My Acclaim: Prologue

In order to tell my tale at Acclaim I need to take you back, all the way back to 1998. It was that year that a few things came together for me but most importantly it is the year that I started my second fan site. My first was for a game called Creatures; the second was for a game to be made by a newly founded game company funded by Microsoft. That game was Dungeon Siege, created by Chris Taylor at his new Gas Powered Games studio.

That site was called “The Dungeon Siege Historian”. It wasn’t the first fan site for DS, one started a week before mine, but it didn’t last… Mine did. That site grew and was picked up by GameSpy as a hosted site under Planet RPG. We then merged with another fan site out there and eventually grew to become Planet Dungeon Siege. This site is still up and running 12 years later and with Dungeon Siege 3 in the works looks like it will be around for quite some time. But in 2007 after DS2 I was getting a little bored with the site and the franchise and was looking around for something new to play in the MMO space. I was a huge fan of Asheron’s Call, a game that I still think is one of the best MMOs of all time, and was looking for another fantasy based game to fill my time. As I searched around I found that the Acclaim brand had been resurrected and was putting out Asian MMOs in the US. One of the games coming was 2Moons, an adaptation of the Korean Dekaron. I loved the over the top style of the game and decided to join the community and see what it was about.

At the time there was much of a moderation team, in fact I think there might have only been one who worked for Acclaim. So I decided to offer my help, using my experience with PDS as proof of my competency. I contacted David Perry, who directed me to David Jun in Acclaim’s Marketing. He brought me onboard as one of the first volunteer moderators for 2Moons, with 2 other people. One really never made an effort and the other worked out well for some time, but eventually was let go.

I continued to grow the team adding those that I thought really helped the community. I will eventually write about some of them but for now I will only mention Jill Sullivan. Jill was my “wonder twin”… Between the two of us we could do just about any project Acclaim threw at us, in record time and above expectations. It was her video creation for 2Moons that led to David Perry hiring her to work for him, and her encouragement with him and Howard Marks that helped Acclaim hire me. I cannot ever thank her enough for that. She is currently looking for work in the Gaming Industry and I would highly recommend her to any company.

And that brings us right up to the point of me being hired at Acclaim.

Next up, my first few weeks at Acclaim and the challenges of taking on Communities that really didn’t want me there.

My Acclaim: Forward

Now that Acclaim really is gone, absorbed by Playdom into the behemoth that is Disney, many people have asked that I write about my time there.

And so I shall…

I first want to say that what I will write is my personal thoughts and opinions as told from my perspective as a employee that worked 2800 miles away from everyone else. This means that I wasn’t always privy to everything that was going on with Acclaim. In fact I was just as surprised as everyone else when it was acquired by Playdom. It will also have a great deal to do with Community Management and my thoughts and processes as I entered and began to grow the Acclaim Community.

Over the next week or so I will begin to tell the story of “My Acclaim”.

Gone and Without Acclaim

On the 26th Acclaim Games Inc. officially shut down its sites and games. I have to admit that part of me is very sad about this. I loved my time there and I had the pleasure of working with many very cool people.

More importantly I’m rather disappointed with Disney in the way things with the players were handled, but then the players of Acclaim were in many ways my best friends and family. I didn’t always agree with them and I was, at times, put in to situations that didn’t allow me to be soft but the most important thing I learn was this:

Your loudest and most obnoxious critics are ultimately on your side. They want things to be better, but they just can’t always communicate this in a way that is constructive. As a Community Manager you have to set aside any emotional response and see what it is that is getting them so riled up.

2Moons, akaDekaron, has a home with its original developers, 9Dragons is going to GamersFirst, Spellborn is just dead, Bots/Bout is gone forever except on hacked servers and the rest of the games went back to their respective owners.

To everyone who ever played a game with Acclaim, I want to personally thank you. You helped me find a dream job and allowed me to learn a great deal about Community Management, myself and the gaming industry.