Author Topic: When do we threaten a boycott?  (Read 7243 times)

Ampithere

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When do we threaten a boycott?
« on: September 14, 2012, 08:32:47 PM »
At some point, it may become obvious that NCSoft doesn't care about us or what we are doing. It seems that their reputation is tanking, but at what point to we capitalize on that?

Would it be a good idea, for example, to set up some kind of pledge where a person signs saying they will not buy another NCSoft game if they shut down CoH?

They may not care about 300,000 - 500,000 CoHers but they will care if 1,000,000 + gamers start signing that thing.

Just a thought about pulling out the "big guns" so to speak. Probably a Plan C scenario in an attempt to force NCSoft to play along.
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DrakeGrimm

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 08:37:04 PM »
As much as I agree with the sentiment, I don't see a boycott actually mattering to them. Ultimately, a boycott movement would not result in any gain for us, in my opinion.
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Ampithere

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 08:39:05 PM »
As much as I agree with the sentiment, I don't see a boycott actually mattering to them. Ultimately, a boycott movement would not result in any gain for us, in my opinion.

Hence my characterization of it as "Plan C". I certainly agree that if any benefit is to be gained it certainly isn't now. I'm merely trying to pin down an actual idea of when that time might be. The "opportune moment" as certain popular pirate captain might say.
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SkyStreak

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 08:39:57 PM »
The additonal aspect of a boycott that might not work is that I think a lot of CoHers have no interest in any other NCsoft games (or other MMORPGs for that matter), so they wouldn't actually be losing anything....

Ampithere

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 08:42:11 PM »
The additonal aspect of a boycott that might not work is that I think a lot of CoHers have no interest in any other NCsoft games (or other MMORPGs for that matter), so they wouldn't actually be losing anything....

Yeah, but it's about getting more than just CoHers to sign. "Don't buy things this company makes because they'll shut you down." So then they are losing something.
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Altoholic Monkey

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012, 09:05:45 PM »
You have to remember that NCSoft is a global company and that the major amount of profits do not come from the United States.  Our best bet here is to continue to try and save City of Heroes so that NCSoft thinks its in their better interest to allow someone else to take the IP over and continue to run the game.


Making NCSoft into villains will not help in that goal. A boycott does not allow NCSoft to save face because it creates a "Do this or else" scenario.  They've already stated their position and we know its due to new investors and a refocusing on other projects.  So our best bet is to continue our efforts and maintain the media attention so that pressure allows NCSoft to realize that this game is something special and that allowing it to continue or transferring the IP to another company is better than the negative attention it would get in closing it in November. 

Again we're only on week 2 of a long process.  The more people and well known people that join the saveCOH movement and the more press highlight our efforts the better. Drastic measures will not obtain the results expected.

We want people to know why we love this game so much and why. Show the love for the game in creative ways and people will take notice.   Act like a 2 year old in the throws of a temper tantrum and you'll get ignored.

jacknomind

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 09:46:54 PM »
Boycotting NCSoft is neither a temper tantrum nor a particularly drastic measure.  It's about as close as we can get to common sense in a consumer culture.  They don't "lose face" by cancelling a game; they lose money, unless we keep giving it to them.

Incidentally, "threatening" a boycott is nothing.  Actually boycott them.  I'm holding off on current purchases and will not pick up any Nexon or NCSoft games for at least the next two business quarters if/when CoH goes down, and I'm really not sure after that.

dwturducken

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 09:51:02 PM »
I've expressed my feelings on their other titles in another thread, but it amounts to disinterest rather than a philosophical or moral stance.  However, at this point, a boycott is counterproductive.  If we're threatening any kind of punitive action against them, they are going to be less willing to talk to anyone about the subject of CoH, let alone us, should the time come for that.
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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2012, 09:59:08 PM »
Given the rate at which NCSoft turns over western MMOs, and are apparently doing quote well in Asia, I would say that a boycott from the US and even other western countries wouldn't be a big deal. The UK might be the best place, since as I understand it that's where Blade and Soul is going.

