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You really do have to wonder if Gaia ever ask their customers what their wants and needs are within the Gaia Interactive platform. There are obvious frustrations, such as the fact that their servers cant cope with the number of players, thus causing lag on games such as zOMG! This can easily be put down to profit above player experience, as the management obviously feel profit does not correlate with number of users, therefore, enough to warrant investment in its servers. I will come to later. However, more concerning is the lack of business insight into the platform itself and how it is used by its users.

The integration of gaming across the platform seems minimal, games such as 'fishing', 'pinball' and 'towns', apart from sharing graphical design in one way or another, integrate very little with each other apart from a link here and there - which one can click to open yet another window. Across the platform there seems to be a major disparity on earnings of 'Gaia Gold', something which all users seem to crave. Unusually the business model does not seem to take advantage of this want from the users of gold, especially noticeable is the disparity of gold earned between games. I would ask why the company would create and offer a certain game then only to lead people away by offering less of the commodity which it users crave. THIS creatES a less lucrative option for its users. Platform integration would resolve this issue thus creating a more profitable business model overall.

Lag, more commonly known as the lack of bandwidth from server to user, could be due to age of the server itself or the lack of servers available. I have only played the game for a month for this review, however I have had to restarted the game zOMG! many times. Unfortunately I haven't counted the number of times so I cannot use a number, but many times I have had a member of a 'Crew' reload to counteract this. Lag on this platform means the "animated" 'stick' on the screen once killed, rendering the goal of killing useless. I would expect that the number of times a user has lag and reloads does not correlate with profit, therefore the company does not feel it necessary to invest to ensure this does not happen. There is, of course, the possibility that the company is not profitable enough to invest in new server and IT equipment, this would ultimately be the most dangerous of the two possibilities with regards to investment in the company itself.

Talking about 'Crews' and game play, there seems to be certain areas in which users congregate. Personally, as I will explain later, I enjoyed the game play itself, however it has a tenancy to become somewhat boring. Users seem to congregate between two areas, "PS" which stands for Papa Saw (The Saw Mill) and less so "The Shrine". It is obvious when playing these games why this is, gold earned during battle (or at least the persevered gold) and the route that new players take while in the game. New users travel through the "Village Green" which is too basic, "Bills Ranch" which although brilliant during the period of completing quests, it is swamped by people who are completing 'DMS', which is a area only available to those with the highest abilities and game play, alternately it is also, and unusually, in an area which is designed for some of the newest members with a low ability. From experience this can be somewhat off putting and sometimes experienced users can be somewhat unwelcoming (potentially loosing new users at such an early stage).

Making 'friends' within the platform is very easy, in that respect it could excel at being a social media platform. However interaction within the actual platform once forming a friendship is difficult. Users are provided with the ability to create friends lists, however once these are created the only ability is to message these friends through a platform somewhat like email. Trade of virtual items is also available I should note. There is no way to locate the areas 'Friends' are playing within the platform, something which would encourage user use and profitability should the business model correct for its user base.

Finally, earnings from the company seem to be geared towards two areas. Firstly advertising, which seems to lag (for a better word) somewhat behind where advertising is currently in social media and the internet on a whole. It consists of videos which I expect users close when they forced upon them. Notably there is a chance to earn 'Gaia Cash' by watching these videos in some cases, however I would question if this would have growth potential in the long term. Secondly users buy 'Gaia Cash' and 'Gold' via real currency. This is an expensive option which leaves a number of members restricted from doing this, which would explain the small investment in infrastructure compared to user.

In conclusion, this is an excellent platform for a new start up, however unfortunately at this point it would be expected to have integrated more into a single platform rather the one of many. Its business model seems to lack somewhat in innovation although its creative team seems to be further ahead then the business team. Users seem to like the gaming but are lost with the lack of tasks to complete within 28-30 days on the whole. I would assume a high user turnover, however this is opinion rather then fact. As a business in its current form I would expect little growth year on year.

*Side Note* - Gaia Cash (GC) is available free by using the platforms games to complete tasks such as killing 'animated' on zOMG (the main way) or playing games such as 'Fishing' and 'Pinball' although there seems to be little GC available on these. Items can be won which can then be traded on an open market to users, which in some respectis similar other real money trading platforms.

