Time has been going incredibly fast and we are now three days away from our biggest event of the year. I really look forward to the CIC Birthday as a refreshing point to collect ourselves, get some good work done and talk to a lot of CIC visitors at the same time. We have very busy schedules, so we never accomplish near as much as we'd like, but I think each year we put together some fun and interesting content to show off. Next week you guys will get to see some giant cool projects LOAF has been working hard on for many months. A number of dedicated fans have been working on other things that we'd like to showcase then.
At the appointed time, we will be updating the front page with the new content for everyone to see. If you're not busy then, you should stop by our online party in #Wingnut at 7:00 pm Eastern US time (4:00 pm Pacific and 11:00 pm GMT). It's really simple to use the web chat interface if you've not been there before. I've taken a smaller role in the new content creation this time around, so I'll have a lot more time to host the party and see what you guys are up to. I'd like to hear your thoughts are on what the CIC should be doing and share my ideas on Wing Commander directly with fellow fans.
I mentioned earlier that in addition to the aforementioned door prizes we'll be giving away throughout the event, there will be a few extra surprises. This one arrived just in time.
We'll have a bunch of these to give away at the party. See you there!
With the poor performance of many of EA's massively multiplayer PC projects, a lot of people have been waiting to see when the company will begin to leverage its hugely successful console titles for revenue. EA has long maintained free servers for its Playstation 2 online titles and all of their games will soon be playable through the XBox Live service. Next week Madden NFL Football 2005 is released for multiple platforms. In addition to the regular online gameplay, there will be a "package of paid subscription-level features." These include boosted online reputation points, highlighted names, personalized career pages, bigger leaderboards, a customized interface, exclusive medals and special access to tournament options. This will be free "by way of sponsorship by Dodge." Although they don't bill you, a credit card number is required to sign up. People without credit cards can pay $19.99 for the services via Paypal or similar methods. There are subscription based games and some XBox Live games offer premium download content available for a small fee, but this service differentiation is something kind of new. I find it the least appealing of the three fee based programs, but I have a feeling EA will find many paying customers in the years ahead. Madden alone is a guaranteed five million base sales, so only a small percentage of players need to take advantage of this $20 service pack to make it worth EA's while.