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September 22, 2006

Auto Assault: Four Flats and a Dropped Transmission

In my mailbox today: the NCSoft newsletter. NCSoft publishes massively multiplayer games, including the popular City of Heroes. The MMO market is a scary place right now, with World of Warcraft serving more than 5.5 million subscribers and all of the other publishers wishing they could have a tenth that many.

I'm amazed at the flameout of NCSoft and NetDevil's Auto Assault, however. As a Mad Max-like fast action car shoot-em-up, the concept should have been bulletproof. But the gameplay was lackluster, to put it mildly. Not only did they merge all of their game servers into a single entity, but now I find that they're offering a free month of play as bounty for every friend you recruit to the game.

MMO players may like to play the games by themselves, but if they think that no one else is playing then the neighborhood turns over and they head to another game. If they're this desperate to boost the server population, I wouldn't be surprised if the engine drops out of Auto Assault by the end of the summer.

September 21, 2006

Department of Not Terribly Reassuring Experiments

I've been quite busy and stressed, hence the radio silence.

This isn't helping, all right?

(Hat tip: Scott Jennings.)