves PSU really took a front seat in getting keys out there and getting new people into PS. We enjoyed doing that but it seemed like more of an afterthought promotion than a solid thing.

I will say that what turned the game off to me is when my friends all stopped playing. I still play now and then but the game at its prime was when you were shoulder to shoulder with teammates you knew had your back and teamwork was key to victory. They all left for their various reasons (BFRs, Balance, Price Hikes etc etc)

Keep teamwork and balance primary to the game and make sure to market the poop out of it. Also, keep the price closer to the 9 dollar or less mark and you will have a killer.
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Old 2009-10-12, 11:41 AM   [Ignore Me] #26
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


Yes ditto Hamma - Really appreciate you taking the time to post to a bunch of passionate PS folks. To be fair, yes I do remember the advertising for PS - it was there but for whatever reason it seemed to be swallowed by the times. Even then "What side?" was the running joke as few people really knew what the game was about.

Sadly it became a sleeper... passionately loved by those who knew it but largely unappreciated by the majority. Despite that, it has been reviewed and re-reviewed several times - and all with a mostly positive result. Not too shabby for "sleeper" now six years old.

I think we all know what makes planetside unique and what drew or draws us to play it. If PS Next can capitalize on those points, market and produce "that" game - I think you'll have a real competitor in today's MMO market.

Again, Smed - thanks so much for sharing your thoughts over here. We at PSU and the community truly appreciate it.
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Old 2009-10-12, 12:25 PM   [Ignore Me] #27
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


I thought I did all the marketing for Planetside
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Old 2009-10-12, 01:45 PM   [Ignore Me] #28
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


Originally Posted by Miir View Post
I thought I did all the marketing for Planetside
You and Grassroots Marketing did more marketing for Planetside than SOE. And I'll not apologise for saying so - I can only recall two marketing ads, and I may vaguely recall a third or fourth. Beyond that, I don't believe there has been more.

It grinds my gears when I talk to FPS junkies and I ask "So who did you play in Planetside?" and they look at me like I've got a third fist coming out of my chin. I don't count in-game ads in Everquest or Vanguard or any other game. That's unacceptable to me. But since Smed already mentioned it, there's no need to beat a dead horse.
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Old 2009-10-12, 02:52 PM   [Ignore Me] #29
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


Planetside was, for me, a real gateway game. My first MMO. I met some great people playing that game, so it became more than just a game. It was something that was tangible to me. No other game out there brings to the virtual battlefield what Planetside did, or any other MMO yet to follow in its footsteps. In no other game that I've played has a person, who just bought, installed and patched the game, able to tip the balance of the game. Almost all the other MMOs you have to start to level before being an effective TEAM member. This game anyone can pick up a supressor and be an effective unit on the battlefield. Please, keep that element in mind when making PSN.
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Old 2009-10-12, 03:49 PM   [Ignore Me] #30
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Re: John Smedley talks PlanetSide


Originally Posted by Sentrosi View Post
... In no other game that I've played has a person, who just bought, installed and patched the game, able to tip the balance of the game. Almost all the other MMOs you have to start to level before being an effective TEAM member. This game anyone can pick up a supressor and be an effective unit on the battlefield. Please, keep that element in mind when making PSN.
Excellent point Sentrosi! That was one of the things that made PS unique. I know of no other game that incorporated that either. With a team game especially that was critical. So many other games I have played have this level gap - where if you aren't up to a particular level, you are either ineffective with you fellow clan-mates, or it's not even possible to be in the same area as you'd be crushed by the level difference. PS was wonderful in that regard as you could hit the ground running and be with your friends in the same place and still be effective with what you could do. I agree - this is a must have for PS Next!
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