Author Topic: Aeria Games  (Read 11379 times)

Armeros

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Aeria Games
« on: January 12, 2014, 06:58:07 PM »
Good afternoon, all.  I was messaged on Facebook by Devon Reynolds who is a member of the Save City of Heroes Facebook page.  He sent out a message to Aeira Games in regards to seeing if there was interest in trying to save City of Heroes.

This is what he wrote to them:

Is the company interested in buying a superhero MMORPG called City of Heroes from NCsoft? It's Free 2 Play and it can be added to the fantasy or action categories. City of Heroes was the most popular MMORPG and has been around for 8 years until NCsoft shut it down on November 30th, 2012. It's been over a year now and the fans are putting an enormous effort to bring back City of Heroes. Just to let you know that City of Heroes was more than just a game. The CoH community has called the game our "Home". People literally had marriages from the game. We loved City of Heroes so much that we got inspired from it. We actually made a City of Heroes documentary on YouTube.  City of Heroes had made our community kept close to our friends and family across the world. When NCsoft laid off Paragon Studios the developers of City of Heroes, the community felt so sorry for them we raised money to buy dinner for them before losing their job. I'm just asking to talk to the CEO of Aeria Games about this email I just sent and try to convince NCsoft to sell City of Heroes. Give some time to think about it. I'm very serious about this. Our die-hard City of Heroes fans will be VERY happy to see our game come back. Also Happy New Years!!!!!!!!!

He received a standard response:

Thank you for contacting us.

This is their mailing address:
Aeria Games & Entertainment, Inc.
P.O. Box 4762
Santa Clara, CA 95056-4762

http://www.aeriagames.com/

Best method of communication will be snail mail.  According to Devon, they don't monitor e-mails, he does not know why.

Just providing this information for you all.  As usual, it's a long shot...but any shot is better than none.
Thank you and I wish you all a wonderful 2014!

Tubbius

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 07:43:03 PM »
Tough call on this one.  Didn't Aeria have Gunz Online after Maiet had it, or was it the other way around?  Or am I mistaken?

Either way, if they were to pick up City of Heroes somehow, they would certainly have a gem in their crown that would be significantly different from anything else they offer under their PC Games.  Of their main showings, it seems that Age of Conan: Unchained is their one BIG thing here.

Anyone know Aeria's track record?

I'm not certain that Mr. Reynolds would be able to get a CEO to talk to him out of the blue, but this might give Task Force Hail Mary one more target to aim at, at least, should they choose to do so.

Reckon we'll wait and see.

Blondeshell

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 08:05:48 PM »
Of their main showings, it seems that Age of Conan: Unchained is their one BIG thing here.

I'm pretty sure Age of Conan is run by Funcom, the same company that makes The Secret World.

Aeria Games just offers AoC through their gaming portal, similar to how Steam operates.

For an example of a natively-developed MMO from Aeria, check out Scarlet Blade.

Dasher

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 10:28:38 PM »
I'm in for writing letters, snail mail or otherwise, and any other support this needs that I can give.

LaughingAlex

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 10:38:41 PM »
I'm pretty sure Age of Conan is run by Funcom, the same company that makes The Secret World.

Aeria Games just offers AoC through their gaming portal, similar to how Steam operates.

For an example of a natively-developed MMO from Aeria, check out Scarlet Blade.

Scarlet blade is actually half the source of my skepticism towards Aeria, because the game, I hate to say it but it was trying to sell itself on NSFW almost entirely.  What kind of developer would they get on CoH, to me, is what'd matter.  If they are willing to take the approach the good modern developers are approaching mmorpgs(getting away from the holy trinity, and focusing on fun and whatnot rather than hardcore grind trapping) that'd be one thing but are they capable of doing that?  Would they learn what city of heroes was strong at and focus on that, or turn it into a korean grind?  Thats my question for this, I appreciate the idea, go figure, if they are willing i'd be willing to give them a shot, as long as they are smart about it.  I believe companies can change, so this could be an opportunity for them.  Heck, they may have learned from the mistakes of scarlet blade due to it's horrible performance.
Currently; Not doing any streaming, found myself with less time available recently.  Still playing starbound periodically, though I am thinking of trying other games.  Don't tell me to play mmohtg's though please :).  Getting back into participating in VO and the successors again to.

