Back in October I wrote a little piece on my frustration at trying to find RSS news feeds from actual MMO producing game companies. At that point I announced that only one of the thirty one site I checked had an RSS feed.
Of course I was wrong. But that has been the case so frequently in life that I hardly notice any more.
Thanks to one tip and a bit more looking I ended up with a total of five sites with RSS news feeds of some sort, including one, the Vanguard FAQ RSS feed, which earned its own posting for its annoying (to me) design. Since that was rectified (covered in a post last night) I decided to do another survey of MMO gaming company web sites to see if the state of RSS news feeds had changed in nearly two months.
I stayed with my original starting point, the list of games (both current and future this time) on the front page of VirginWorlds.com.
I decided to be a little bit more methodical. To qualify for a spot on the list, the company had to have an RSS feed available on either its front page or on a page with a name indicative of news, the most common form of which was “news.”
My original, solo entry last time. Easy enough to find on their main page if you scroll all the way to the bottom. They chose a non-standard icon, but it says “XML” on it, so it worked for me. The feed itself is available in multiple languages, though I seem to get some French language news in the English feed. The English language feed is here.
This is one I found after the first round and put in the comments for the entry. It nearly did not make it this time because the feed is not available from either the main page of the page call “news.” I cut them some slack since they have a second news page call the “Herald,” which is a name many newspapers have used, so they got a pass.
They chose the more standard small orange rectangle icon with “XML” on it that brings you to a page with a variety of feeds about the game. You can find that page here. The standard news feed is here.
Brought up by Brent at VirginWorlds last time around. I missed it because it was on the page called “Support.” But since they do not have a page called “news” I suppose that will do. They have both a news and a game updates feed.
Sidelined last time because it was not a currently shipping game, this one still got a mention in my first post. This time around, since I am counting all games, both current and future, it is on the list. Their feed is right on the main page. It has not icon, it is just a link inviting you to subscribe to their feed, which you can find here. It is too bad the feed itself has not had any news on it since July.
A new feed for my list, Stargate Worlds actually has the “universal” RSS feed icon pictured below at the bottom of its main page.
At least the icon starts on the bottom of the page. As the page loads it moves around. The place it ends up seems to depend on which browser you are using, which version of that browswer, and the results of some Brownian motion generator. Middle of the page on the far right side seems to be the most likely landing spot.
Be warned, these are like FeedBurner RSS feed pages. When you go there, they just look like a normally formatted page and not the jumble of XML you are used to. When you subscribe to them, however, they work with your RSS reader just fine.
Another new one! The feed is available straight from the main page, down in the bottom right corner. There are two icons, one that says “XML” which supplies an Atom format feed and another that says RSS that supplies an RSS 2.0 feed.
And finally, Vanguard. Their feed is right on the main page, on the left hand side, the “universal” feed icon in grey and white, but about 3x bigger than any version of the icon I have ever seen. It does not even have to be orange. The feed itself is here.
I wish I could say that my post had something to do with the change in feeds at the Vanguard site, but I have neither the evidence nor the ego to make such a claim. I would guess that they smart people over there spotted their own mistake. Sigil has been very serious about getting their message out lately, so that is a an easy conclusion to which to come.
This time around I went to 59 sites. There are some patterns of course. Bigger companies do not seem to be interested in news feeds. Sites run directly by SOE, Turbine, or NCSoft were completely feed free. Companies like that have marketing departments who want your email address, so are loathe to let you get news without having you either visit the site or subscribe to a mailing list.
The exception to the big company rule is Dark Age of Camelot, but I think they had their feed before EA bought them, and EA may not have noticed it yet. Of the two other oddities, I think ArenaNet runs the GuildWars site as opposed to NCSoft, while I know Vanguard is not beholding to SOE yet when it comes to their site.
What surprises me is that more small companies do not have a feed set up. Maybe if news and staff are sparse, as with Meridian 59, you can accept that. But a small company that wants to get the word out about news, updates, and anything else, this seems like a natural. you want the people who run MMO news sites to get your message right away. If *I* can have an RSS feed for this blog, any company ought to be able to put one together.
The total is 7 feeds out of 59 MMO game sites. Not very good, in my opinion. I will check back in a few months and see if this changes. Corrections and comments are always welcome.