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Starshine's avatar

Magical Gatekeeper

The link listed in the first update no longer works, that thread has been taken down.
To keep everyone informed I have instead compiled a concise thread which includes a bit of everything that has happened in this incident.

_____First_Update__________
Update! Everyone who's ever spent Gaia cash and is therefore a paying customer of Gaia needs to read this link.

The truth behind zOMG that admins don't want you to know.

_____Original_Post__________
Dear Upper Management of Gaia,

It has come to our attention that there are now no developers assigned to work on Gaia's MMO zOMG. This wasn't a sudden occurence, it was something that happened slowly over the last few years. Devs would get assigned to another area in Gaia, or had their contract terminated.

So what? The game is now finished right? No more need for devs right?

WRONG! zOMG is a MMO, it's not Jigsaw or Word Bump! The key to the survial and popularity of any MMO is constant and steady updates! For that you'll be needing devs, lots of them. No one wants to play a MMO where our neverending adventure and fun comes to a stop and there are no further chapters.

It gets worse, we have learned that the few devlopers that we had left were made to work on new games. Games that are highly similar to zOMG. If this was a commercial MMO or even a Free-to-play MMO I would uninstall and leave so fast there won't be any time for goodbyes.

Now time for a brief history lesson, since although Gaia has 9 years of history, the management team does not. Gaia was roughly based off Ragnarok Online (an MMO) when it was first created. While the founding members Lanzer, L0che, VO, Ling and co didn not have the funds to add a MMO aspect, they carried their hope and bided their time.

Back then there were barely enough funds to keep the forums running, and to organise your inventory you have to start trades and then cancel them. However Lanzer & co has never asked for more money than they needed. They made the donation items (now montly collectibles) as thank you gifts to those who contributed, and that was all.

You need to understand that in today's age of constant marketing and commerce just how refreshing and inspiring it was to find a team that cared about the community ahead of their hip pockets. How rare and wonderful it was to find people creating things with fun in mind and not money.

This is the spirit that I would shell out money to support. Your rig items may be shiny, but I'm past the age where I'll impulse buy the latest shiny thing only to drop it when a newer shiny thing is released. Let's not get started how morraly wrong it is to distribute items in what is essentially a lottery format and using it to milk your userbase for cash.

zOMG was Gaia's longstanding and original dream. The release of zOMG in 2008 was supposed to be the fullfillment of that dream, as well as a reward for all the users who patiently waited. And it should have ended there, been a dream come true fairytale story.

Only it didn't.

There were problems right from the beginning, due to management decisions. The devs were forced to release the game in open beta status despite dozens of glitches found during the closed beta period. The closed beta community was amazing for playing around the clock and reporting all the issues they found. This was done knowing that all their progress would be wiped once the game is released.

This is when I first had misgivings, the management wanted the game out by Christmas, they didn't care if the devs couldn't fix all the glitches by that time, management wanted the power-ups to be great sells and to rack up a huge profit from zOMG.

Wait- wait- what?

You expected zOMG to bring you tons of cash? You decided if it suceeded or failed from power-up sales?

Let us tell you something about Free-to-play MMOs. The avatar is a big draw for us gamers. Take Maple Story, many of the cash shop sales are glittery avatar acessories that have no real function, but we buy them because we like the way it looks, and we know it's supporting the game. Gaia itself is a giant avatar dress up game, this means that when we buy items to look cool while we play zOMG, that figure is not reflected as power-up sales!

The very fact that zOMG exists and people play it provides Gaia with a lot of cash from people buying avatar items. For management to totally discount this is madness. Take myself, if not for zOMG, I wouldn't be on here, and I wouldn't buy any avatar items or contribute to your rigged economy.

Wake-up Gaia! You already have the most passionate and dedicated community, you just need to give them the updates that they deserve. You need to realise the amount of time, effort and soul all the players have invested in zOMG so far, and not back stab them with some shiny 10 min Facebook game.

In today's gaming environment, there are tons of shiny 10 min games that are fun and enjoyable, but they don't last. People get bored and move on. There's little sense of community in them. The developers of these games then dump the said games and makes a near identical copy of it, in the hopes of tricking the players to do the circus merry-go-around all over again.It's cheap, commercialistic and utterly meaningless.

I'd like to dredge up all my remaining faith in you and believe that you will do better than that.

To finish up here's a quote, I don't know where I heard it, but I know I'll never forget it.

Quote:
You can learn more about a person from an hour of play, than from a lifetime of conversation.


Revive zOMG, give us back our devs. For the zOMG community, the game is the best thing that has happened, despite all the torrents of glitches. At least try and show us some effort for all the loyalty we have given you.

Regards,
Starshine
fire monkey95's avatar

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im in love! we so need the devs back! and if i remember rightly, zomg was very profitable and then rapidly decreased in profits, (because of lack of interest, and lack of updates) if they just let the dev team release part 2 like they planned it would all be fine, they would be finished by now, loads of people would play, and it would once again be profitable, and your right, i think alot of people forget where gaia came from ... and now are just obsessed with money.
Amitte's avatar

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If I could I would spam this thread with <3
Penn Almasy's avatar

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My god, they killed development for zOMG? I knew this day would come, but... so soon?

Hurm.

A note to management from myself (if you don't mind, OP): Facebook will never net you consistent money like we do since those users will eventually move on to the next hot flash game... and suddenly, Monster Galaxy won't do as good as whatever becomes the next FarmVille or such.

