Massively commenter PunkRockDiva has pointed us to a forum post by Cryptic associate community relations manger IronAngel, who relayed a message from his boss, Ivan Sulic. Within that message Ivan confirmed the rumor, saying there was no ill intent in what happened. He then explained why it happened -- that community, PR and marketing are in the middle of restructuring. "Shills, poaching, bullshotting... No chance, man. We make good games and we hope people will play them. Best anyone can do, right?" Was how Mr. Sulic concluded his message.
If the name Ivan Sulic sounds familiar, you may remember him as the Hellgate: London community manager telling players concerned about the game's lack of a LAN mode, "Who the fuck cares?" Well, we're pretty sure a lot of people care nowadays, Mr. Sulic. This was all dug up by Scott Jennings, who posted his opinion of the whole matter on his website, Broken Toys.
As Scott points out, it's not an apology if you make light of the matter and pretend it's not a big deal. As people who love the MMO genre, this is not the sort of behavior we want the industry to feel is acceptable. And as such, when a developer has upcoming titles we very much want to play -- like Champions Online and Star Trek Online -- it evaporates our desire to support them.
[Update] We've received a comment from Mr. Ivan Sulic with an apology and felt it should be reflected here, "So, to the point then... I am sorry. Cryptic is sorry. This should not have happened. It was inappropriate and it will not happen again. Please understand that we truly did not intend any offense, though. The people involved are very sorry about it, believe me. This has been a big headache when it should have been as simple as, 'Hey, any MMO guild folks want to play Champions?'" It's great to have this cleared up, as nobody at Massively wanted any of this to remain unclear to either ourselves or to you, our readers.