Harpospoke

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 11:52:08 PM »
There is something ironic about a gaming company preferring snail mail.   You would think such an organization would be AHEAD of the curve instead of a decade behind.    :P

LaughingAlex

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 12:41:03 AM »
There is something ironic about a gaming company preferring snail mail.   You would think such an organization would be AHEAD of the curve instead of a decade behind.    :P

Thats the problem with 99% mmo developers and publishers.  Why else do they make the same game over and over where you need a healer for everything, it's a repetitive take one guy on at a time by pulling him grind, and everythings only end game?
Currently; Not doing any streaming, found myself with less time available recently.  Still playing starbound periodically, though I am thinking of trying other games.  Don't tell me to play mmohtg's though please :).  Getting back into participating in VO and the successors again to.

Gleech

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 01:40:56 AM »
Aeria games left a bad taste in my mouth, but it wasn't necessarily their fault...

They use to publish a game called Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine. It's a really cool game, it still exists too (just not published by Aeria). My friend and I were REALLY far, and had so much stuff (Stuff that is extremely rare and is mostly unobtainable). Suddenly, Aeria handed off the game to another company (At least they didn't trash it like NCSoft and CoH). That's not the problem... The problem is that once they did so, all of our stuff was gone. They didn't transfer characters and accounts, and claimed you had to transfer within a period of time (which was like, a month) in order to keep your characters. As far as my friend and I are aware, we never received emails informing us of this serious notice. So we lost all our stuff and both companies are being stubborn about it.

Now just imagine if that happened to CoH. "You lost your 100 level 50's and all your purples and everything? Too bad. :)"
(Though it was really the second publisher that acted like that. Aeria banned my account for no reason and when I got it back they claimed someone used it for illegal cash-shop money sales or something... o_O)

Anyway besides that I have no problems with Aeria.

Aviticus Gladius

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2014, 02:13:34 AM »
It's great to see all the efforts made by our community to save City of Heroes. I happen to have a business relationship with Sun Hyunsun Cho, Director of Business Development for Aeria Games. He and I discussed business for my personal MMO project before I decided on a self-publishing path. Aeria Games is always open to acquiring profitable products, but the issue in this case isn't really about Aeria Games acquiring CoH, it's about NCSoft's willingness to sell.

For those not familiar with my older posts around the different CoH social outreaches, and here on the Titan Network forums, I have a sister who's a well-connected business manager. She revealed some of her findings to me a few months ago that put so much into perspective for me and shed some light on this matter. For the sake of not compromising my sister or her business relations, I'll point out a few things that should help everyone put this into perspective. This will take a bit of research on behalf of anyone that wants to be more informed. Investigate these conditions and I'm sure you'll have an idea of what I was told:

1) Find information on NC Interactive and their location
2) Investigate new business taxes in that state and when they were set to take effect
3) Investigate what businesses that were still active during that window would owe, in regards to taxes
4) Compare the relationship between Paragon Studios and NC Interactive and gain an understanding of their subsidiary policy

Once you combine all your findings, you'll have a broader understand exactly what is going on here. There is a reason why City of Heroes wasn't sold and a reason why the studio close at precisely the time it did. Remember how suddenly we all got the shutdown warning, with no explanation, and how quickly things progressed? That's just not how MMORPGs come to a close. Another thing I didn't point out is that you must also recognize the "fiscal year" in your conclusion. So much could be said here, but I'll just let you all come up with your own conclusion. Based on what I was told, I have no doubt in my mind that NCSoft plans to reestablish NC Interactive, and reboot City of Heroes. I was even told that a fully playable version of City of Heroes' second iteration was in there possession, and I believe in my sources. If you dig deep enough, you'll find information from various businesses that offered NCSoft outrageous amounts of money to obtain the IP, but it was never sold. As much as a lot of us hate NCSoft for its abrupt closing of CoH, I honestly believe that a strong majority of us would jump right back in if they opened it up again; I can say that I would, though I'd only play for free this time around based on principle. I'm sure they feel this way as well, and sadly, that's their advantage. Countless friends of mine that played told me they would join again even if it was under NCSoft.

It sucks, but to many of us it was more than just a game and definitely not something worth side-stepping due to it's publishing entity. I would definitely have reserved concerns regarding to dedication, but I'd still be an active participant.

