As you’re all probably aware by now, Mythic haven’t had a very good past 4/5 days. In fact, given that Mythic rarely get into the main stream games websites that I read, this is the only time in the last couple of months that they’ve made an appearance, and unfortunately it’s for all the wrong reasons. Now I’m not going to go on about the actual billing problem, since others have covered the subject admirably, I’m more wondering how Mythic move forward from this point.
Funnily enough I was reading an article on re branding/saving the brand in the Economist this weekend, where they were talking about Tiger Woods, new formula coke (1985), Tyco etc, which all had near terminal image issues. This got me pondering about Mythics current predicament, because it is a predicament. Even the “no press is a bad thing” doesn’t cover this situation. Some peoples only image of Mythic will be as robbing scoundrels, which is really not a good image to have when trying to attract new customers.
So how do Mythic move forward? Well they are always proactive and they pretty much out the gate stated any overdraft fees/additional charges will be covered by them, once I think the true enormity of the cock-up surfaced. I am sure there were more than a few “HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU CHARGE THEIR ACCOUNT???” uttered in those hallowed halls, with a fair bit of hunkering down in other departments (Not a good time to say that bit of development was running a tad late). Any sign of Mythic’s management/PR taking the weekend to assess the damage would have been a bloody disaster.
What I was surprised not to see pretty early on, was the promise of free months tagged onto the affected accounts, as well free 1 month subscriptions to be passed out to friends and family like confetti. Of course this does depend on how many accounts got strip mined during this debacle. Maybe if all got ravaged, then you could end up earning no income for a quarter, if that’s how much was decided to be given away in free time. But better that, than to have people cancel their accounts once the stolen money was back in. Time does help the wounds fade away and personally I think that some future income is better than none now.
I am sure for some, that may even not be enough? Maybe a public hanging!!
As this article said, you need to keep a cool head and assess the scope of the damage. Which I imagine both Mythic and EA will be doing at present. Is the damage so bad to the brand, that it needs to be severed from the main body (EA’s call)? I doubt it’s that bad, but it would be unfortunate if Mythic were to be sold off as a going concern by EA. Now isn’t a good time to be sailing the oceans on your own, but maybe it could herald the return of MJ perhaps.
Strong leadership! Well as an issue, this is pretty big. Dipping into your customers pockets to fund the beers at the next barbie is pretty low. Should we be seeing someone from the top of the EA Mythic tree exploding forth with their take on the issue and how they will be moving forward. This isn’t really a job for the a lowly PR person, since this effected a number of product lines. Step up nameless entity from the top and show us the way forward for Mythic, since the 2nd rule is re focus on the customers, which is me and you. Well more you than me, since I’m playing in Europe and hope I’m okay.
It’s just a shame that this has to happen to Warhammer, DAOC and Mythic. Talk about kicking a dog when it’s down. Things should be moving forward. I can only hope this last weekend can be laid to rest pretty soon, I just doubt it. Lets hope the information that Shadow War, Werit and the others gleaned last week, will be creating a lot of positivity these next few weeks.
EDIT 21/4/2010 : Jeff Hickman came forth on and offered forth a whole host of booty:-
Bottomless Chaos Black Dye Bottomless Skull White Dye Imperial Griffon Mount (Order) Enslaved Manticore Mount (Destruction) WAR Tract – earn a free level Choose from any of these pets – Order: Imperial Hunting Hound or Dwarf Keg Handler; Destruction: Warlord’s Fell Hound or the Goblin Bar-Back. Change your appearance with any of these illusion items: Skaven Skin Cloak (skaven), Kossar’s Helm (bear), or the Signet of the Cursed Company (skeleton)
Which I am sure will ease the pain. I do wonder if it will tempt a few people back to see if they can also acquire this phat loot.