This Friday, Atari began a promotion which gave $10 off the purchase price of Star Trek Online and offered more free time in game than those who bought it at launch.
By all accounts, Star Trek Online had a pretty decent launch. Cryptic announced over a million accounts were created, although it was later revealed that number included both STO and Champions Online. Still, the Star Trek MMOG was original and I can heartily report that the game is fun and populated a month after launch. But how do you know that your game is popular and has reached the big time? One indicator might be a scandal on your forums.
Granted, there might be a legitimate complaint here. On Friday, Atari.com started a promotion which offered Star Trek Online for $10 cheaper than it cost at launch and offering an additional 60 free days playtime with that purchase. Many players who shelled out the full price for standard and collectors editions have complained on Cryptic's forums that they feel gypped, especially since the game had only been out for 4 weeks.
"Giving new clients a longer free period, within a month of the game opening, than the clients who bought the game at launch, is bad customer service," said user branix on Cryptic's official forums. "Giving new clients a longer free period to adjust to the changes, improvements and bug fixes than the people who have been living through them since the start is bad customer service."
On Monday, the promotion removed the 60 free days, but kept the $10 discount. Then Cryptic said that 60 free days were never a part of the promotion and wouldn't be honored, which was later rescinded by Phoxe. Said community rep Phoxe, "I've heard many voicing concerns that we will not be honoring this sale for anyone who took advantage of it this weekend. This is not the case at all, and anyone who decided to take advantage of the offer will receive what they purchased, as advertised." So if you bought STO before the promotion was changed, then you're fine but now you can only get the game ten dollars cheaper.
Through it all, vocal complainers have been banned from the forums with their threads closed, which has contributed to the community backlash. Cryptic has stated that they are aware of their customer's complaints, and asked its community to consolidate discussion in one thread. That one thread contained 2255 comments on 226 pages before it was closed by Phoxe yesterday.
You'd think by the 24th century we'd be able to solve problems like this.