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Comic for: August 2nd, 2006
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The Zapper!: "Roasting Marshmallows"
Posted: Wednesday August 2nd, 2006 by

The GU staff have been trying desperately to give EI Interactive the benefit of the doubt in regards to their handling of Horizons. But, the most recent reports, from sources we trust implicitly, of their mishandling of certain aspects of billing concerns us greatly.

It should be noted that EI Interactive is in NO way attempting to defraud users. It's simple inexperience with a project of Horizons scale that is causing them to make what seems to be some unwise choices.

For these reasons, and until we learn more, GU is advising that any and all Horizons Users avoid the game until such time as the billing issues have been resolved.

We can't go into further detail without potentially exposing the game and its community to more focussed forms of attack. But, we feel certain that our advisory is in the best interest of the game's userbase.

Please keep an eye on the GU front page and this forum thread for more information as it develops.

UPDATE: (8/3/06)
I received the following email asking me to assure Horizons users that the billing system for UK shards is still stable.

Dear Woody,

we never met before, so let me introduce myself first: my name is Luca Mazzasogni and Im Online Division Manager for Game Media Networks (a Digital Bros company) currently hosting Horizons: Empire of Istaria in Europe on our Game Network portal.

Today we have received a few e-mails from our users that were quite concerned (some even scared) about their payments and their personal information security after they saw the warning message on your website (where it says for Potential (and Existing) Horizons Subscribers...). I was wondering if it was possible for you to specify in that message that the issue is solely about the North American shards hosted by EI while the European payment system is perfectly working as secure as it has always been (done through Bibit company, http://www.bibit.com)

Thanks for any help you can provide and keep up the good work.

With my best regards,

Luca Mazzasogni
Online Division Manager
Game Media Networks S.r.l.
a Digital Bros S.p.A. company


Regarding the Comic

You guys wouldn't believe how many variations on this theme I got. So, in deference to what seems to be a popular notion, I decided to poke again at the Light Bulb's (Representing EI Interactive) seeming lack of knowledge in regards to what exactly the Zapper is. That's probably about the kindest political parallel I can draw without being too mean.

As it stands right now, there are tremendous problems with the billing system EII has put in place. And, I'd hate to see Horizons go poof over something so BASIC to an MMOG's existance. Don't get me wrong, I understand how difficult and complex establishing a functional billing system is. But that doesn't change the fact that it's a basic factor in the equation that HAS to be done properly if EI expects Horizons to continue to exist.

A problem with the billing system was to be expected. A problem of this magnitude however doesn't bode well. EI can turn this issue into proof that they DESERVE our trust in their ability to manage the game. If they quickly and effectively correct these problems I think they will have earned me saying "they just might be able to make this work".

But, until they do... I have no qualms advising people to avoid the game.
Here's your chance EI. Work quick and good luck.

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