Cryptic Studios was using rival MMOG City of Heroes' in-game messaging system and official forums to recruit for a beta of its own Champions Online, and for that it is sorry.
World of Warcraft players, have you ever gotten in-game messages asking you if you would rather be playing Warhammer Online? No, because even in the dog eat dog world of the games industry, there are some lines that aren't crossed and poaching a competitor's players from within their own game is one of them.
Cryptic Studios, the makers of Champions Online and the ex-makers of City of Heroes, were alleged recently to have been using City of Heroes in-game messaging system and official forums to recruit people to sign up for Champions Online's upcoming beta.
"Although we cannot stop someone from initially communicating with you - whether it be RMT (real money transaction) related, another game company trying to lure you to their competing product, or general spamming," a news post on the City of Heroes site read.
Cryptic responded yesterday, saying that some of their staffers thought it would be a good idea to talk to people who are into MMOGs to see if they wanted to join the beta. Naturally, other MMOGs is where you'd find those folks. "I'm certain this wasn't meant to be a malicious attack on a competing product, nor did anyone intend to steal players, violate user agreements, kill babies, or knife hardworking farmers in the back," Cryptic's Ivan Sulic said. "If a line was crossed, it was totally inadvertent and no harm was intended."
Sulic later expanded on the post in a more extensive apology written to Massively. "I am sorry. Cryptic is sorry," he said. "This should not have happened. It was inappropriate and it will not happen again. Please understand that we truly did not intend any offense, though. The people involved are very sorry about it, believe me."
Cryptic is apparently undergoing widespread restructuring in its community, public relations and marketing departments, and all the chaos may have led to this snafu.
City of Heroes was originally a Cryptic Studios game, before the company sold the property to NCSoft.