Sorry, I didn't mean to ramble on so much, but I thought I'd at least share information I'd acquired over the last few months in regards to CoH's potential selling. I'll message Mr. Cho, to share my opinion, but I'm certain NCSoft is holding on to their product with plans to relaunch it in the near future.

Aviticus Gladius

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2014, 02:21:05 AM »
One of the things that turned me off about them Gleech, well-said. Research what they did with Waren Story. Even MMOHut had a huge article and video segment where they address how one moment it was in beta, being highly-promoted and played, and then it completely vanished from their line-up with no notice whatsoever. These publishers have to show more concern for their biggest investors.... the players. I aware that businesses have to make money to operate, but wow... can you at least make it look like you care about how we feel in regards to shutting down titles? At least say, "Unfortunately this is no longer a viable financial source of revenue for our business, and we have to pursue other ventures." I'd just like some kind of closure after spending money and investing time in a product.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 02:55:02 AM by Aviticus Gladius »

Ironwolf

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2014, 09:21:49 PM »
1. NC Interactive - Austin TX
2. $1 BILLION in taxcuts for businesses in 2013 http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/27/usa-taxes-texas-idUSL2N0E80SS20130527
3. this shows no hiring for future development of games by NCSoft in America. Carbine and Arenanet are hiring gaming postions but not NCSoft. http://us.ncsoft.com/en/jobs/

Can you elaborate on your posting? The taxes in California where Paragon Studios was at have changed? You couldn'ty move the studio to Texas and take advantage of the cut taxes? It was smarter to axe the game?

I am trying to understand why shutting the game and losing about $700k a month was the best business decision available.

The only possible thing I could see is a timebomb built into the NCSoft/Cryptic/Marvel deal if that had been the case then Jack Emmert certainly would have known that and his comments about shutting City of Heroes down would have made zero sense.

Alpha Series

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2014, 01:26:25 AM »
Thanks for your post, Aviticus. That is some really wild stuff. Makes you just want to virtually punch someone for being a tight fisted child with a really strange set of values. Wow...if this is the way it all went down, that is some very twisted logic. Of course, it all makes perfect sense in the "business" world, I suppose. Anyway, I glad you posted that info. I would go back and play as well, but no more pay to play to that unnamable corporation. I really miss CoH and would sign up in a minute to play with my friends again. But my money is gonna be spent on Valiance, City of Titans, and Heroes and Villains. And SCORE, of course. Thanks to all you unsung heroes who are not only holding the Torch, but turning it into a fusion source for the whole planet to see. I wish you all well!

Sincerely, Rail Gun. Level 50 Energy Blaster.
"You've started an interstellar war!" "No, I didn't start it. But I'm liable to finish it."

Aviticus Gladius

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2014, 01:44:59 AM »
Ironwolf, based on what I was informed, it was a new tax implementation, which would have been a tax application/increase not a tax withholding/omission. A new tax increase was set to be implemented at the start of the fiscal year, yet the bill had been circulating for a while before it was officially passed. However, it left a blanket of implementation to give businesses an opportunity to prepare for it after it was passed. I'm not going to definitively accuse the company of trying to avoid this tax burden, but both I and my sources believe that. You can look at it from many different angles, but to me, it seems like an accurate assumption. For a company such as NCSoft that would cost tens of millions of dollars extra, each year. That's practically the amount of money that is used to develop an MMO, so in my opinion, it's a perfect reason to try to avoid this tax.

AlphaFerret

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 02:08:07 AM »
If there is a relaunch by NCSoft, sadly enough, I will be there day one with payment in hand.  It would be impossible to stay away...

Beltor

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2014, 03:03:23 AM »
If NC was/is planning to do anything with NC Interactive, they're being lazy about it. The site for Blade and Soul hasn't been changed at all since December 5 2012.
 As for Aeria. They seem to focus more on selling things on the item shop than keeping the game fun. I can understand needing the shop to fund their games but they don't seem to care if it unbalances game play. Scarlet Blade was actually pretty fun once if you can get past the T&A but the item shop destroyed it. Most of their GM's seem pretty nice and helpful though. Aeria's actions with player input have been lacking but they may be trying to change that.

