Friday, January 11, 2013

A Sad End For Darth Hater?

It's Friday night, which would ordinarily mean a new episode of the Darth Hater SWTOR podcast to download.  However, in an abrupt turn of events, unconfirmed but plausible rumors on reddit indicate there may never be another episode of the show. 

Details are extremely sparse - all we know is that the site has not updated in 2013, including failure to cover this week's patch (normally a mainstay of their daily updates).  The Reddit rumors indicate that most or all of the staff have been dismissed.  Unless I missed it, there was no direct indication that the site was in trouble.  However, the hosts did spend their presumptive final episode reflecting on both the game's first year of release and their experiences over the show's 3+ year run - suggesting that perhaps this possibility was somewhere on their minds. 

We will probably never know enough information to determine whether stones should be thrown at the Curse network, which picked up the site in September 2011.  I'd imagine that hosting the podcasts and images along with paying the staff cost Curse some amount of money, while advertising revenue was very likely down due to the game's limited success.  It's a sad irony that, after spending a year covering layoffs of Bioware developers - many of whom the team got to know personally - the podcast crew may have gotten the same treatment.  Even if Curse has future plans for the site, their failure to let the team say a proper farewell to the community they created is disappointing. 

As a blogger who plays many games, I'm dependent on high quality sites and podcasts like Darth Hater to stay informed about day to day events.  Beyond traveling to cover conventions at personal expense, the show made an unprecedented accomplishment - the coverage of SWTOR's launch came in episode number 105.  I.e. they released over two years worth of weekly episodes about an MMO that had not yet released.  Between the years of dedication and expense - and the reality that only an intellectual property like Star Wars could possible provide enough material to talk about for that long - this benchmark may never be surpassed.

Best wishes to the team, wherever you may wander, and many thanks for your years of hard work. 


Jason said...

That's a real shame. Their coverage of events has been excellent over the years, and there's no one else who's able to step into their shoes.

I'd recommend our own podcast (OotiniCast) if you're after a news-heavy SWTOR show from people who play the game. Just released episode 61; we've been going since a few weeks before launch.

Anonymous said...

If this is indeed true, then that is very sad. It was a beloved resource for many years. Here's hoping it is all rumors!

At least TORWars and Corellian Run Radio is still going strong! And like the above poster said, OotiniCast. We still have a few sites remaining!

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard this.

It's a problem with any fansite when the game they cover fails to meet expectations (look at the vast swathe of WAR blogs that closed once the game hit troubled times) and it likely goes double for any site that's trying to generate revenue from following a specific title.

I'm curious if the person that BioWare hired from Darth Hater still works for them now...