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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Gleemax is Dead

by Ken Newquist / July 30, 2008

 GleemaxWizards of the Coast is killing Gleemax. WotC is refocusing their efforts after the fumbled launch of the D&D Insider initiative (ok, I say "fumbled" you say "catastrophic failure..."), which failed to include the overpromised and much coveted online gaming table and character generators for D&D 4th Edition and the painful Magic Online v3 upgrade which has caused a tremendous amount of frustration among Magic players (or at least, the ones I know).

I can't say I'm surprised. I thought Gleemax was poorly executed from Day 1. It was supposed to be a social networking site for gamers, but at its launch it was just a glorified message forum, and it never evolved much beyond that. I know some folks enjoyed the conversations they found there, but honestly, you can have those conversations anywhere. You didn't need yet another site for that, and if you couldn't deliver on the promised social networking aspects at launch, then why bother?

Good-bye Gleemax ... and good riddance.


maybe I should write a poem for it
maybe I should take a nap

Maybe the powers that be
at that place called WotC
have realized that, if they do not put out good product
they will lose the audiance that was built by TSR and Gygax

The name ("Gleemax"? Really? WTfrigginF?) and the glowing green brain really didn't help much. Good riddance.

And this just supports the belief (my belief?) that WotC is going to fall down--hard!--on DDI.

E-tools, anyone?

After the debacle with eTools, Wizards should have been throwing every online resource they had at getting the online gaming table and character creator working.

A lot of veteran players were burned by eTools, and needed a good lunch to regain faith in the company's online initiatives. And new players needed to see this component working as promised (especially since the back page of every core book has an ad for D&D Insider).

Combined with the ill will created by killing off Dragon and Dungeon Magazine, well, they needed to hit it out of the park.

And, of course, they didn't. So yeah, I agree ... this is an epic fail in the making, and it could weaken 4E if the finished product is as crappy as their previous initiatives.

I found the glowing green brain to feel to much like a attempt to draw in the Mounting dew feel and as for sites that you can have enjoyable chats about gaming that’s why we have places like nuketown. Also I find people on Enworld to be nicer and more help full in the long run then the few chats I had a glemix

I think that unless WotC really amps it up in the coming months, 4e is going to lose a big part of the market share. I don't think their flubs will kill the industry, but it could weaken it a great deal.
The major selling point of 4e for new gamers was the online initiatives and the etools and they have yet to deliver. WotC didn't just drop the ball on this one, they dropped it and lost it under the couch. I have to say I really came around to the 4e way of thinking and I like the system, but one of the things I was really excited about was the ability to play online with friends. So far that hasn't happened and I honestly have lost interest in it, to a degree. When I spoke with WotC reps at Gen Con last year I was told that the online tools would be up and running within a month of the initial release, by Gen Con 09 at the latest and still we have next to nothing.
As much as I like the new system and plan to support it I have to admit to feeling a bit burned by the company. WotC has already rubbed a lot of gamers the wrong way and this only added fuel to the fire. Now a lot of gamers are poised to be added to the ranks of WotC haters as the company continues to disappoint.
I only wonder if this will eventually result in D&D being sold once again, perhaps to a company that better understands the game, like Paizo.