NOTES: This is not a review of the platform or company as a whole and only my opinion on parts of the company and platform from short term use, no company data apart from using the platform was used. This review of the platform and company may or may not have been commissioned by a third party where as I act totally independent, however it is agreed after the writing of this that it should be made public to the company reviewed and be provided to third parties for their use at any time in what ever way they wish within the law, however it must be reported in its entirety and not changed in any way, nor used for any purposed unless agreed with the author for reasons of making profit from the review.
Kyllorac's avatar

Handsome Poster

Um, what?

There's a few issues with this:

1) GC is only available through completing sponsored offers (some of them include watching videos) or spending actual money. GC cannot be earned by playing any of the games on Gaia. You're confusing it with Gaia Gold (GG, or just plain Gold).

2) zOMG! and the other games mentioned in this are years old. zOMG! is the most recent of the games, and it was released back in 2008. This is not a "new start up".

3) Additionally, zOMG! has been neglected for years, by this point. The last major update to the game was made in 2011, with the introduction of Dead Man's Shadow, and there is no one currently assigned to zOMG! in any capacity. The number of servers available today is only a fraction of the number that used to be available, and a number of features, like the holiday events, have been lost as a result of this neglect.

With that said, you might have better luck getting staff to see this if this gets moved to the Site Feedback forum. A more concise and relevant thread title wouldn't hurt, either.
Myrielle's avatar

Perfect Saint

Gaia probably asked and decided it didn't like the answers.
ryry Kenny_McCormick ryry's avatar

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the only thing gaia ever asks its users is the following:

"Does your wallet still have anything inside it?"
They tried it, it didn't make a profit, they moved on. Lucky that zOMG is even maintained now; its existence doesn't benefit them.
pandexX's avatar

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SatansLittlePsycho
They tried it, it didn't make a profit, they moved on. Lucky that zOMG is even maintained now; its existence doesn't benefit them.
I don't think it is being maintained at all.
pandexX
SatansLittlePsycho
They tried it, it didn't make a profit, they moved on. Lucky that zOMG is even maintained now; its existence doesn't benefit them.
I don't think it is being maintained at all.


Well, they keep servers rolling and functioning (generally) at least. If this site wants to survive, it has to invest its resources into things that will generate profit. They failed to make zOMG profitable and kept investing in it at a loss for years, so they gave up.
2Del's avatar

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Thought i accidentally clicked on GCD
You don't have to wonder about Gaia's concern for customer feedback. Cause they've never cared. Even when they on rare occasions do ask for feedback, they just go and do whatever they want anyway. rofl

And I'm not sure zOMG!s problems are about server issues more than they are about the game itself being inherently laggy cause I've played recently and haven't noticed any lag. Not anymore than usual anyway. Gaia wont invest in anything new for zOMG! cause it doesn't make them money. You're right that Gaia is only money minded so you're not going to see anything done for the game anytime soon. neutral

As for platform integration. Ideally. It would've been cool to integrate everything together such as being able to fish right from Baasken lake in zOMG! but I also feel that forcing people to do it through zOMG! would reduce the convenience and ease of playing these games separately. Also, many of those games came out before zOMG! did. Personally, I think it was better they kept it separate since I don't think they ever intended to revolve Gaia around zOMG! pirate

And players who play zOMG! for the gold are the ones keeping the game alive. I'm amazed how/why they do it but they do it. You can't blame the users for playing the game in the only way it can be played once the play value has been exhausted. The devs could have potentially done more to balance the payouts of each area to match the difficulty of that instance but I think people would still only line up for ps, smob dms simply because there are so few players of zomg! wink

And again. A great point as to why Gaia is so poorly run. For a social hangout, It actually provides surprisingly low options to socialize with others. They did find an IM after meebo was taken out, but they decided not to implement it as it wouldn't make them any money. I was flat out told by a dev that Gaia didn't see any need for a social chat on a social site. Again. Just shows how counter intuitive Gaia's thinking process is which is why they've fallen so low. emotion_facepalm

And yes. Gaia is only thinking about short term profits in favor of long term existence. It's sad. But this is a company that's lost a lot of money and now they just want to gorge on as much of it as possible. No matter how damaging it is. sweatdrop

Personally though. I really like the single platform integration idea. It's something I often think about that someone else should try. Wouldn't really work with Gaia and zOMG! because zOMG! came only much later into the story. A integrated platform would need to have started out from the very beginning as people are often resistant to change. 3nodding

Good topic. You've pretty much nailed it on all fronts. Not sure why you felt the need for a legal disclaimer though. lol
SatansLittlePsycho
They tried it, it didn't make a profit, they moved on. Lucky that zOMG is even maintained now; its existence doesn't benefit them.


