EQ2: Who are ProSiebenSat.1 anyway?

As you know by now, SOE is selling its European players, to a company called ProSiebenSat.1. OK, technically, they’re selling them the exclusive rights to run the games within Europe (including the UK), but that includes all the characters on the European servers, and the details of anyone with a character there. The value of the playerbase has certainly been accounted for in the deal, and so we have been passed like chattels to a new master.

So who are they, these folks that we suddenly find in control?

ProSiebenSat.1 is a German media conglomerate. Their main business is German language television for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Most important for us though is a little side-business called Alaplaya, which runs online games such as Argo, Skylancer, and a number of other games that you’ve also only ever seen mentioned in cheap google ads. I’m not hearing good things, either about how they modify their games, nor about how they treat their customers. We can expect customer service done on the cheap.

I was having a bit of a dig around for more interesting info when I discovered that ProSiebenSat have deeper links with the Sony corporation than have been reported in the gaming media so far.

Munich, December 15, 2011. The ProSiebenSat.1 Group and Sony Pictures Television Sales Deutschland GmbH have entered into a far-reaching output deal for the video-on-demand portal maxdome. The agreement covers recent blockbusters, as well as many top movies and TV series. This deal will expand the offering of Germany’s biggest online video shop to a total of 45,000 titles, thereby extending maxdome’s market leadership position.

Recent blockbusters like “Bad Teacher,” “Die Schlümpfe” and “Der Zoowärter,” as well as a large selection of movies from Sony Pictures such as “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” and “Zombieland,” are now available on maxdome. Top TV series like “Hawthorne,” “Drop Dead Diva” and “Breaking Bad,” as well as classics like the children’s series “Die Schlümpfe,” are also available on maxdome. Effective immediately, moreover, subscribers can access movies at least two months before they are broadcast on free TV.

About maxdome:

A ProSiebenSat.1 Group company, maxdome is Germany’s largest video download site and offers a wide variety of feature films, series, comedy shows, sports, music and cartoons – a total of more than 45,000 titles of the best entertainment. Videos can be downloaded from maxdome individually, for rental, with a purchase option, or by subscription. As with a DVD, the program can be viewed as often as desired.

The timing of that announcement is interesting, and it starts to look like SOE’s mothercorp has probably signed a distribution deal with ProSiebenSat for their Netflix-clone that includes multiple media, and SOE has gotten caught up in it. Any claim that it’s a great thing for SOE is just a justification after the fact.

If that’s the case, then there may be nothing at all that SOE can do about this at this late stage in the game. This does not absolve guilt at the corporate level in any way, but it does make it seem pretty unlikely that this is going to be a preventable deal.

Which should not stop us from trying.

SOE has unleashed the dogs of war though. Dissent is being quashed. EQ2Wires writer, Feldon, has gotten banned from the forum, largely for his protesting the censorship of Cheese Pirate’s satirical cartoon on the matter. Long-built (and sometimes overly close in some cases, in my opinion) blogger relationships are being burned all over the place.

What is astounding to me is how complete a revolt is occurring amongst the playerbase against Sony’s highhanded tactics. Will this be enough to change minds, not only at the top of SOE, but their bosses over at Sony?

11 comments to EQ2: Who are ProSiebenSat.1 anyway?

  • I think this will either collapse EQ2 or… well… collapse EQ2

  • […] Ark’s Ark: As you know by now, SOE is selling its European players to a company called ProSiebenSat.1. OK, […]

  • Lomax

    To me the real weak link in the deal is account security, the way I see it is Alaplayer is unlikely to be prepared to be target #1 by handling Sony’s business, so while I would have no problem dealing with them as a normal customer as soon as they are connected to Sony they really need to have a much higher level of security.

    If Alaplayer do then get hacked the headlines will be Sony customers get hacked again, after spending 100’s of millions to repair their reputation I don’t think Sony Games (playstation) will be impressed.

  • […] of play. While there’s a clear risk that there is no way out of the deal with P7S1 for SOE, and that the whole thing is a part of something much bigger, cancelling your account and telling the higher echelons of management what you think might have a […]

  • All very disapointing, and made even more cheapening given the above top-level corporate shenanigans. One thing for a potentially troubled SOE to outsource in an attempt to cut costs and generate revenue, quite another to see that the whole of SOE Europe has just been tossed in to some greater deal as some kind of sweetener.

    I’ll probably carry on using my exisitng US-based EQ2 characters, but doubt I want to become a ProSiebenSat.1 customer going forward.

  • Stephannie

    I absolutely agree with your prsmiee. I want to point out a few things that I think you over look though. You list a small DPS difference and we do see eye to eye there. In some cases though it is a mountain. Look at assassin DPS vs ranger DPS in EQ2. No matter how much our enlightened balance developer wants us to believe that 98% of rangers are morons and don’t know how and where to stand the delta in damage is extreme. We’re talking 10K+ DPS difference. That isn’t 2 4%. In those situations you HAVE to balance.When it comes for looking for an assassin instead of a ranger you make a good point for groups and pick up raids. Where we get stuck is in stable raid forces. Guilds ARE going to look for assassins in their recruitment and if you have 26 raiders on you’ll take them instead. It only takes a second to sit out a ranger over an assassin in that situation. This is why if you watch raid guilds go into zones you’ll frequently find a brawler standing outside alone. They just weren’t worth taking in.

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