|Two new MMO gaming journalism sites replacing those of Joystiq|
It has been a little over three weeks since there was an official announcement on Massively that it would be shutting down along with the other MMO site on Joystiq, World of Warcraft Insider. Almost immediately many of the people from World of Warcraft Insider announced a new site, Blizzard Watch that would depend on Patreon for funding. A few days later, the people from Massively announced a Kickstarter campaign for initial funding for Massively Overpowered.
Let me start by saying I admire the dedication of the staff of both sites for starting off on their own with little knowledge of whether the funding would work or not. I admire the work they have done on both their old and new sites and I am grateful that they are funded. There are a few gaming magazines still around but few sites focused on MMOs like these two are and there was really nothing to take their place.
However, since this is my site that takes a rather different view of MMOs, one of a person who spends much less time than the average MMO blogger playing or reading about MMOs, I want to express my own view of these actions as well. I truly hope they both succeed long term and I know the games I enjoy playing will be less successful without them, but I've discovered again that these sites aren't for me.
As I started reading MMO blogs, it didn't take me long to find these two sites with a wealth of information about MMOs. I subscribed to them in Google Reader but left them uncategorized because I didn't want to have to go through all their posts while reading the more person posts of the blogs I read. There were times when I read the posts, even a one or two times when I caught up with all that they wrote, but, for the most part, they would sit in Reader, untouched while I read the other MMO posts.
When Blizzard Watch opened up, I immediately subscribed and for almost two weeks I kept up with their posts. I was even excited about their success. However, soon I found that there was too much information in those posts that I didn't really care about and the list of unread posts went from 10 to 20 and I came to the realization that, once again, this isn't for me.
Let me add that I believe we need game journalism and that both of the sites deserve to be called that. People should be paid to get the news out and express informed decisions about MMOs. I enjoy the writing on both these sites, it's just too much for the time it takes. It's sort of like the five Garrisons I have in World of Warcraft. For several weeks I kept up with all of them, but then, even though individually I enjoyed the activity, if I spend more than 30 minutes on them, it feels more like a chore than entertainment.
I do subscribe to MMORPG on my news feed (now Feedly). I don't think they are better than these other sites, they are just better for me. I find the writing more enjoyable on Massively (now MO) and World of Warcraft Insider (now Blizzard Watch), but MMORPG is good about have a short, 3 or 4 line intro that goes on the feed. I can read this and pretty much get the information I want and, if it's a game I don't care about, I can just skip to the next post, having spent only a few seconds to determine whether I'm interested or not.
I feel some guilt that I almost never visit MMORPG and so they aren't earning money from me directly that way. I feel some guilt that I gain from Massively Overpowered and Blizzard Watch, but don't fund them either. However, I've decided that there are others who have more time to spend on these games for whom visiting these sites is a natural extension of that time. I get to benefit from those who spend that time, and that's a good thing. Just like those who play World of Warcraft for many more hours a week for the same $15, benefit from the fact that I'm a casual player of the game. I can't keep tallies of how much I owe and whether I'm ahead or behind. I don't really care (other than feeling some guilt if I might be behind in my investment). Like many things in life, they are best enjoyed and, usually, in the long run, things work out.
I hope for success for all three sites. I think they all provide a valuable service for those of us who play these games. To all three I say: Congratulations on your success so far and I hope you, and these games, are around for many years to come!