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CamelotHerald.com Goes Back to DarkAgeofCamelot.com, When Do We Get UO.com back?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Woodsman, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    CamelotHerald.com becomes, drum roll please, DarkAgeofCamelot.com. It's a good move, and a round of applause. I thought the "Herald" branding just wasn't working and I never understood the generic template that UO was running under either. I posted a thread about this a month ago and now it's actually active and while I haven't made up my mind about the new website style, they did the right thing with making a lot of the information easy to get to for new players, and it looks like they have added to their player guide a lot. Now I think some stuff might be missing, but it could be just under a different page.

    I give them credit for doing something and working on making it better for new players, and making the information easily accessible. It's running Drupal, same as BioWare.com, UOHerald.com and Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR.com), which BioWare appears to be standardizing on it and they appear to have people who know what they are doing.

    BioWare also appears to be standardizing on their domain names - WarhammerOnline.com was never WarhammerHerald.com or anything, but Camelot and UO had this whole CamelotHerald.com and UOHerald.com thing going on which never made any sense.

    Now we have SWTOR.com, DarkAgeofCamelot.com, and I'm hoping we'll get UO.com back. It's short, sweet, and memorable, and it is a part of the UO legacy. Some people have noticed some glitches with UOHerald.com, and so I'm hoping they have the BioWare website/Drupal team doing something with UO.

    Fingers crossed, if they are willing to go from CamelotHerald.com to DarkAgeofCamelot.com, they'll move us from UOHerald.com to UO.com and give us an up-to-date website without broken links, that is easy to navigate and actually highlights Ultima Online content.

    Oh and Camelot and UO are still the only two BioWare games that don't have official forums, but we I think that will change in the future.
     
  2. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    Forget UO.com, I want a return to owo.com! ;)
     
  3. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    :) I actually think owo.com serves some kind of purpose besides redirecting to UOHerald.com - I've seen it pop up in some of the server addresses.
     
  4. Triberius

    Triberius Firefall Moderator | LotRO Moderator
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    Yea but those are the two games Bioware didn't develop as well. It's kinda like Bioware sold their house, were told to keep living in it, and were handed 2 kids to take care of at the same time. They aren't their kids, they'll try and take care of them, but they'll never really be part of the family.
     
  5. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Warhammer was in development before BioWare was bought, BioWare recently claimed ownership of the Ultima franchise, and both Dark Age of Camelot and UO are getting some major work done both in-game and out-of-game. Plus BioWare claims to like the kids. I still have my theories that there was an anti-Mythic/anti-UO element within EA leadership, but the times they are a changing when you step back and look at the big picture.
     
  6. Triberius

    Triberius Firefall Moderator | LotRO Moderator
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    Big difference in a game that's been released less than a year (Warhammer), and games over a decade old (UO and DAoC). Both yea there has been a bit of luv spread towards UO. But I don't know if that's because they actually want to do something with it (which the lack of action on the Exploit, Script, RMT front leads me to wonder about), or if they are planning to make a new Ultima Standalone or a UO Squeal, or worse of all they are going to take UO and once the currently planned story arcs are completed start getting it ready to go out to pasture and all this is just so they can build a shell around their intellectual properties.
     
  7. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    Sequel, rather than 'Squeal', I hope ;) - and although it's fairly 'new' as an mmo, Warhammer came out in 2008 and the 'Free To Play' option dates from late 2009.

    But maybe, just possibly, EA are beginning to realise they might have something valuable in UO - Frank Gibeau (President for the EA Games label) he made an interesting comment in an interview on Gamesindustry.biz a week or so ago,

    "Q: Speaking of Star Wars, there has been a lot of speculation on the game in terms of the cost, and EA has said itself that its one of the most expensive projects its ever been involved in. Can you clear up any of the chatter that suggests you've over spent on the game?


    Frank Gibeau: I don't pay much attention to that talk, I get a lot of questions from analysts and press about it. What I try and concentrate on is, is it a good game and is it ready to go? You look at a game that has 200 hours of gameplay for each of the six classes, and that doesn't include the crafting, the raids, the multiplayer. It's vast. It's a gigantic game. And that costs money. But when you get one of these launched they persist for a long period of time. Ultima is on its first decade and it still has tens of thousands of subscribers and is widely profitable for us. It's just the nature of the beast that you have to build this amount of content. Do I wish it wasn't this expensive? Absolutely, but I think everybody does. At the same time it doesn't really do us much good to comment on how much it costs. Ultimately what matters is whether it's a good service and do people really like the game? "


    Sadly he seems not to be too good at math, 13 years means it's not 'on it's first decade' but actually well into it's second, but since EA is all about making money and to hell with actually knowing what you are selling, it's nice to hear they reckon it's profitable...


    Full interview is at EA's Frank Gibeau | Interview but you need to be registered there to read it, and there's nothing specifically Ultima related in the rest of what he says there.
     
  8. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    They aren't doing a sequel, otherwise like somebody said, they wouldn't be working on a lot of the long-term stuff they are working on, and they wouldn't be upping the effort put into bug fixes or a complete graphics update. UO would be in maintenance mode, and it's definitely not in maintenance mode these days.

    I've heard big things are afoot and it is starting to feel like it. This last publish has kind of emphasized that - it's a lot more balanced.

    Same with Dark Age of Camelot - they are also redoing their new player experience and working on their website.

    The tinfoil nut that is buried deep within me is a little worried that they are hedging their bets regarding Star Wars and have decided they need to boost their other MMOs in case Star Wars isn't as successful as they need it to be.

