Wednesday, March 15, 2006

An update on BOTS

I've been pretty quiet about BOTS lately and I think I owe you guys an update.

When we opened up the site for closed beta sign ups, we were aiming to open up the game in 2-3 weeks from that date. Let's just say we were optimistic. There are two main issues holding us up right now and I thought I'd share these with you.

#1 "All your base are belong to us"
This classic bad translation in a Japanese game found cult status as probably the first viral humor piece on the Internet. It's an understatement to say we don't want to have a repeat of something like this. I mean, it's funny now but do you even know the name of the publisher, the game, or anything beyond that statement? Didn't think so.

It's no secret that BOTS was BOUT in Korea. It's an incredibly fun game but any hint of a poor transport and the public is going to rip us to shreds. We made a decision that we're not going to release this, even to closed beta participants, until we feel it's top notch. To be perfectly honest, I would love to trust 100% of our closed beta testers, but I'm not stupid, 1% are going to find something bad and then make sure EVERYONE knows about it. We're not going to be able to get the game perfect, that's the whole point of beta testing, but we're going to get it as close to perfect as possible.

#2 Pimp my BOTS

We're setting up some really cool things to happen within and alongside BOTS. For one, the advertising system. As many know, BOTS has a cash store system. We love the idea but it's mostly untested in the US market. You wouldn't base your whole business on an untested model and we wouldn't either. That's why we're adding ads, it protects us if the cash store thing doesn't take off.

Now before you go all negative on me, there another reason. The ad system is a great opportunity for everyone, because this is going to allow us to provide you some great content for free. Like I mentioned in earlier posts, advertising supports incredibly valuable content in almost all other entertainment channels. TV, radio, magazines, etc. If this works, US gamers won't have to pay a ton for great games, they can choose to play games supported by ads. It's not for everyone but it does open a door a little more.

I got off track. So we're getting the ad system set up and everything that will go with it. This, as well, needs to be done right. There's another surprise down the road but I can't tell you yet. Don't you hate that? Me too; but I know and you don't and that makes me feel better. =p Seriously, some surprises are worth waiting for.

The bottom line? We're aiming for as soon as possible. If you don't hold me to it, I think we should have something by the end of the month. I'm sorry for the delay but all the work we're putting in is going to ultimately make this more fun for you. That's all for now.

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