Friday, February 18, 2005

Alexander Macris, CEO & President of Themis Group clears up IGE relations in a nonchalant way?

I'm not trying to spread gossip or anything, there is a concern I have, something I don't neceessarily understand and would rather post my thoughts here rather than over on the VG forums.

Isn't it odd for someone that is actually in the business per say to actually post on an official forum of another publisher that they are currently not in contract with? It seems quite odd, even if clearing your name publically in the thread. I'm actually taken back a bit, because I'm not sure how a developer might feel or if they would care at all. Maybe, Mr. Macris got permission beforehand or was tipped off originally.

Regardless, if Mr. Macris is a nice guy on the surface, I don't know him nor have I really researched the Themis Group that much, it does seem a bit unprofessional. Players are going to talk shit about you & company or question your ethics no matter what, especially if you are in the business, you just have to deal and bite your tongue or at the very least, if it's bothering you that bad, you could always respond in a private manner.

Either way, this is really funny coming from me, because I am a huge supporter of developer--player feedback on all sides, but when an official outside source gets involved on another developer's "official turf," I would think that it raises a few eyebrows, it did for me, even though I honestly don't mind it happening. This is also interesting considering how there has been some talk going around on several blogs about cross-medium developer communication. Maybe, I am suffering from paranoia and need to shut the fuck up. haha.

Here are the posts from the official Vanguard forums:

Hello,
I am the president and chief executive office of Themis Group. I would like to respond to the post by Fozzik.Themis Group did work with IGE at the beginning of 2004. The relationship was terminated after approximately 60 days and they and we have not had business dealings since. We removed the PR and Client link relating to IGE because having them there created an impression of a relationship that did not exist.Fozzik, if I recall correctly, you and I spoke personally in IRC when you brought these theories up the first time by emailing Nevrax.

To add to what I said then: Neither Themis nor any of our affiliates has any relationship with IGE, nor have we almost a full year. Nor do any of our clients, to my knowledge, have a relationship with IGE; certainly, we have not brokered any deals between IGE and our clients. In fact, careful examination of IGE reveals they have most recently positioned themselves as a competitor of Themis in providing outsourced customer service for MMOGs to publishers. You can take that as evidence of what you will.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify this situation.

With kind regards,
Alexander Macris
CEO & President
Themis Group, Inc.
http://www.themis-group.com

Quote:Originally Posted by Fozzik:

Garthilk, it's much worse. Keep checking... At the beginning of last year (late 2003-early 2004) two new MMORPG's were preparing to go into beta test. Both games had been in development for some time, but both were by startup-type companies who didn't have the clout to handle their own marketing/promotion. Both these companies decided to hire the Themis Group.

If you haven't heard of Themis Group, don't worry, I hadn't either. I was, however, following one of the aforementioned games rather closely, and was a part of their beta test. Themis group was handling CS, marketing, and publicity for one of the games, and completely handling the beta test for the other.

Themis Group was handling promotional beta slot giveaways for both companies, and deeply involved in the administration of both betas. At that exact same time, take a wild guess at who else Themis Group was representing. IGE.

After I discovered this, I shot off a few rather pointed emails to the developers of the game I was following, and a short time later I was in a chat room with several developers and the head guy from Themis Group. I was assured (the conversation was very polite) that Themis Group had concluded their business with IGE... and shortly after that all the press releases and all information about the Themis Group / IGE relationship was gone from the web (it is still possible to find some things with a little searching). This occurred within 24 hours of my initial emails to the game developers.

Draw your own conclusions, but a blind man in a dark room could see something funky was going on. I of course asked what the nature of Themis Group's relationship with IGE was... I was told that the deal included an NDA, and therefore couldn't be discussed. The "secondary market" for MMORPG's includes much more than just virtual property sales, although those businesses are what you might call the tip of the spear. Most of the money is there. A whole structure seems to be developing however, in an attempt to legitimatize and solidify the virtual property market. More and more people are smelling the money available, and without any ability to make games themselves they will latch on in whatever way possible.

It needs to be stopped. Who knows exactly how many hired "experts" it takes, or how many advertisements or PR deals, before a company like IGE really does become legitimate in the eyes of somebody that matters... like a judge.


-Krones

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. I want to discuss further but i need Coffee.. and perhaps I can find you again.

-Reading your story... I... Was banned for... this ridiculous reason from some random.. Jerk site... i Find out its the Themis Media behind the scenes... (by the way i love the flex policy of the new internet eh? Jeeze... its so bendable......... Lol.... Little bit of finger walking... and here's Krones! and hes all Pissed off!

And im pissed off too! And like, i can relate to that. But back to your story...

I hear your concern because not only can i relate... But... when you mentioned... how this happened...

Yes... Great... Excellent... However Evil People work in the shadows and the pen is mightier than the sword... They hide.... Losers....... Hiders.... Im good with confrontation :P anyways....


Can you Answer this for me?

Is Advertising Something that is freeware and non-profit, Illegal? (firefox, policy doesnt state illegal - to early to call them atm and refer to themis policy to start the drawing board please...(i quick glanced)

And can i make money off that?

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