Reconsider to whom you have loyalty, CEO-who-cares-more-of-that-wretched-site-than-us. [/yes, I MAD]
fire monkey95's avatar

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Starshine


just so you know i pmed Lanzer & L0che to have a look at this just so it dosent go un noticed
Berryfarmer's avatar

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Couldn't agree with you more Starshine. zOMG is where I have met many of the people I consider my closest friends. This sort of shelving is just going to reduce the pool of people to the point it dries up entirely.
Starshine's avatar

Magical Gatekeeper

fire monkey95
just so you know i pmed Lanzer & L0che to have a look at this just so it dosent go un noticed

Thank you ^^ I hope Lanzer and co will be able to drum up some support for there to be a zOMG team again. Although I know since they handed control of Gaia to some company they don't have any real say on what gets done whee
Alcestice's avatar

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    •••
      /tipped emo
      zOMG is my favorite game on Gaia. It's where I met the majority of my new friends..and it has helped me become more social on here by crewing with others.
      I know it probably sounds pathetic, but zOMG has really shaped me from the person I used to be back in 2008.
Mortok's avatar

Tipsy Exhibitionist

Well, nobody wants to work on an MMO that doesn't make any money.

So it looks like you guys are at an impasse.
Starshine's avatar

Magical Gatekeeper

Mortok
Well, nobody wants to work on an MMO that doesn't make any money.

So it looks like you guys are at an impasse.

How do you know it isn't making money? Gaia HQ has never released any statements or figures. You are just going to take their word on it?

fire monkey95
Owlie
I'm actually startled.

5000 amulets at 399 = $19,950.00

? Gemstones sold at 799 = ?

Countless powerups. I know I've started using them far more now with DMS.

(if anyone knows the number of gemstones that have been sold, please quote me.)

I thought this considerable amount of money would be enough to keep one person on, full time.

I wanted to say more, but, you know what? It's all already been said, millions of times, in the first post, in the countless letters to Gaia from the oldest, most dedicated community there is here.

Stop trying to ******** us, Gaia. We're already bleeding.

Oh, and it would be nice if the content we paid for was put back into development to be fixed. I can't start Alastor's quest because there's a glitch. The content I paid for is still broken.
you dident even mention summons ... that gave a large sum of money to gaia/zomg
fire monkey95's avatar

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Mortok
Well, nobody wants to work on an MMO that doesn't make any money.

So it looks like you guys are at an impasse.
acually zomg made more than enougth int he first years after release, but after the lack of updates players simply lost intrest, and profits fell, if the game was to continue with a full dev team, it would likely still be making good profits
Berryfarmer's avatar

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Mortok
Well, nobody wants to work on an MMO that doesn't make any money.

So it looks like you guys are at an impasse.

Except this MMO has most recently seen a positive spike in it's revenue stream. New content rejuvenated it and caused more people to buy and play. It making money is not really much of a question anymore. The most recent release of Deadman's Shadow has shown with the right coaxing people are willing to shell out the money for it. The question is more of what was the impossible target that was supposed to be hit.

And I do stress impossible, because on numerous occasions the community has been told "buy stuff or it gets the axe" and numerous times the userbase has shown a devotion to pull through and hit the marks before us. And each time it's been met with "lol nope that's not enough."
Mortok's avatar

Tipsy Exhibitionist

Starshine
Mortok
Well, nobody wants to work on an MMO that doesn't make any money.

So it looks like you guys are at an impasse.

How do you know it isn't making money? Gaia HQ has never released any statements or figures. You are just going to take their word on it?

You're right, Gaia is pulling dev support from a profitable venture just to make a small portion of the site's userbase feel bad. It's a conspiracy. lol

Facebook is where the money is right now. Of course Gaia woud branch out to make games for it. The most profitable game company that currently exists right now is Zynga, with its fifty-billion versions of goddamn Farmville. Even big gaming companies like Square Enix and EA have started making Facebook games in addition to their usual products.

zOmg's problems go far beyond a mere lack of updates. It was a mistake from the beginning. It took them several years to produce what turned out to be, in the end, not a lot of content, with some pretty serious glitches. And that is back when it had a full dev team. The story and gameplay are extremely lackluster and after the initial surge of popularity, with the core userbase, interest in it has only plummetted, and it never really succeeded in drawing in new members. It's not very marketable, honestly, and it never was. Not to mention that the initial attempts to profit from it where met with such vehement hostility that it took them several years to make another attempt, and the only reason the players went along with it is because the devs made it very clear that the alternative was shutting it down.

I feel bad for people that genuinely enjoy the game, I really do. I like to think that if Gaia's Facebook ventures prve to be profitable, some of that money will go towards the site proper, including zOmg.
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The problem with comparing models to Maplestory is that with Maplestory items, all of that goes towards the game because that's all there is.

With Gaia, most of the avatar item sales go back into the main site itself. It's kind of self-explanatory that zOMG would need to pull it's own weight.

It was doing well in the beginning? I don't think so. zOMG had very little as far as merchandise to pull it. There was the recipe system which was supposed to carry it with the sales of Null Fragments, but it took an arrow to the knee. The recipe system (which I imagine a lot of development time went into) pretty much died right off the bat.

There was also pretty much no incentive to play the game until users figured out they could abuse certain runs to make way more gold then they were supposed to. Loot was worthless. Playing normally gave very little gold. Leveling up in that game doesn't feel rewarding at all (bad design IMO).

If anything, you'd think Alchemy could save it. After all... look at the price of the Village Greens loot. Imagine if they did that with all of the zOMG loot. Then there'd be an incentive to play.
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emotion_bigheart and tipped.

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