There has been some discussion about what Senior Community Coordinator David Bass said on a recent Mos Eisley Radio podcast with regards to their plans to host a second Fan Site Summit next week. Some sites have claimed that David Bass dissed all the uninvited fansites by saying that they would die off after SWTOR launches. We thought it would be useful to post a transcript of the section under contention. The following section begins at 26:22 of the podcast.
David: This is actually more of a fansite meeting, I want to say, between us and the sites we’re bringing out because we want to kind of take a look at the post-launch landscape for fansites. One of the problems that a lot of communities have, a lot of MMO communities have, is that before launch there’s this huge excitement – I call it the honeymoon phase – it’s like when everyone’s really excited about the game and the game can do no wrong.
More What David Bass Said and Comments after the jump.
And it’s amazing, like “Oh my god, this is going to be the best thing ever,” and so you get all these fan sites that pop up, and every game gets like you know, hundreds and hundreds of sites from random individual people who are just like “I’m going to start a site and I’m going to run it and it’s going to be the best ever.” We have been spending the entire year supporting that, and helping those people out and helping them to create those fan sites and foster those sites and foster new audiences. But one of the problems is once a game launches, that honeymoon phase dies out. People get their hands on the game and just start playing the game. I’m not saying the honeymoon phase dies out because the game is bad necessarily, but it’s more like, you know, it’s no longer that dream in your eyes. You can actually just play the game. “Oh ok, here’s what the game is.”
And so you get all these sites that kind of just disappear and people lose interest in doing their site, either because they’re focusing on playing the game or because they move onto other things.
Zach: Or, I would also say, because there are so many sites out there that are kind of doing the same thing. A lot of people go, “Well, what’s the point of me doing this because if these guys over here at site X are doing what I’m doing, and they’re doing it better, I don’t know what to do.”
David: You’re hitting the core of it, and that is our concern, and that is something we want to avoid as much as possible because the last thing a player wants to see is to come to our site, and you know, say on our website there’s, well there is a fansite directory on our forums. You go to that and you see a list of 200 sites and let’s say 150 of them are just posting guides for the game. How do you know which one to go to? How do you know which one is the best one? And eventually the good ones will rise to the top and everyone will know, this is the site you go to. For WoW, if you want to min/max, you go to Elitist Jerks and you’re looking up all their info, right? That’s going to happen and there’s nothing we can do about it, and that’s fine. But the problem is, all the ones at the bottom, those sites are just going to die and they’re going to disappear because they’re writing guides, and it’s exactly like you said. “We’re never going to be as good as them, we might as well give up.” Or they’ll actually merge with other sites and they’ll be like, “Well, I can’t do this on my own, I’m going to join this site and work with them.” Which is great, but we want to encourage the sites to branch out more. To figure what it is that keeps them unique, and to embrace it.
Zach: Yeah, because some people have really good ideas and when it comes to executing those ideas they can do it very well, but the problem is they might not have the staff or the resources to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak, so it’s kind of like you find these guys over here and go, “Hey, maybe you should focus on not so much on creating walk-throughs or things like that, but maybe just like little how-to videos, or maybe this is something you could do that’s really not out there and next thing you know, they’ve kind of carved out their own niche.
David: That’s exactly what it is. We already have that in our pre-launch community. We’ve got sites like SWTOR-RP, who are the role-playing site. We’ve got R2-DB who are, they are an item database site and they’ve got some amazing tech, if you haven’t seen their site – I always love giving them a plug because they’ve got some pretty stuff on there. And you’ve got sites like Darth Hater which do up-to-the-minute news, and sites like you guys which aren’t so much about the up-to-the-minute news, but are about putting out a quality podcast.
The conversation continues with Zach talking about how Mos Eisley Radio evolved and how they became more involved with the SWTOR community. Listen to the full podcast at Mos Eisley Radio.
Thanks to Saravi for providing a transcript to the following section of the same interview:
David: … You found your niche and that’s something we need to make sure everyone else is ready to do and is able to do… One of the first things we told all of the fan sites is this isn’t a competition. This isn’t like, “which site is going to be the best one?” This is, “how can every site provide something unique so that people want to visit every site?”
Zach: Yeah. It’s really hard not to get in that mindset, because I know that was there early on.
David: Yes, of course it is, but our goal is to make sure that people understand that we’re behind them. We don’t care what your traffic numbers are… We don’t care how big you are or how many people listen to your stuff. We care if you’re putting out quality content. That’s all we ask.
Zach: Yeah, well, I think, too… One of the things that’s helped over time is… I mean, I’ll admit, before I got to know half the people, I had that “this is a competition” mindset. And then once you get to know people, it’s like, “I don’t want to compete with these guys. You guys are cool,” and that was one of the cool things about the first fan site summit and I’m excited about this one because there are some new faces coming to this one – and there’s a lot of old faces – and it’s gonna be an opportunity to where we just get to hang out and get to know each other, and then once you get to know each other, you don’t feel as threatened. There’s not this whole… “these guys don’t like us because we get more hits than them” or, you know, something weird like that. That all gets thrown out the window and I don’t think most people care, so….
David: And that was… I mean, you keep striking on what our goals were. Like, that was one of our goals for the first fan site summit, like… I’d been working with every site individually and I was just like, “man, these guys are all so cool. Let’s put them in a room together. I mean, like, let’s get them working together and stuff and now there’s so much crossover between the sites that the communities enjoy, because they like all the other sites. And so you get those mega podcasts and everyone’s like, “yeah! It’s like everybody I love in one place!”