I have to give Cryptic Studios some credit: Realizing the current flood of MMOs on the market and the presence of another game that they helped develop in the exact same subgenre would hurt their sales, they created a business model for their newly released Champions Online that can thrive with as few as 10,000 subscribers. By catering to the niche of the niche and trying very hard not to even suggest that their new release is anything like the legendary and fabled World of Warcraft killer that fans have been waiting for for years now, Cryptic was able to explore cheesy silver age comics ideas to their fullest without having to live up to the lofty, unfulfilled expectations that are currently dooming Age of Conan and Warhammer: Age of Reckoning.
But deep inside a game of holographic floating brains and giant flaming apes is an unparalleled ability within a deep character creator to make a vast assortment of animal-based characters. And people are doing so in droves.
It is a difficult life, being a furry. To spend every waking hour knowing that you were supposed to be born as an anthropomorphic fox who wears its emotions on its sleeve. To feel deep inside that you can relate more to broad stereotypes about wolves and their nature instead of to the people who shun you and make you feel like an outcast. But for downtrodden furries everywhere, a new home has been found within the amazingly deep customization options of the character creator of Champions Online. Once forever trapped within the sickly sticky walls of Second Life, furries now have another game to call their own.
But many of the same problems encountered by transanthropomorphs all over the internet have arisen already within Champions Online: furries, it seems, are really fun to mess with and grief. And like the long and storied battle waged against them in Second Life by the forum goons of Somethingawful.com, furries are already facing intense “fursicution” within the digital realm of Champions Online. And when they turn to Cryptic for help, Cryptic seems to be willing to only do absolutely nothing to make it stop.
This shouldn’t surprise furries in the slightest. Early on, the game lets them know loud and clear where Cryptic stands. One of the early bosses in the game is a catgirl who has turned to crime only because surgeries to become a real-life catgirl are really, like expensive, you know? She is an airhead, she is vapid, shallow and horribly misguided. And you, the player, get to punch her in the face repeatedly. And this isn’t a singular incident.
Large chunks of leveling can be accomplished entirely through the punching of furry villains. The same character creator that gives furries such freedom to become any type of animal they desire also allows Cryptic to make lots and lots of different types of furries to punch and kick and burn and kill. And they did. And the rumor is that one of the first additional content packs will be even more furry enemies to bash mixed with even more furry costume choices, because people on both sides of the furry line just can’t get enough of any of it.
Cryptic knows what they are doing. The furries will stay because they are used to being picked on by fatass basement dwellers, and they love all of the panda costumes they can make to reflect their true selves. Goons and 4chaners will stay because it has been open season on furries since launch day. The furries will continue to bitch, Cryptic will give a show-ban of some of the loudest goon trolls every now and then, but the vast majority of griefing will continue. And due to the sensible business model and reasonable expectations of Cryptic, Champions Online will continue to exist if only so that both groups can wage their eternal war against each other.
It is a plan that only the smartest of holographic brains could have ever devised.