Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Why PayPal Guy Was Fired From Jagex
This is old news but interesting for those who missed it ... apparently the EBAY / PayPal CEO guy was forced out because "he was too focused on making money". http://runescape.wikia.com/wiki/Geoff_Iddison
"Iddison resigned from Jagex in January 2009, for unspecified reasons. Based on the ambiguity about exactly when he joined Jagex, he worked for the company for 15 to 17 months, though Andrew Gower is quoted as saying that it was 18 months.
“ On behalf of everyone at Jagex, I’d like to thank Geoff for everything he has brought to the business over the last 18 months, and wish him all the best with his future endeavours. ”
— Andrew Gower, 
“ I have enjoyed working for Jagex immensely. The business remains at the cutting edge of the video games industry and its continued growth reflects the strong business model and the high calibre of people within the company. It was great to be part of a business which is shaping the industry in such a way. ”
— Geoff Iddison, 
However, in an interview published in May 2009, his successor Mark Gerhard commented on what he perceived as the problem with Iddison's approach, which he thought was being too concerned with making money. This was both through constantly encouraging free players to pay the membership fee, and by employing the most lucrative forms of advertising (namely video advertisements). He described this as "simply wrong, not in the spirit of the free game, absolutely wrong".
“ The problem was, a year or so ago, there was -- let me say confusion, as a subtle word -- as to what part of the business was important. I expect the CEO’s focus was just sort of on the profit and loss column, and all of the attention was sort of on "members members members and members conversions" and getting free players to convert to Members by putting members hooks in the free game. Unfortunately that had a really negative effect on the community, as you've taken what was an epic entirely free game and turned it into a sort of demo for the members game which was never the idea.
So unfortunately we had a year where we did that. One of my first orders of business in February was ripping that part out. There are various things we did to “monetize” the free players. Such as serving long-standing free players video ads. Something like 10 or 15 seconds. Which whilst profitable was simply wrong, not in the spirit of the free game, absolutely wrong.
— Mark Gerhard, 
Gerhard had said when he took over as CEO in February that video ads "generate significantly more revenue than other adverts", but that they were "annoying to the point it was putting [free players] off playing", which is why he scrapped them immediately.