MMO News, Reviews & Opinions
- Written by kefkah
It's the biggest news story of the year. Bin Laden is killed. CNN, Fox, CNBC, CBS, ABC, New York Times, USA Today and every Podunk town newspaper in America is covering it. Headlines, special reports, investigative reports, timelines, stories on the history that lead up to it. Now, lets just say that there is one site out there that is built entirely on the premise of Finding Bin Laden. Through and through, its articles, interviews and even its url have Bin Laden in them.
So when Bin Laden gets killed - what would you say if the site had a small byline on the matter maybe say on the right hand menu 3 topics deep. Perhaps an opinion piece about a small detail on the mission that lead to his death. Or perhaps even say they ran an article about the history of Bin Laden's preterrorist life. All the while never really addressing or seriously handling the topic that even say Bowling forums cover in more detail. What would you think?
I present to you, MMORPG.com's current behavior since the revelation of Sony's hacking was discovered. The arguably most important story in recent history of the MMO industry.
The Quiz on SOE:
A delightfully rose tinted look back on the history of former mmo industry giant, SOE.
A Tough Break for SOE:
A sympathy opinion piece by a writer with admitted ties to SOE and whose past articles have demonstrated a certain unexplainable proSOE slant.
Account Security and You:
An overview of hacking in the industry ranging from WoW to Rift. Funny thing though. The words SONY or SOE do not appear anywhere in the article. The logos do but for search engine purposes - those won't count because there is no underlying ALT Text and even the image names don't include them. Save for the one mention in the byline - it is Sony sanitized.
In their entire Features Section, you will find no mention directly approaching the news or topic like any article found on any other news site in the world.
In their News Section, outside of the pieces listed above - you will find one mention of the situation. It reads as follows:
"General : Station.com Taken Offline
Posted May 02, 2011 by Suzie Ford
The Sony Online Entertainment gaming portal, Station.com, has been taken offline due to continuing issues due to "an issue that warrants enough concern" for the outage. This comes hot on the heels of a series of hacking attacks on SOE leading to user account information being accessed and other serious issues.
We have had to take the SOE service down temporarily. In the course of our investigation into the intrusion into our systems we have discovered an issue that warrants enough concern for us to take the service down effective immediately. We will provide an update later today (Monday).
You will note that 1. it really isn't an article, more like a forum post and 2. it lists another website as the source. Why didn't they confirm this themselves. They are, in fact, an MMO news site. And not only have had exclusive interviews with Sony but also have, as I have mentioned before, a staff writer who has a good friend on the SOE staff.
Now for the rundown, April 21st - the PSN network was taken down. In that time, MMORPG.com has published somewhere around 208 news articles. Only one mentions the outtage and again, it was the link to the Kotaku article. By comparison, CNN has written 16 articles on the matter and we all know how much of a leader they are on gaming and mmo news, Fox News, gaming giants that they are have written 22 articles, and NPR (the wildest gamers of the bunch) has written 9 articles. Hmm, odd seeing as the target audience of these businesses has very little to do with gamers.
Fox News, MMO News Source?
So perhaps I am being unfair, let's try a different approach. How about Gaming sites themselves? Well since the breakin, Kotaku.com has published 70 articles on the matter, Gamasutra.com published 29 articles and Massively has published about 21 or so.
Clearly this is an exception. I mean surely Gaming and MMO news sites have something bigger to report on...
SO I ask you, MMORPG, what gives? With over 208 articles written, you mean to tell me that MMROPG can't get someone to call Sony and get some info? Or how about getting one person to even bother to post articles about what is going down there? When will they be up? What about those Phishing emails? Does your community not deserve to be warned? You care enough to heavily police the forums that concern Sony games - why not show that you really care and give your audience the information that they derserve at the site they chose to go to for their MMO game and industry news?
And before you say that the web is already flooded with info on the matter - I know you receive the same press updates that even our little site does. You publish those despite the article being literally put up on thousands of other sources that very hour as well. Why even cover games like TOR if the news is already up on Darthhater or Swtorstrategies.com? Your site is funded by ads and that means traffic and if your site which ranks in the top 5 on many mmo and gaming searches, anyone with any marketing experience knows that you could steer the search queries your way for a significant increase of hits which in turn boosts your ad revenue. But you already know that. So why aren't you covering the Sony/SOE hacking like a news site would. And no, I am not talking articles about trashing the company. See CNN, Fox News and NPR for examples of how to cover gaming news, I guess.
Just saying, it is obvious to everyone in the industry that you are sitting on the subject for some reason. Perhaps you had hope it would pass so your inaction would be a blip but we are quickly approaching a month and the fluff articles aren't cutting it. And relying on forum posts by users would work for a small site but not any company that claims to be a source for mmo news.