As far as timing, I think waiting to hear something more from them or Paragon Studios is best. If we end up not hearing anything, early November is good, since it's doubtful that they'll wait that long to say anything.
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Altoholic Monkey

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2012, 10:21:11 PM »
Boycotting NCSoft is neither a temper tantrum nor a particularly drastic measure.  It's about as close as we can get to common sense in a consumer culture.  They don't "lose face" by cancelling a game; they lose money, unless we keep giving it to them.

Incidentally, "threatening" a boycott is nothing.  Actually boycott them.  I'm holding off on current purchases and will not pick up any Nexon or NCSoft games for at least the next two business quarters if/when CoH goes down, and I'm really not sure after that.

I get where you're coming from but if they really cared about the US market, they wouldn't be closing down the game.  The profits they make here (US) are negligible in comparison to Korea.  Their focus is opening up games for the Asian market, not specifically the US market.  If a company is focused on where their profits are, losing more money in a market they're not focused on is not going to make a difference.
 

Osborn

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2012, 10:27:33 PM »
Boycotting NCSoft is neither a temper tantrum nor a particularly drastic measure.  It's about as close as we can get to common sense in a consumer culture.  They don't "lose face" by cancelling a game; they lose money, unless we keep giving it to them.

Incidentally, "threatening" a boycott is nothing.  Actually boycott them.  I'm holding off on current purchases and will not pick up any Nexon or NCSoft games for at least the next two business quarters if/when CoH goes down, and I'm really not sure after that.
You're absolutely right that losing face means absolutely nothing if we just switch to their next game to be canceled. Good customer service is meaningless if you're guaranteed to come back, or if they don't even want or particularly care about your market.

That's why I'm not expecting anything, really. We're at such a severe disadvantage that the only ways to get our way at this point is either effect their bottom line, which they've already shown to me that a property that's making money but not growing isn't good enough to effect, or implore to their kindness, which, let's be frank I'm not holding my breathe on.

Honestly unless CoH pulls through in a mostly survivable state (IE, one that my vet rewards, reward tokens, characters are mostly intact or at least accounted properly for, IE, if a CoH2 has to be made, then my level 50 guys equate to a 'free' level 50 CoH2 guy, etc), or something along those lines, I'm already in Nexon/NCSoft boycott mode as it is, and it doesn't have to have anything to do with 'punishing' them.

It's just a matter of the fact that I'm not putting money into a game of theirs that can get canned at any moment even if it's in the black. I've spent an embarrassing amount of time and money on this game over several accounts, and have gotten multiple people into this game, to have it close down, not so much because it was bleeding money and nobody wanted to buy it, but because they felt like canning it so the can make a quick buck to recover losses from their primary markets in the East, and they're probably going to sit on it even if it loses them a bit of money to sit on it just so they don't have to worry about MMO competition from it.

I'm aware that CoH was a minor thing in their grand picture, and that we were mostly a rounding error that got rounded down, but I guess I'm not confident enough in their business that I won't become tomorrow's rounding error.

It makes no economic sense, even if I don't care to punish NCSoft or Nexon, to dump more money into their games when I'm clearly not the market they want to sell to.

I mean, yeah, I'm aware that if that's what maximizes their shareholder's profits and whatever, then that's their right and all, but I guess what maximizes my own profits is to not dump money into something else that might go down in flames with 0 days notice.

Honestly, the first thing I did when I heard the news was set a lifetime spending allowance on any MMO, free to play or otherwise of 60 dollars. Because if a AAA game that's making money in profits like CoH can go down, then I have even less confidence in something like Star Trek Online or Champions Online or DC Universe Online, Star Wars the Old Republic doing any real better. And I just straight up have no interest in World of Warcraft.

Osborn

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2012, 10:42:24 PM »
You have to remember that NCSoft is a global company and that the major amount of profits do not come from the United States.  Our best bet here is to continue to try and save City of Heroes so that NCSoft thinks its in their better interest to allow someone else to take the IP over and continue to run the game.

