Flash in the Pan


It was like driving through a little down – I blinked and missed it. In this case it wasn’t a small town with two bars, a gas station and a church (like the one my granddad was from). No, in this case it was Neverwinter Online (NOW). It wasn’t that long ago that we sat down with the gents from the 2Lazy2beOtaku show who spent a great deal of the show talking excitedly about the new game. Like them, I had played Dungeons and Dragons in my early college years. We had the game back when it came as three booklets in a box and a little silver booklet called “Chainmail.” Gary Gygax, who invented the game, and as far as many people I know are concerned, the genere, was a nerd before being a nerd was cool.

So to me, someone saying they were going to come out with ANOTHER Dungeons and Dragons game had me a bit worried. The house that Gygax build was, at least to some small extent, sacrosanct. Do I have anything against the Devs at Cryptic? Not at all. Some of them, like Bill Roper, have even been guests on our show, No Prisoners, No Mercy. 

But let’s face it; the market hasn’t exactly been bullish of late. With Scott Hartsman at the helm of Trion Worlds again, one of the first actions to turn it around was downsizing. John Smedly, President of SOE said that Star Wars the Old Republic was going to be the last subscription only game and he was right, and now they have gone free to play – along with Secret World, Everquest, Rift, and so many others they fall like dominoes.

“But there is already a Duneons and Dragon Online” I said on the show.

“This is different,” came the reply, “this is Neverwinter”.

I read the Neverwinter books; the game doesn’t really do them justice. 

But what is so troublesome is how fast the teeming masses seemed to have dropped by the wayside. It launched on June 20th of this year to accolades. By the end of the first month they were touting 2 million players. But the key word here is “players” not, as we know, subscribers. With an already established product out there, Dungeons and Dragons Online, run by a company with a much better company, Turbine, NWO seems to be head for “flash in the pan” status – I hope I am wrong.

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