What’s in a name anyway?

Forum announcement 4/02/09:

Civony Live Server Launched!!!
A permanent server that’s free from account deletion and less frequent bug-fix reboot is launched. You will get a larger map and more great rewards that allow more concurrent online players. You will also have more cities to plunder, and more players drooling for your precious resources. Create your world and Stay tuned!

I think this was about the time that stolen images from costume catalogs began appearing on Google ad blocks for all sorts of related websites, like financial news feeds and poker blogs.  Note also that "Live" implies something very different from "Beta," as in, the game is released and ready to suck your hard earned cash into it at a 10:1 conversion rate for people who just have to stay ahead of the Joneses.  In a browser game.  Sigh.  Numerous bugs and reported losses of said purchased coins notwithstanding, it was announced as live, the image theft development team was taking payments, and people were happily looking for their "qweens."

In-game announcement 5/6/09:

Greetings!

We have some new developments in store for the Civony community that we are excited to share!
The Civony Beta will soon be drawing to a close. We would like to thank everyone who has helped us in beta testing and we hope you have enjoyed the experience. Your feedback has been invaluable in making Civony a fantastic game. Of course, this is not the end. We are going live very soon!
The formal name of the game at release will be Evony – Age One – Genesis.

This was pretty surprising, as evidenced by any number of forum posts from people who were completely blindsided and wondering whether UMGE was planning to take their cash payments and wipe the servers, as opposed to simply "losing" them due to bugs.  This is what typically happens at the end of a beta.  Oh, and beta testers generally know that they are in fact beta testers, and some may even act like them, submitting bug reports and UI feedback.  Fortunately the forums were as useful to players as always, quickly and aggressively locking posts on the topic, in between deleting posts bringing up the WoWMine connection.  Really.  Feel free to make a post containing "WoWMine" on there and time how long it takes before the post is deleted.  I’m getting 10-45 minutes on average.

About two hours after the previous announcement:

We will perform a short period of maintenance in a few hours to launch a formal release of Evony. With guarantees to a 100% data and account integrity, Evony will continue to live on her Free game play model forever.  All beta testers will get special gifts within 7 days.  Cheers!

To be fair, I have in fact paid money during a game’s beta.  However, that game was a fucking good one.and I actually got value (material as well as ephemeral) from my early investment, an investment that continues to pay off in enjoyment.  I never paid a cent for Civony/Evony and actively discourage others from doing so.  Yes, you.

Why the name change?  Well, they did eventually can the previous lifted straight from Age of Kings graphics library and replace it with something that looks, well, just plain awful.  I doubt however that anyone was really worried about being sued for the "Civ" prefix in the game’s name, no matter how incredibly blasphemous it may seem to connoisseurs of early Microprose titles.  More likely it’s an attempt to distance themselves from the reputation and intarwebz awareness of the connection between their game, Google ads featureing stolen images of girls that don’t appear in their game, stolen image libraries from games that were actually good, spam mail from their associated EULA-ignoring gold farming operation also featuring stolen images, and well just the bad aftershocks of their violently aggressive ad campaign.  Anyway, it’s just a name change right?  What could possibly go wrong?

Apparently a lot.

I’m not even sure why I’m continuing to post about this ridiculous game.  Honestly, I do log in once in a while to see what else got broken, but I’m rediscovering City of Heroes/Villains, which amazingly is still entertaining.  And funny.  And generally well-executed.  And only tangentially associated with havens for gold farmers.  WHy do I even bother with it?

So you don’t have to, I guess.

4 Responses to “Civony… Evony… UMGE… WoWMine… Beta… Live…”
  1. Well I find your posts quite interesting. I find this whole situation rather fascinating, and I am eagerly and patiently waiting for the time when the game falls apart.

  2. Brian:
    “Well I find your posts quite interesting. I find this whole situation rather fascinating, and I am eagerly and patiently waiting for the time when the game falls apart.”

  3. It amazes me that they seem to be able to misplace so much money so often and yet there is no real outcry. Are the breast ads really that mezmerizing? I guess you have to pull things like that when your advertising costs are (insert huge number here) per week.

  4. [...] of stealing from Sid Meier’s Civilization games (down to the fonts), being developed by a Chinese gold farming company, and even though the game’s tagline is “free for life”, users are forced to pay [...]

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