Massively Empowered

mo225I’ve already spilled plenty of ink about the Massively sunset saga, so here’s the short version: AOL decided to dump a ton of quality, profitable pro blogs last week, tried to keep it a secret until almost the last minute, and then cut us all loose without the slightest sorrow, merging our years of work into a mess  that I can describe only as Frankengadget. It’s actually worse that Massively, Joystiq, WoW Insider, TUAW, and the rest were doing so well because there’s no one to point the finger at besides execs who have decided that “simplify” is the buzzword they are selling to investors this year.

The tone-deaf closure put the Massively staff and me out of work. It took me a few days of moping to stop worrying about the money and the shame and start listening. Our fans and frenemies alike were rallying to us. Developers we’d criticized cheered us. Experts came to our aid, gave us advice, showed us how AOL was mismanaging our site and leaving money on the table. My writers — my friends! — wanted to keep going. We love our community, our careers, our content. We wanted to fight. And fight we shall.

So this week, we unveiled the Kickstarter and the teaser for Massively Overpowered, a new blog for massively multiplayer online roleplaying games and gamers. As I write this, it’s not done yet. The Kickstarter is almost funded but has weeks left to go and weeks more until we see a penny, meaning we’re all doing this on love right now. But it’s going to take us time to do it right. We thought about all the ways to go about building MOP, how to make it professional, sustainable, and independent. We needed heavy-duty tech, pro site design, tech engineering, bookkeeping, legal counsel, sales, corp fees, taxes… basically, we’re replacing everything AOL did, or more often didn’t do, for us, founding our own mini-company in the process. This is not something I thought I would be doing 10 days ago. It’s all happened in a rush. But that’s our community, and that’s our team. We make magic happen from dust and air and love. Mostly love.

I can’t wait to be Massively Overpowered.

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5 Comments

  1. I’m very glad you folks are starting anew under a new heading (congrats on meeting the funding goal. Massively was a great resource for the community, and a big inspiration to me as a gaming writer.

    I wish you all best of luck as you forge into the future.

  2. Rebel Engie says:

    First the moon landings, now this! :D
    Watching the pledge go up, then spill over 50k was like watching history in the making.
    Is there even precedence for an MMO editorial site going independent this fast after closure?

    * The interesting part about this is that now Massively will have first hand experience of what so many indie startups go through, so they can truly claim to speak from experience. *

    Congratulations on meeting the project goal and well done for the whole community that rallied behind the cause.

    We are all looking forward to visiting, participating in, and making the new site our new home.

    • Bree says:

      I wondered whether it would change my opinion of Kickstarters. It hasn’t so far, other than that I have more empathy for people who go through it because now I know how grueling it can be and how truly monumentous the work involved is. I still think it’s excellent for true indie studios. I just feel that much sorrier for them when they don’t have a giant social network to drive them forward; that community really is everything, and it’s hard for them to get it. So if anything, it makes me want to cover indies even more than we already did.

  3. Really hope it works out for you all. And I really hope you are able to keep the starkly un-toxic community going on the new site. I love MMOs, but one of the big things that kept me coming back to Massively is that it was one of the few places where I felt like I could comment freely without being personally attacked, asked to prove my right to have an opinion, or generally antagonized. I never, ever thought I’d kickstart a website of all things, but you got me.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Sorry to hear about the closure, hopefully it turns out to be a blessing in disguise. Keep doing what you love.

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