posted about SOE's deal with German satellite TV company PSS1. No point rehashing the whole sorry saga. For anyone who hasn't been following this particular slow-motion train wreck, EQ2Wire has a brief outline of the long, twisty trail that today ended, inevitably, right back where it began.
Yes, as many predicted all along, especially those of us who lived through SOE's similarly brief, equally ill-judged (but far less coercive and therefore less controversial) fling with UbiSoft, it just didn't work. As of right now anyone in the PSS1 region who plays or wants to play any SOE game can do so without going through a middleman and as of July all DCUO, EQ2 and Planetside2 accounts made or registered with PSS1 transfer to SOE.
It's always been my strong feeling that this whole deal was pushed onto SOE by whichever division of SonyCorp they report to (is it still the PlayStation division?). Feldon's EQ2Wire article includes one vital piece of the jigsaw that I hadn't previously picked up, which pretty much confirms my suspicions: that being the licensing of the entire Sony Pictures "entertainment library" to PSS1. Collateral damage I think they call it. Or maybe friendly fire.
I always doubted the arrangement would hold long enough for EQNext to feature in any PSS1 package. When Landmark was announced as a standalone project outside the remit of the deal the writing was on the wall. Then, as Player Studio began to move front and center in SOE's five year plan and the extreme complexities of setting up the necessary international legal framework became more widely understood, the likelihood of finding a viable way to include both versions of all the games that would rely on paid-for, taxable player-made content passed out of the realms of wishful-thinking and into the arena of psychotic delusion.
Whatever, it's over now. I'm sure the behind-the-scenes story would be something worth reading. Maybe when Smed retires and writes his autobiography.
It would also be oh so nice to think that lessons had been learned but when you're a small, regional cog in a vast, global machine no-one "important" really cares what you may or may not have learned. You either do what your told or they find someone who will.
So I'm not saying we won't be back here or somewhere strikingly similar in another few years. All I am saying is that, if there's one thing you can generally rely on SOE for it's to bumble through until they get things there-or-thereabouts right. In the end. Eventually.
Sometimes you do have to wait an awfully long time before that end comes around. All too often the road takes an awful lot of wrong turns along the way. Still, better late than never, isn't that what they say?
Now, everyone close your eyes, cross your fingers and toes, click the heels of those little red shoes I know you're all wearing and make a wish for Vanguard.
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