And the only way to make them think that it's in their best interest honestly is for them to think that selling the game will make them instant money (and honestly it won't, it's an 8 year old IP that nobody but Paragon Studios and Titan Network and the players want, and unless we've been squirreling up 20 million+ dollars, us buying it is going to require a very, very generous offer), or to make them think that they can save face.

Obviously, if we're all willing to jump straight to the next Big Thing Nexon or NCSoft puts out and dump money in it as willy nilly as if nothing at all happened with the same confidence a lot of us had been spending in CoH, then frankly NCSoft has no real need to save face. Frowny paying customers and paying customers are still both paying customers.

Making NCSoft into villains will not help in that goal. A boycott does not allow NCSoft to save face because it creates a "Do this or else" scenario.

Again, if they brought the game back, or gave me a copy that I could run privately with just me and some friends, or sold it to Titan or released Paragon Studios as an independent or something, my confidence that my money spent on Nexon isn't going down a toilet would be restored and I might buy.

Until then I'm not sure we have any other leverage other than to walk out on their company. I'm 100% convinced we could get the whole population of Earth to tweet #SaveCOH and it wouldn't matter to them unless they thought all 7 billion people were about to join the game or that they were afraid that not saving face would lose them future business. Again, good customer service is entirely reliant on the idea that a company wants your business in the future.

They've already stated their position and we know its due to new investors and a refocusing on other projects.  So our best bet is to continue our efforts and maintain the media attention so that pressure allows NCSoft to realize that this game is something special and that allowing it to continue or transferring the IP to another company is better than the negative attention it would get in closing it in November.

Yeah, but 'negative attention' doesn't mean anything if people buy their products the same as if they had 'positive attention'. What good is negative attention if your behavior is still positive towards them? 

Again we're only on week 2 of a long process.  The more people and well known people that join the saveCOH movement and the more press highlight our efforts the better. Drastic measures will not obtain the results expected.

I don't think it's too drastic to lose confidence in a market where a game making profit can still disappear with all your investments overnight. And I don't think it's too drastic to refuse to shop with the guys who disappeared your investments overnight in the most clownish way possible.

I'm sorry, but the way they handled this in general would be enough for me to look for a new game company to purchase from. I've had flies put in my soup more professionally.

We want people to know why we love this game so much and why. Show the love for the game in creative ways and people will take notice.   Act like a 2 year old in the throws of a temper tantrum and you'll get ignored.

Nobody's really suggesting you should throw a tantrum or act like a troll. Just saying we shouldn't be like "Ok, well, you ruined a game we loved for almost no reason other than it wasn't making infinite money, buuut.. here's a check anyways, for old time's sake."

I mean, yes, we should show support in positive ways for the game, but at this point that's more to convince a potential investor this game is doing better than it was, than to convince NCSoft's heart to grow 2 sizes larger that day.

I get where you're coming from but if they really cared about the US market, they wouldn't be closing down the game.  The profits they make here (US) are negligible in comparison to Korea.  Their focus is opening up games for the Asian market, not specifically the US market.  If a company is focused on where their profits are, losing more money in a market they're not focused on is not going to make a difference.

That just means that they're more likely to not care about bad press or bad PR.

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2012, 12:03:06 AM »
I think boycotting NCSoft products is personal decision for every gamer.  I know I would not feel comfortable in making someone choose between a game they love (COH) and a game they're currently having fun with that happens to be an NCSoft product. I feel more comfortable asking people to calls of action, doing things like writing letters, sending in masks, tweeting to #SaveCOH.

Boycotting NCSoft has one single action: Do not by NCSoft products.
Saving COH has multiple actions various ways to show support: Tweeting, mailing letters, sending capes, buying devs dinner.

Boycott NCSoft means I can only do one thing and either I am with it or against it. But that black and white scenario may not apply to everyone, it may turn more folks away from the movement than it would bring them in.

Aggelakis

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2012, 12:10:49 AM »
Don't threaten boycotts. It's a fart in the wind. It means exactly nothing.

