Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Three Exits, No Waiting

I saw an ad in the new issue of PC Gamer for The Matrix Online. Here's the breathless copy:
All I can do is show you the door.
You're the one that has to step through.

This distinguishes itself from the regrettable single-player experience Enter the Matrix, where the ads should have read:
All I can do is show you the door.
That's all we finished.

I can't imagine an online game with less prosperous prospects than The Matrix Online. It's as if some designers sat down three years ago and said "Hey! Let's make something that absolutely no one will want to play thirty-six months from now!" Believe it or not, I have a transcript of a conversation those very designers had three years ago.

It's one of those special perks of being so well-connected in the industry.

"This is going to be the biggest online game EVER!"
"We're going to turn Everquest into SuckQuest!"
"SuckQuest. Heh."
"Now could anything happen in the next three years that would make this game a colossal flop?"
"Like the other two movies in the trilogy being so obscure and overwrought that they kill the entire Matrix phenomenon?"
"That's a good one. Ha-ha!"
"Maybe Larry Wachowski will decide that he wants to be a chick instead of a dude!"
"Are you kidding me? That's hilarious! Wait, I've got one. Maybe an unknown developer will come out with a superhero game and people will want to play that instead of our philosophically pretentious salute to black leather coats."
"Stop! You're killing me! All right, I get your point. We are guaranteed to have a smash hit on our hands. Let's order our Ferraris!"

Dudes. When this game launches, forget taking the red pill or the blue pill. Take the Advil.

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