Aviticus Gladius

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2014, 03:21:55 AM »
AlphaFerret, I'm right there with you. If I stopped playing games just to avoid supporting a company I didn't like, I'd probably have 2-3 games in rotation right now. It's one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't situations.... no real simple way to approach the matter.

Beltor, I agree with you 100%. One of the reasons I stopped pursuing a partnership with them was due to the fact that they referred to my product as "too unique and unconventional", saying that "it's outside the standard MMO convention". Something that I took to mean, we're not interested in going outside our proven practice to try to do something more unique and interesting. There is no denying that these companies need to earn money to keep these products persistent and functional, but there is a way to profit from MMOs without draining players with microtransactions.... I mean this method of funding only saw a surge in implementation 6-7 years ago. A decade ago, MMOs were well funded by subscriptions; case in point... hmmm City of Heroes haha.

I'd hate to see there monetization process with CoH in hand. It would probably degrade the overall gameplay and compromise our old environment.

Drauger9

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2014, 09:38:57 AM »
Quote
If there is a relaunch by NCSoft, sadly enough, I will be there day one with payment in hand.  It would be impossible to stay away...

Same here and atleast if I got all my 50s back. It'd take some of the sting away....

Quote
Based on what I was told, I have no doubt in my mind that NCSoft plans to reestablish NC Interactive, and reboot City of Heroes. I was even told that a fully playable version of City of Heroes' second iteration was in there possession, and I believe in my sources.

I really hope your sources are right. I'd love to play CoH2 and if it was sub based. Then I guess if both where up and running I'd be paying two subs. LOL!

It's just there's still a part of me that thinks. With ALL the backlash that NCSoft has suffered and is still suffering. You'd think that they'd find away to leak something to let us know. "Sorry guys didn't mean to screw you over." "Here's a sneak peak of how we're going to make up for it."

I mean, they could of hired a web site designer. Said "Hey, while your making that web page could you kinda slip this image in there." "Leave it up for 29 hours and then take it off." Something, anything to give some kind of indication, something hush hush was going on. Hell they could of done it on the Going Rogue website right before everything went down or something....

We have a very smart and resourceful community (I'm sure they've figured that out by now).They wouldn't have to leak much for us to get the hint. :P

 




 


Thunder Glove

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2014, 10:03:30 AM »
It really seems like a bizarre idea to make a CoH2 without anyone involved from CoH itself.  Bringing a bunch of complete strangers on board to make something (probably a generic WoW clone in disguise, like DCUO) with the CoH name slapped on is not going to bring me back.  Keeping it a secret for more than a year is also a very dumb way to go about it.

Aviticus Gladius

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2014, 02:14:33 PM »
Drauger, I know what you mean. I'd hope they found a way to preserve the data from the original. Though I only had 2 toons and rarely ever played with the other, it would be nice to have them both back. However, most MMOs don't do that kind of thing. Lineage/Lineage II, Everquest/Everquest II, being a few examples. They usually make you start from scratch, so I wouldn't expect jump into the game with a level 50.

Thunder Glove, from what I was told the in-house CoH successor was in development before CoH's shutdown; with NDAs you wouldn't expect to hear developers talking about it either. NDAs are usually indefinitely binding, so even after a game shutdown, you wouldn't expect to hear former employees discuss matters that rest behind them. I'd heard a few rumors about it, but it's highly likely that they were true. I'm hopeful that if this iteration is ever brought to light that they will involve, or attempt to reestablish the original development team. As you said, it really couldn't be the same without them. Unless, of course, that iteration is a mechanical replica with updated visuals.

Anyway, I sent Mr. Cho a message informing him of the efforts going on. I'm never one to be negative, so I hope they can get something brewing, even if it means pushing NCSoft to make some kind of public announcement about the project and it's potential re-up. If he replies, I'll definitely post an update here.

Thunder Glove

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2014, 03:02:38 PM »
The developers were quoted as saying that CoH2 was something that they wanted to do, but NCSoft wouldn't let them.  The projects that Paragon were said - again, by the devs themselves - to be working on when the studio was closed were not follow-ups to CoH, but entirely different games in different genres (one was a squad-based MOBA, the other a "survival" game).

So if there was, in fact, a CoH2 project being worked on that everyone had been keeping quiet about (and which the devs would have had to outright lie about, which is not like them and is not required by any NDA in existence), I don't know how I feel about that at all, other than "not good".