Friday, April 9, 2010

Warhammer Online: a Requiem?

Via Broken Toys and Slashdot, it seems that Mythic had a billing snafu of epic proportions. Hit the links to read up if you care to. The short version is that, due to a glitch in a new billing system, thousands of customers were hit with subscription charges sufficient to nearly empty an average mid-month checking account. In many cases this caused checks to bounce and overdraft fees to be incurred. This is the second time this has happened to Warhammer Online subscribers (apparently something similar happened around December 2008), though in this case the effects seem to have been more widespread.

The news makes me a bit sad, because I have grave doubts that Mythic will survive the shittstorm they are about to experience. At the very least, I expect that they are going to see a big drop in Warhammer Online subs from this. I know there is no way in hell I'd keep subbing to a game that charged me $600+ one month by accident. I think Warhammer Online is a pretty good game (at least 1-20), and I hate to see the legs knocked out from under it by something that was obviously a coding glitch [one that would never have gone live with remotely sane quality control, I will allow].

I suspect that heads are going to roll, the already somewhat meager subscriber base will flee in droves, and we will never know what one of the most interesting recent experiments in PvP focused MMO design could have become.


  1. And everyone thinks that Cryptic is the only developer that enjoys shooting itself in the foot. There were things to like in WAR, so it would be sad if this kills it off. They had better get their stuff together if they want to keep any sort of audience.

  2. @Anjin: this likely ranks as the single biggest blunder I have heard of. Charging your customers hundreds of dollars (in some cases more than a thousand) at random is just off the scale when it comes to "ways to piss off your audience." Cryptic's hijinks really pale in comparison.

    And yeah, I agree. They haven't got very long to get their act together after this. I'm not sure that EA will even give them the opportunity.

  3. What a mess, lucky for me I didn't have an active account to get charged.

  4. @Jaydub: it's kind of sad when a news story makes you think, "Wow, thank goodness I haven't been subbed to that game for months."