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How few players do you need to have before operating an MMO becomes ridiculously unprofitable and in need of closing? In the case of The Matrix Online, we found out that the magic number was 500. I wouldn't have even guessed that so few people were in that game when its shutdown was announced, espe...

August 31st 2013 at 12:00pm 0 Comments
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Sony Online Entertainment's Linda "Brasse" Carlson took the stage at this year's GDC Europe to talk about SOE's approach to community management, and in the process delivered a little insight into how studios can (and should) approach shutting down MMOs with waning or nonexistent player populations...

August 19th 2013 at 11:00am 0 Comments
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Maybe many of us would just rather remember MMOs as they were in life rather than at the moment of their demise. But I believe that how a game went out is incredibly fascinating for many reasons and worthy of examination. It's in these final moments when an entire community has to say goodbye. I...

April 11th 2013 at 9:00am 0 Comments
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It's been almost three-and-a-half years since players were forced to unplug from The Matrix Online for the last time, but the memories and music remain. When I first was wowed by The Matrix back in 1999, the dark, action-packed score became an instant favorite of mine. It's a franchise in which t...

March 19th 2013 at 7:30pm 0 Comments
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Why? Why do we die in MMOs and receive an infinite number of resurrections? Are we in a type of hell defined by endless combat and suffering, doomed to never escape the cycle? Is this a cruel experiment being performed by supreme alien beings from afar? Does that make us the living undead, immort...

September 13th 2012 at 10:00am 0 Comments
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You know what I love about the end of each year? The lists. Man, but I'm a sucker for lists, especially when they come in "best of" varieties. In the lull between Christmas and New Year's, there typically isn't a lot happening in the world of entertainment, so it's a good time to look back before...

January 3rd 2012 at 1:00pm 0 Comments
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We're going to take a brief detour this week from our normal excavations and six-hour-long lectures to address a fundamental question to The Game Archaeologist series. Namely, why write it? Why give attention to games that are "past their prime," have been canceled, or never got off the launch pa...

September 27th 2011 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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Time is always against us, a wise man once said, and truer words were never spoken regarding the MMORPG genre. The glut of titles released over the last few years means that fans have some hard choices to make, and when those choices are coupled with the inevitable game closures, it's rare that e...

August 10th 2011 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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What can you trust when your memories are merely the by-product of intelligent machines tinkering with your brain? When you come right down to it, who's to say that our alleged recollections of The Matrix Online weren't just computer viruses uploaded into our cerebral cortexes -- and that the gam...

May 24th 2011 at 5:00pm 0 Comments
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It's not every year that a movie comes along that captures the pop culture zeitgeist so powerfully and so quickly as The Matrix did. I recall lugging a few college friends along to see this in 1999 -- having heard only a few sparse details about it beforehand -- and coming out of the theater feel...

May 10th 2011 at 7:00pm 0 Comments
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Tires are round bits of rubber that are placed upon the wheels of vehicles in order to facilitate spinning or something. Also, sometimes your parents might string some rope around one because they're too cheap and lazy to buy you a decent swingset. Anyhow, the next thing on the internet will be t...

April 21st 2011 at 10:00am 0 Comments