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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Love is in the Air...

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Some of the links in this post are not safe for work.

If you haven't heard about the sex-based MMO (no, not Second Life) that's coming out soon, well, there is one. It's called
Spend the Night by Republik. I'm tempted to make jokes like: This gives grinding for levels a whole new meaning, but I'm going to try to stay focused on the facts. Van Hemlock is way ahead of me on this one so I'll also link to his post. It was also covered on Broken Toys.

You can check out the company's website
here. I will critique the concept briefly. From their own site, the description is: "Like a fantasy date without the hassle and ramifications of meeting in person, Spend the Night let's you make friends, chat it up, then if things get hot, find a virtual room for an erotic romp." Meeting people in person is such a hassle! And think of the ramifications! But anyway, this doesn't actually sound like a game, per se, just a glorified chat room with some cinematics thrown in.

And I don't think it's particularly well thought out. The article says that characters will be customizable, but not to a deep degree. That's a terrible design decision for this type of "game." Here's another quote from the article:

"But we can control, in terms of our product, the settings because we are building it. We are trying to design this to stay on the high end. We're not supporting off-beat things."

Not supporting off-beat things? (I am not going to make the reverse pun there.) Hello, this is the internet. Do you think your target market is some group of straight-laced moralists? Believe me, the people who subscribe to a sex-based MMO are going to want off-beat things.

It's worth noting that this is not the only sex-based MMO around. There's
Sociolotron, which seems to cater to the rape market. To me, it seems like a much less restrictive game and it has typical MMO elements like mobs and crafting. But the graphics look awful.

The academics always seem to get overly excited about the whole real/virtual sex thing. I don't think a game based solely on a sex gimmick will ever be a good game.

Now is the point in this post where I bring things back to EQII. No, no mentions of Ceciliantas here, I promise. I'm just going to briefly mention
Haven Match, a new dating service for MMO players. There's not many people signed up now (I saw ten in total) and some seem to be more interested in gaming friends than finding love. But hey, you never know when that Rognog Raid could light the flames of passion.

I'm not here to make fun of Haven Match, I actually think it's a good idea. It may not be my style but I certainly think it's a useful tool. I do think they should drop the subscription cost model and go totally ad-based if they ever want to get enough subscribers. But, it's totally free for now so go over and check things out.

I'd like to mention that Haven Match is actually not the first site to have this idea. I wrote about a site called
MMO Dating (I have some funny in-game marriage quotes in that post as well) back in March and the EQ2Faces site (which I also wrote about) could be used for a similar purpose.

At some point I'd like to write a story on how things worked out for people who met in MMO's and started dating. I know there
was mention of a German magazine doing a story like this on the EQII official forums but I never read the actual story.

By the way, best post in that official forums thread is clearly, "How about the exact opposite....my wife left me for a guy she met in EQ! " Bet he was a rogue.


Blogger Twodragons said...

It is always a fact that in any marketing attempt (except religion, maybe) that sex sells. *cough* Hunt for Antonica *cough*

With the direction EQ2 took with the pagent, I will not be surprised if they use the stealth knife to slowly sneak more of that into the game in yet another attempt to attract more customers, and retain current customers with raging hormones.

I certainly hope that will not be the case.

But haven't we already seen the decline? Shirtless Barbarians and Froglock males will flex and strut on the IoR until they get equipped.

Are Dark Elven thongs next? Gnomes Gone Wild?

11:00 AM  
Blogger haven said...

I'm proud to report that HavenMatch is going to remain free.

Even though it might kill us financially, we'd rather keep to the PlayerHaven tradition and keep all of our site free to the user.

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