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DARKNRGY's avatar

Greedy Fatcat

There have been some strong opinions and misconceptions about the feasibility of zOMG, both its lifetime success and its future potential. Gaia Interactive made a business decision to halt production and I'll try and list out some of the high level reasons.

Initially, our objective was to acquire a large number of active players. At the time we launched we wanted to both inherit a large chunk of Gaia proper's user base and acquire many new users from outside of Gaia. Instead we only obtained a portion of what we anticipated.

When we launched zOMG, we were seeing millions of active users per month on Gaia proper and this set the context for our expectations. The scale of investment and the size of the team was determined using this expectation. While we saw that our most engaged users were attracted to the feature, we were unable to break into the larger game playing market outside Gaia.

The high level objectives for the zOMG team were constantly in flux and this resulted in hindering the zOMG team's ability to focus their efforts well on any particular objective. Our initial vision was to build a much smaller and more casual game, but the eventual scope demanded a shift in requirements. These lessons were learned the hard way and we acknowledge mistakes we made.

In terms of marketing, there are questions and concerns about the scale. We had a full time marketing staff, and one of their major goals was promoting zOMG. The ways this works at Gaia (and most companies), is that you run the planned marketing campaign, look at the results, and make conclusions. This is exactly what we did for zOMG. To look at the effectiveness of marketing, you take the cost and divide it by the revenue to get an cost per user "acquisition cost". In zOMG's initial campaign, we were seeing about a 1 to 5 return. This means for every $5 we spent on marketing, we got $1 back in revenue. The results were tangible and concrete, and it resulted in our canceling the marketing campaign.

We learned that, even with an exceptionally great game and loyal user base, the current market is not always receptive.

There are also some less tangible limitations within any particular staff's skill set. We want to take our prized engineers and leverage their capabilities in areas where we see the most potential and where their skill set is matched the best with requirements. There is always going to be untapped potential in all of our products, and we can only make our best judgement about where to focus our talent.

The outcome of zOMG, as a business product, does not take away from the fact that the game was one of the most technically and creatively impressive products we ever built. We are proud of zOMG as a game and as a part of Gaia. The reception by our core user base continues to inspire. Everyone who contributed to zOMG went above and beyond, building a game that each and every one of us is proud of. The zOMG team did a fantastic job. If you get a chance, tell them "thanks"!

We are going to continue our investigation into statements made regarding the Buccaneer Boardwalk area completion and the bugs with the DMS update. We've heard your concerns and we are looking into a resolution that is acceptable for the community. As the week is at its close, we will provide a status update next week.

Moving forward, there will always be a chance that Gaia makes mistakes in gauging the market, product design, communication, and just about anything else that can be done wrong! We always try our very best to minimize such mistakes and communicate appropriately to the community our intentions. We know some of you will be skeptical and draw a different conclusion and we welcome that. Our community has always thrived on the freedom of expression and we welcome all forms of critique.

We're going to continue our analysis and provide updates as we learn of them. We'll have more for you next week. We'll try to provide a more concrete plan for zOMG at that time. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

Written by: Panagrammic, DARKNRGY, Swarf, Lanzer, Siskataya, and Narumi Misuhara
Mademoiselle Kit's avatar

Questionable Genius

We were promised figures. Is there a chance these figures will come to light?

You did not address whether or not zomg was making profit or not, the big issue about this. If Zomg was failing, give us the numbers. Otherwise, we are going to look at anything posted by a staff member in a skeptical light.

Since this concerns the game WE LOVE and its future, I'm afraid we will need cold, hard facts before we are satisfied. Was it in the black? Was it in the red? These conflicting statements are making it hard to trust anyone right now. I hope you can see the dilemma we are in.

We are going to need facts before we back down. If it was in the red, then why hide it? Show us, and while we will be sad, we will back down. But all this secrecy about the numbers is making me suspect the latter, and the idea that Gaia might be hiding this fact makes me very upset and angry.

I never wanted to believe Gaia would lie to me, but after this...well, I hope you can understand my dilemma. Only will facts before my eyes convince me otherwise.

In conclusion: Your post did not give us the answers we were seeking. Please try again.
Ridley Starsmore's avatar

Compassionate Conversationalist

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A step in the right direction, peeps.

Now, about those trust issues we have with you guys...

EDIT:

Now that I've had a moment to really review.

The short post is "We thought this was going to be a cash cow, at a time when our userbase was overrun with bots. We over-extended our expected reach, and now it's come to this."