If zOMG! didn't benefit Gaia, they would've removed it with the same ease that they removed Moga and HOC. The fact is that people still play it and that outweighs the cost of maintaining it.
Kaniskion
SatansLittlePsycho
They tried it, it didn't make a profit, they moved on. Lucky that zOMG is even maintained now; its existence doesn't benefit them.


If zOMG! didn't benefit Gaia, they would've removed it with the same ease that they removed Moga and HOC. The fact is that people still play it and that outweighs the cost of maintaining it.


If they could remove it without people bitching for months, they probably would.
SatansLittlePsycho
Kaniskion
SatansLittlePsycho
They tried it, it didn't make a profit, they moved on. Lucky that zOMG is even maintained now; its existence doesn't benefit them.


If zOMG! didn't benefit Gaia, they would've removed it with the same ease that they removed Moga and HOC. The fact is that people still play it and that outweighs the cost of maintaining it.


If they could remove it without people bitching for months, they probably would.


They've been destroying the site for ages now and have given zero cares about any of the bitching they've gotten from thousands of people on all social media. lol

Think they'd be scared of the far smaller zOMG! userbase? wink
Kaniskion
SatansLittlePsycho
Kaniskion
SatansLittlePsycho
They tried it, it didn't make a profit, they moved on. Lucky that zOMG is even maintained now; its existence doesn't benefit them.


If zOMG! didn't benefit Gaia, they would've removed it with the same ease that they removed Moga and HOC. The fact is that people still play it and that outweighs the cost of maintaining it.


If they could remove it without people bitching for months, they probably would.


They've been destroying the site for ages now and have given zero cares about any of the bitching they've gotten from thousands of people on all social media. lol

Think they'd be scared of the far smaller zOMG! userbase? wink


Well, I ignore social media games so I don't know anything about that, but perhaps you're right, maybe they're just retarded. I'm not not sure how people playing zOMG and not generating income for them is a benefit though. There must be some incentive for them to maintain it. Or they're just being nice folks.
SatansLittlePsycho
Kaniskion
SatansLittlePsycho
Kaniskion
SatansLittlePsycho
They tried it, it didn't make a profit, they moved on. Lucky that zOMG is even maintained now; its existence doesn't benefit them.


If zOMG! didn't benefit Gaia, they would've removed it with the same ease that they removed Moga and HOC. The fact is that people still play it and that outweighs the cost of maintaining it.


If they could remove it without people bitching for months, they probably would.


They've been destroying the site for ages now and have given zero cares about any of the bitching they've gotten from thousands of people on all social media. lol

Think they'd be scared of the far smaller zOMG! userbase? wink


Well, I ignore social media games so I don't know anything about that, but perhaps you're right, maybe they're just retarded. I'm not not sure how people playing zOMG and not generating income for them is a benefit though. There must be some incentive for them to maintain it. Or they're just being nice folks.


I'm talking about facebook, twitter, review sites etc. sweatdrop

Not everything has to generate income directly. Features really exist to keep people on the site. Who then generate money for Gaia through ad revenue. Features...especially soulful ones like zOMG! also help build emotional attachment to the site which in turn make people more willing to spend real money on Gaia's cash shops. etc. Finally, features also help people earn gold which in turn is used to buy items from the mp that is initially paid for with real money by cash spending users. Cash spenders therefore not only buy items for themselves but also to sell to others in the mp. (Which Gaia has frikin destroyed).

I don't think it's a matter of they being nice guys. I think it's more about Gaia having some sense that a feature that is being used a lot is probably not worth shutting down. Also why towns, rally are still up.

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