If you feel strongly enough, actually boycott them, don't talk about doing it. Don't buy their products; tell people why you're not buying their products (don't just demand compliance - let them make their own decisions). While you're doing it, please be civil and understand that any hostility you post DIRECTLY UNDERMINES all of our efforts here. We're trying to work WITH NCsoft right now. If you feel like you need to be hostile, please do not do it here or anywhere in connection with this movement.
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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2012, 01:03:56 AM »
I won't threaten a boycott. I don't see actual threats mattering to them one bit. I will simply not purchase any of their games, and tell all my friends why they shouldn't, either.

I can't support a company that does this, especially not the way they're doing it, and especially not when it seems to be the way they do things. Why would I EVER want to devote myself to one of their games, when they're likely to do the same thing again?

And that is what I have told and will tell everyone, from now on.

Ampithere

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2012, 02:19:03 AM »
1.) I'm not suggesting we do any of this right away. I realize that the current talks with Paragon might be undermined if we do something drastic.

2.) Even at that point, I don't plan on using hostile language. That makes it seem like I'm an injured fanboy. I want to come off as a consumer with a valid concern.

3.) The US vs. Asian market is bull because they are opening Blade and Soul here now. Not that I'm concerned that might actually make money, I imagine it'll flop instantly. I just want to point out that a company interested in exiting the US/Western market actually exits it.

4.) I realize that most people who play CoH aren't going to buy any NCSoft game again anyway. The point of a formal boycott would be to demonstrate to them that they can't treat customers this way and to gather support from other communities they have shut down and other gamers concerned for the future of customer service in the industry.

Again, I do not want myself or anyone else to start doing this right away. That would be counterproductive. I'm suggesting this more as a final measure. Someone quoted the Avengers at the Virtue rally, telling a troll that if we couldn't save the game we'd avenge it. That's kind of what I'm getting at with the formal boycott. If the servers go dark on November 30th, I don't want to disappear and just say we lost.
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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2012, 06:56:51 AM »
I've expressed my feelings on their other titles in another thread, but it amounts to disinterest rather than a philosophical or moral stance.  However, at this point, a boycott is counterproductive.  If we're threatening any kind of punitive action against them, they are going to be less willing to talk to anyone about the subject of CoH, let alone us, should the time come for that.

I agree

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2012, 08:22:46 AM »
I don't think a Boycott is a good idea at all.  There's many reasons I think this and my first one is that it'll harm our movement here by increasing hostilities and potentially harming our reputation and look.  The second reason is from what I read many people who play City of Heroes / Villains have no interest in any of their other games to begin with, it's why they play City of Heroes / Villains.  So it's moot anyway.  The other reason is their market is not Europe, Australia or the U.S.A.  It's China, Korea and Japan.   The fourth is this is only the second or third week, we're not even into October yet so, I'm not to worried.   Sit tight, I'm sure TonyV, the Devs and everyone running the show here has plenty ideas of what's going on.

jacknomind

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2012, 08:36:29 AM »
Okay, seriously, I don't get what people think "boycott" means.  We're not going to call them baby-eaters or throw poop at them.  We're just not going to buy their stuff, and tell other people not to buy their stuff.  It isn't even the core of our message.

Not boycotting NCSoft is going to hurt us, because it will make it look like we're not serious -- that we're just whinging and have no follow-through.  You can't campaign against Wal-Mart's business practices and then go shop at Wal-Mart.

Mantic

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Re: When do we threaten a boycott?
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2012, 12:06:03 PM »
Boycott what? First, I don't believe NCSoft/Nexon care much about losing US sales. The entire US branch of the company is probably hanging on by toothskin now.

Further, the only other NCSoft game I was ever likely to try is WildStar. With low expectations. Now I expect WildStar to be short-lived if not cancelled before completion -- the next target of "focus" cuts. So I am that much less likely to invest time or money there.


I could also say something damning but true about our numbers relative to the current buy-in for GW2. An announced boycott that few participate in is, I believe, worse than no official boycott at all. Our chances seem better appealing to NCSoft's human compassion, than a population of 10,000 or fewer trying to push a global giant.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 12:14:33 PM by Mantic »