There is a lot of spin talk up there, but that's the sum up I'm seeing.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad you are communicating about the game, but you guys missed the actual issue for a lot of angry folks.

And that problem is, you guys can't see to tell us the truth. or at least not all of it, and it's essentially destroyed your reputation with the userbase. THAT is why a lot of folks are angry. The game was a business call, we get that.

Many of us are more upset you keep treating us like fungus: keeping us in the dark and feeding us BS.

Nice trick with the Breakfast Club approach to the thread though. "We'll have everyone sign it!"

Gaia's PR is essentially ruined at this point, Admins. It needs a rework from the ground up. And I don't think the staff as a whole can do it at this time.
A Random Act of Terror's avatar

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Thank you, dev team for the heads up on what you guys are doing, and this better explanation.

EDIT2:

The only relevant thing i have left to say is:


Why not just quit guys?

Seriously, if you hate something, quit using it, who cares if it means the end of zOMG!? Your still supporting something you guys apparently find deceitful and malicious towards you.
Mage The Red's avatar

Shadowy Demon

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Thank you for at least taking the time to try and give us an answer. Sadly, I feel that there are many issues still left untouched.
The Undead Suitor's avatar

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I'm still wondering how you came to the conclusion to shelve zOMG last week, when you're just now going over the data and hashing things out.


Honestly, after two "expansions" of a blank area and a glitched over-leveled dungeon run, it's no wonder why zOMG died.
Nymph of Spring's avatar

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Am I the only one that's not entirely satisfied with this? neutral

Edit: No. I read it again. I'm not happy at all!

After spending a crap load of time at my job, to earn money to put towards zOMG! thinking that it would help.. and finding out than any money we spent (even on zomg) went to Gaia anyway (should have known, derp on my part) and getting other commitments I have online sorted out.. I've spent HOURS a day playing.. after taking a LONG break. I came back because of DMS. I spent money.. because of DMS. Money I SHOULD have spent on bills.. food.. etc.

This is a crock of BS. I don't like to rage online, it's not something I take pride in, but zOMG! has kept me coming back every day. I enjoy the comradory that you get when you play. YOU DONT GET THAT ANYWHERE ELSE.

I remember back when zOMG was around in it's "Prime".. being dazed up in the cliffs of Otami and going "OMG DEFIB PLZ" and someone would ask where I was and come and help...

People CARE in zOMG. It's not JUST playing a game. zOMG! ... it's kind of a lifestyle.

Haters gonna hate.. But seriously? What CL are you in zOMG? Hmm?
How many hours have you played? emotion_donotwant
Mademoiselle Kit's avatar

Questionable Genius

The Undead Suitor
I'm still wondering how you came to the conclusion to shelve zOMG last week, when you're just now going over the data and hashing things out.
QFT.
Oh please. This post does nothing to even REMOTELY answer ANY of the questions ANY of us posed to you! NONE of the concerns were addressed in the SLIGHTEST.

You fail. Try again. :/
Starshine's avatar

Magical Gatekeeper

I'm looking forward to the follow up of this follow up. Glitches an BB tickets' promised refunds are thing important to the enjoyment of the game. I'd also raise buddies as they were sold on the presumption that more will be done with them, currently they are just a source of lag.

I also applaud whoever edited this, the tone of the post was much more frank and straight forward from others, I hope to see more in the same fashion.
Nymph of Spring
Am I the only one that's not entirely satisfied with this? neutral


No, I'm not satisfied either. This was a bullshit copout to get us to shut up.
scullylam's avatar

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. . . good step in the right direction staff. and if you ever need more details i am sure anyone here would be glad to tell you.
II_Kisame_II's avatar

Genius

I understand your reasons for cancelling the marketing campaign for zOMG in its infancy, but when you guys had to opportunity to virtually run a marketing campaign for free by promoting zOMG in game through Monster Galaxy, you guys simply let the opportunity let by. When Monster Galaxy was getting 20 million monthly users, you guys failed to capitalise it, this tells me you guys weren't serious about zOMG. I've spouted this idea numerous times in the AtA months back, but you guys kept misinterpreting it by thinking that I was talking about advertising in Facebook, I didn't mean that. So since you guys are in a attentive mode, will it be possible to promote zOMG through the new games you guys are releasing and publishing?
crying
Next week for sure...
crying
EliteDanneh's avatar

Star Catcher

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Could you all please address this then please?

I'd like very much to know how you plan to handle this. Buccaneer Boardwalk IS unfinished and development HAS halted.

Do we get a refund?

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