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DDO's Turbine Partners With Notorious SuperRewards 121

Zarrot writes "In the next step for their Free 2 Play model, Turbine Entertainment, publisher of Dungeon and Dragons: Online, Lord of the Rings: Online, and Asheron's Call, has partnered with notorious 'lead generation company' SuperRewards. Initial testing by forum users shows that just accessing the page without clicking on any offers sends the user's email and game login in clear text to SuperRewards. Reports of new spam and fresh malware infections on test systems are already being reported on the company's forums. Is the Zynga business model the future of Internet gaming?"
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DDO's Turbine Partners With Notorious SuperRewards

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  • Re:Prefetching? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Renraku ( 518261 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:37PM (#31840700) Homepage

    Malware is illegal. Anyone who partners up with and promotes malware can be held accountable for damages stemming from the drive-by download and permissionless install of said malware.

  • by dschl ( 57168 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:52PM (#31841182) Homepage

    Due to the outcry from their customers, Turbine has taken the Offer Wall down [] while they sort out the issues that arose due to the half-assed broken way they implemented this lame idea.

    I am probably part of the target audience they hoped to attract when they went free to play - someone who hadn't played an MMO before, who had played a bit of pen and paper way back when, and who has disposable income that they are willing to spend if the game is fun enough. So far, it has worked well - I have spent $200 on the game in the past five months on my account and my son's account.

    I don't want to deal with a company that I cannot trust, or leave my credit card information in their hands. I absolutely do NOT trust lowlife criminal scum like SuperRewards, and by extension, I do not trust any company that has any dealings with them whatsoever. That means you, Turbine.

    I know better than to take any of those offers, but Turbine royally screwed up in their implementation. Even viewing the list of offers on the Turbine site meant that my email address and account name for login was likely transmitted to those parasitic bottom-feeders.

    I'll still be playing the game as I bought a ton of content that I have yet to explore, but I will be getting Turbine to remove my credit card info from their billing system if this isn't fixed, and a formal apology issued to their customers by next week. I seriously love this game - it is a ton of fun, many of the players are older, and I don't have to worry about most forms of griefing or PvP emphasis that has kept me away from the entire MMO genre so far. I get to explore instanced dungeons in a small group, and have only explored less than a quarter of the content.

    Time to turn the heat up to eleven - DDO players haven't killed it for good yet, or received a formal apology for this privacy breach. Group seppuku by the PHBs who thought up this scheme would be an entirely acceptable response at this time, and would go a long ways towards restoring confidence in the company.

  • Re:Nope, WoW is (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pinky's Brain ( 1158667 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:04PM (#31841244)

    You do know that the Zynga model is pushing scams on your customers right? It's abusing the naive and defenceless in society. Nothing wrong with micropayments, but Zynga is unadulterated evil ... is your sig just for show and are you a sociopath? []

  • Re:Not necessarily (Score:2, Informative)

    by shadowfaxcrx ( 1736978 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:45PM (#31841700)

    SOE has gone even further in Star Wars Galaxies. Now most new game content is only available via loot cards in the online trading card game. You have to buy packs of cards to get the loot. . So they're charging you money to maybe (but probably not) get the in-game stuff you want. It's ridiculous. And I think it's gonna sink 'em. They've already shut down half their servers.

    Really, though, I see MMO's in a similar light in which I see reality television. Reality shows are crap. But for some reason the public loves them, even though they're predictable, poorly shot, and not real. Similar thing with MMO's. Gameplay is horrible. Just about any single player game has better animation than an MMO. And just about any game has better content. MMO's content is all the same. "Talk to this guy. Go kill that big bunch of guys. Then kill a really big guy. Come back and talk to this guy again to get a collectible trinket. Rinse. Repeat ad-nauseum."

    With the exception of the roleplay communities on a few of them, which create their own content and story arcs, but are small and often out-shouted by everyone else, I don't get what people see in MMO's.

  • by dschl ( 57168 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @12:20AM (#31841874) Homepage

    Turbine's in dire financial straits. I have no insider information, but it's pretty obvious.