    Either way, the move from CamelotHerald.com to DarkAgeofCamelot.com has me thinking we'll soon see UO.com back. Somebody realizes that branding is important, especially with new players. The fact that they are selling UO and Camelot t-shirts through the BioWare store kind of makes that point.
     
  9. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    That's subjective, you are talking about a game that has long since recovered development costs, and makes enough in 2 months to cover Payroll (based on industry averages) for a year, and a large chunk of maintaining the servers. Of course it's profitable.

    All right lets break that statement down a bit...

    Using industry average pay for the positions for the dedicated UO Staff... you get a combined around:

    $1,090,424

    Lets be nice and say we have 60k subs left in UO:

    $600,000/mo. @ $10 each though $12 each is probably more accurate.

    This means in 1.82 months (about 55 days) all the payroll is pretty much covered for an entire year.

    If the servers cost $1 million a year to maintain (which I doubt) that would still leave over $5 million a year in profit. So yea it's easy to say it's "Widely Profitable", though it's still not on par with their console games like the Madden Series. They need to sell around 120k copies to make the same amount of $$$ UO does in a year and it's not unusual for a hot game to sell that many copies in a month.
     
  10. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    But EA can also easily lose money on those games.

    And they do.

    Hence the dire issues they have.

    There also seems to be a view that the industry is moving more towards online properties.

    Hence EA's pissing a ****ton of money out the window...I mean investing heavily in the Star Wars game.

    UO, if EA is smart enough to see it, sustains them with cash flow. Every dollar in profit they get from UO is a dollar they do not have to seek from other sources to meet their obligations.

    What worries me is that they only understand the big profits from a big single-player game and expect UO to produce those kind of profits monthly, which of course is not the MMO business model.

    -Galen's player
     
  11. Barok

    Barok Grand Inquisitor
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    But EA sucks all the profit out of UO without investing nearly enough back into it, imagine what a great game this could be if they sunk that $5 mil "profit" back into it instead of lining their executive pockets and flushing it down their gold plated toilets?
     
  12. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    And UO suffers as a result, such as the layoffs after Stygian Abyss, through no fault of UO's.
    If Star Wars can get a million people right away, that's a good $50 million right there. EA is going to be the only digital distributor so all of the money from the folks downloading the game is going straight to EA which will help a lot, especially if EA releases it digitally a few days early or has some early bird program. If BioWare can keep over half a million for the first few months, there's another $20 million, and they could be on their way to their first $100 million within six months. That's not even getting into people buying second accounts.

    I'm not saying it's risky, because it is risky as hell, but you mentioned other games like their console games. As an example, in the Call of Duty versus Battlefield fight, EA has publicly said they could spend $100 million just on advertising. BioWare should easily be able to pull in $125 million+ on their first year, and they are going to be selling DLC along the way which will add millions.

    That whole thing where earlier this year EA said they were dropping a lot of smaller titles and offerings in favor of big titles that bring in big revenue worried me, but what I'm seeing with UO and Camelot is some long term investment. Moving to fix more bugs, balance the publishes, polish the game, clean up the website (Camelot), fix the new player experiences (Camelot and UO). Somebody is looking ahead. Camelot is already pushing their 10th anniversary on their website (which is October of this year), and I won't be surprised if UO does the same early next year with their 15th anniversary.

    I've said this in the past, and others have said this, but I'd feel a helluva lot better if some more people were hired for UO, or if EA/BioWare said they had loaned some people out to UO. Nobody expects UO to have a team the size of the Stygian Abyss team, but it'd be nice to see some more hiring.

    I think we'll see some changes with the UO website though, after Camelot, and in general it's starting to feel a lot better than in the past. Had I been playing when the layoffs after SA and then the work done up through High Seas, I would have been really worried.
     
  13. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    If by lining their executive pockets and flushing it down their gold plated toilets you mean dumping the profits into Star Wars, then yes.

    While Star Wars is a BioWare property, it is considered a flagship title by EA, to the point where EA has allowed the shipping dates to slip a lot. A few years back, Star Wars would have already been out the door and they would have been bugfixing on the fly and catching **** from gamers and the media over bugs that should never have made it into the release. Instead, they appear to be taking a "it's done when it's done" approach.

    UO is in better shape than it was six months ago. It seems that somebody (Cal or up the ladder with BioWare) has an overall goal and is hitting the basics (graphics, EC, new player experience, bug fixes, etc.).
     
  14. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    I'd be happy if they sunk 2/3 back into development.
     
  15. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    That isn't all EA's call any more. George Lucas doesn't let anything Star Wars licensed anything go out the door without his stamp of approval, if EA says it's ready and Lucas says it's not, then it's not.
     
  16. *sigh* Woodsman ... *shakes head*
    all of the above are >also< properly prepared and implemented processes

    to put a game INTO maintenence mode ...
    and/or "refine a game" IN maintenence mode (I prefer "hospice")
    just saying ...
    we ain't been mothballed ... yet
    nuff said

    Though I will Add: I hope you are right re: Ultima Online ...
    but you >are wrong< to NOT think that Lords of Ultima & Sims Medieval
    ARE the >closest< that UO will enjoy as a "sequel".

    to restate as a positive

    you would be correct think that Lords of Ultima & Sims Medieval
    ARE the >closest< that UO will enjoy as a "sequel".
    *shrugs*
    A "true" sequel, imnsho, would require an Emperor of sorts ... ruling over the various Kingdoms/wastelands of the various shards.

    *raises hands* HEY! Hope on brother! :danceb: