Friday, July 25, 2008

Interest and Disappointment

First thing's first. Giant Bomb is awesome. Combine a wiki and a blog network, focus it on video games, and you have the Next Big Thing. It was created by Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot fame (or is it infamy now?) and couple other folks I don't recognize right away.

Anyway, it's essentially creating the biggest community-driven Video Game Encyclopedia in existence. Users can make their own reviews, as well as make really esoteric articles - like the Grapple. Huge bonus - articles are displayed with their relationships to other articles. For instance, Mortal Kombat's Scorpion is automatically mentioned as a character that uses the Grapple.

They just launched a couple days ago, so they still have to moderate the tens of thousands of articles that took them by surprise. I highly recommend checking it out.

That stench is the skaven currently running Gamespot filling their pants with the musk of fear. It'll go away.

Second thing is second. Gaia Online announced the official name of their Casual MMOG - zOMG! Seriously, 'zOMG!' is the name of the site's flagship game. The largest forum on the internet named their largest game after an Internet slang term. I think I'm still sitting in the "Shock and Numbness" kiddy pool of grief, after my Anger floaties deflated.

David Georgeson, the lead producer of zOMG!, defended the name.
"...names don't really matter that much in the great scheme of things. Games with non-sensical titles do well on a regular basis, and this one is no better or worse than most other games. You'll quickly realize that it's the *game* that matters most...not what it's called. "
Then, he turns around and proves one of my largest concerns is already happening:
"But I have to admit that I get a kick out of doing press interviews, calling it "zohmigod" and then watching peoples' faces either become gleeful at the unabashedly unusual name, or confused as they try to parse it out and figure out whether we're serious or not."
It is my opinion that this is a mistake. Now, let me paraphrase and expand on some of the earlier arguments I made on the site.

Yes, the game is what matters most. The fact that it's Flash-based, Free-to-Play, and full-featured is going to knock people out of their shoes. This name, however, is going to keep their socks snugly attached to their feet. Gaia had a chance to shake the Internet and impress other gaming sites with a name that easily balances between the Sillyness and Epicness of the Gaia storyline. After all, Gaia is a place where vampires get shot by high-caliber sniper rifles. Megalomaniacs often cause severe damage to the landscape.

And, once, Santa was turned into a cow.

zOMG!'s design is top-notch, and quite frankly deserves a better name. Jeremy -freaking- Soule did the music for it. However, it appears that the audience that the MMOG is targeting isn't those of us who desire more epic story-arcs. Which makes me sad, because I feel it could be one of the best games on the Internet. I hope it doesn't turn off too many people.

No comments:

Post a Comment