TERA Online | Paranoid developers or simply incompetent publishers
In an industry where piracy is rampant, most have agreed that piracy is a service problem and not a region driven, cultural aspect. Raziq Shaikh from our Editorial team shares thoughts about his experience with TERA publisher En Masse, the support system and what they feel about piracy.
Hello fellow gamers,
Let me introduce myself. I am a hardcore gamer like most of you out there and I share my joy when I win against my opponents and I throw a fit of rage at times when my team gets stomped and dishonored. I’ve made quite a few good friends and bad enemies in the virtual world. But, ultimately, by the end of it all, I am just a gamer who is honest, who does not cheat at games and prefers buying his games the right way, purged from all forms of piracy. But, En Masse Entertainment, the publisher of TERA Online, apparently believes otherwise, simply because I am from Asia.
Couple of days ago, in my failed attempt to pre-order TERA Online, En Masse Entertainment’s official website kept on presenting me with a system error message which made no sense as it asked me to simply try again later. So, after my countless attempts to pre-order the game, the inability for the system to process my transaction sure got tiring. And like any other eager-to-buy kind of customer, I contacted their live customer chat support and I was least satisfied.
Firstly, I had to wait over 3 hours to actually get connected to a live chat support agent and secondly, when I called them up at the number they provided on their website, I had to wait 15 minutes on the line to evidently find out that no one ever received my call. In my opinion, this kind of behavior is highly unprofessional for any company which boasts a 24/7 customer support service. Heck, even Electronic Arts’ Origin live chat support is way better than En Masse’s service, though many gamers around the world crib about EA.
During the course of the live chat with the customer care agent, I was informed that Asia is under a region block by En Masse Entertainment. Not primarily because they wanted the best quality and less stressed servers for their North American crowd but, they in fact believe that gamers across the regions of Russia, Africa, Asia and the Middle-East are a bunch of cyber-criminals, account thieves and hackers. Check TERA Online’s FAQ section for more clarification.
Now, the reason provided by En Masse Entertainment for the region block sure sounds like what most incompetent gaming companies would do if they are sure that they can’t manage their resources correctly to maintain order in a virtual world. I believe this is so for a fact because I’ve played a lot of big scale MMORPGS which include World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, etc, where the GM’s worked their asses off to keep the virtual world an enjoyable and a fair place to spend time in. Why can’t the developers and publishers of TERA online do the same? Is it laziness or just some good old inadequacy? Whatever the case maybe, many gamers are pretty much outraged by TERA online’s business model.
Ultimately, when I browsed through the forums of other MMORPGS where hackers and botters were banned, I came to a realization that cheaters were not exclusive to certain regions of the world. I found many banned hackers and botters from USA, Canada, Europe and the Oceanic regions as well, inclusive of the regions already mentioned by En Masse. So, how does En Masse find the Russians, Asians, Africans and Arabians any worse than the hackers of the west? And unfortunately, this trend of random region blocking is also applicable for the European client of the game managed by Frogster Interactive Pictures. In my view, the European client is even worse. They have in fact blocked many countries that lie in the European continent itself. How unprofessional can these publishers really get?
In the end, I want to convey that, gamers around the world will appreciate a business strategy where the company focuses on a particular region to provide the best online gaming experience while lessening the burden put on the game servers. But, a company refusing to provide service to entire continental regions in addition to accusing the people in those respective regions to be some sort of thieves and hackers is a mark of a company which is either too paranoid that they can’t handle dire situations or simply very incompetent to provide the security measures needed to ensure the best online gaming experience. There are many cyber-crimanls out there, but, thanks to the publishers’ narrow-mindedness honest gamers from the blocked regions are extremely disappointed with their sentiments hurt.
TERA Online is set to release on May 1st in North America and May 3rd in Europe. As a gamer, I wish TERA online all the success but, also want the publishers to realize the fact that fans around the world can make or break a gaming company and hope they won’t disrespect their fan base in the future as they have done so now.
Before I take my leave, I would like you people to witness the chat session I had with an En Masse agent. You can find the screen-shot gallery below.