    Obvious to who? There have been regular updates to DDO on schedule since going free to play, and their revenue went up by 500% [] since going free to play. The number of subscribers has doubled [], and I don't think that even includes the pay-to-play people such as me, who spend as much or more each month on buying content packs as a subscriber would. As long as they keep releasing content, they'll keep the revenue stream alive from people like me.

    LOTRO is the second most popular US MMO, and it has some great expansions, including the new Moria one that just came out... It's like World of Warcraft only done *right*. But that's not going to last, for the same reason AC and DDO died.

    {princess bride}Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.{/princess bride}

    DDO went free after it slowly decayed. It's probably on the downswing from that huge influx right now.

    Don't think so []. But then, why look for real numbers when you can just spout FUD and pull stuff out of your ass.

    What Turbine needs to do is make a new "boxed collection" every 6 months and sell it in stores for $20. That would keep the new players flowing in and might -- MIGHT -- save them.

    You might not have heard, but brick and mortar games stores already have a few nails in the coffin, and could soon go the way of the arcade, the video store, and the buggy whip manufacturer. Ever heard of Steam?

    And I have no doubt this spyware thing is a misunderstanding or exaggeration of the facts.

    Just by viewing a page on a Turbine site, DDO players have confirmed [] (by inspecting packets) that the account name and email address were transmitted from the "Offer Wall" page. Add the pre-fetching comment here [], and you might be able to see the problem. Sure, my password and credit card were not transmitted, and I only browse with NoScript, but I am probably not representative of the most vulnerable portions of the player base.

  • Re:Not necessarily (Score:3, Informative)

    by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @04:39AM (#31842798) Journal

    Well, it's inflation all right. A more literal description of what they're doing is more like 2- and 5-dollaring the players (playing a federation klingon in STO is 2.4 dollars, extra character slots are 5 dollars), but that kinda doesn't roll off the tongue as nicely. Or in the case of Sony more like 5- and 10-dollaring. I guess you pay more for brand name or something ;)

  • by dschl ( 57168 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @01:38PM (#31847232) Homepage

    Turbine has announced [] that they are dropping the wall, and they also apologized to their players.

    That only took a day or so from when the Offer Wall was introduced, which is reasonably fast by corporate standards.

    Thanks Turbine, for listening to the players, and for the apology. You make a great game, and I hope to continue playing it well into the future.

    Full text of the announcement:

    Turbine’s slogan is “Powered by Our Fans." That means more than just words to us. It’s a promise. We pride ourselves on listening closely to you, our players, and working with you to do what’s right.

    Turbine is continually looking for ways to stretch the boundaries of pricing and commerce models in our games. That’s the kind of thinking that lead to Founder’s pricing in LOTRO and the launch of Free-to-Play in DDO. We’re always focused on providing the best possible value to the widest group of players, but not if it compromises our relationship with our fans.

    Recently, we opened an Offer Wall with a selection of ads that got a strong negative response. There were also technical issues that raised valid questions about security. Overall it was a poor user experience that was not up to our standards, and for this we apologize.

    Based on your feedback, we’re stepping away from the ‘Offer’ category for now. We’ll keep exploring alternate ways for players who want points to get them. We’ll also continue to innovate in pricing and accessibility because that’s who we are. As of today, the Offer Wall is coming down. We’ll collect all the feedback we’ve received over the last few days and will use it to guide future decisions.

    Finally, there was a lot of speculation about how information such as your username or e-mail address was being used by our commerce partners. Ultimately we chose to pass the e-mail address to our commerce partners in the URL to facilitate e-mailing receipts to players. It went no further than that. Neither PlaySpan nor Super Rewards passed the information on. It was stored in the user database only and not transmitted to any of the companies who advertised via Super Rewards. Players who visited the page did not expose any new information to PlaySpan (our in-game store provider) that they did not already have.

    Even though this implementation did not constitute a technical breach of our privacy policy, we certainly understand the concerns that have been communicated to us and how seriously players take their privacy. As a result, the Super Rewards team has already removed the e-mail addresses from their user database. If we decide to return to the Offer category in the future we will certainly work with our partners to implement a better system than the one we tried this week.

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