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August 25 2009

Season 3 of The Guild premieres on Xbox Live today. Written by and staring Felicia Day of course. And today's Wall Street Journal has an article about how The Guild stays successful.

For Gold members only. Free for Silver members and MSN/Zune users starting September 1st.

If this isn't enough seeing as how it's a limited release or if it should be merged with the Felicia/Guild post a few spots down then by all means, mods, move it.

I watched all the episodes of the first two seasons of The Guild last night. I do not play World of Warcraft or any of those other fantasy RPGs but I nevertheless recognized the 'type' of most of the characters. Funny!
About how long is it between Xbox release and available-to-the-general-internet-public release ? (Guild home page and YouTube) By "MSN users", does that mean those of us using Hotmail and MSN Messenger will be able to watch it September 1st as well ?
It's that time of year when we get to the stage of Guild overload at Whedonesque so to give other projects/actors/etc a fair crack of the whip, people may find that their Felicia-ite entries get merged/deleted to save space on the front page.
In that light, I add in the comments here that The Guild has also inked a retail DVD distribution deal with the same people who do the Dr. Horrible retail version.
This post is in response to the Wall Street Journal article;

I have only freshly seen The Guild and indeed had not heard about it until a week or two ago.
As a newcomer, I would say that besides the business aspects of the show as outlined in the WSJ article, the show is successful because it takes an aspect of modern culture (fantasy MMORPGs) and tells funny, interesting stories about people involved in that culture. The stories are general enough that you don't have to be involved with World of Warcraft to grasp them.
Also, and this is what I am appreciating about The Guild, is that the characters represent a few different archetypes in nerdy subcultures. Vork, for example, is one of those mathematical types that you sometimes run into. Codex is one of those shy and introverted art student types. Bladezz is one of those self-consciously cool types. And so on. It is, for me, the resonance of those characters which kept me watching past the first video or two. The business portion as outlined in the Wall Street Journal article are interesting to me in a 'how the sausage is made' sort of way but it is the story and the humor that cause me to like the show and not which sponsorship deal they signed.
That new DVD looks spiffy. I'd definitely get it if I didn't already have the previous releases.

About how long is it between Xbox release and available-to-the-general-internet-public release ? (Guild home page and YouTube) By "MSN users", does that mean those of us using Hotmail and MSN Messenger will be able to watch it September 1st as well ?

You don't have to be any kind of member. It's just a stream on MSN's video page. Anyone can watch it, it's just that only those sites/platforms can show it first. IIRC last season it took around 3 weeks to go up on the Guild site and was supposed to be 3 months after the season ended when it was allowed to go on youtube, but they only started uploading it there recently. Not sure what the deal is this season, since the xbox first thing is new. Looking forward to next week anyway.
The new dvd does look very good and it's only $14.99 at amazon.com (pre-order). As I've been remiss enough not to buy the first two seasons up till now, I couldn't resist. With the ridiculously slow delivery to the UK it's only a bit over 13.
I think the fact XBox Live Gold members get to see the seaosn opener first is a sign that XBox Live could be the new HBO in a few years. As web video becomes more common, it wouldn't be too far off the mark to see certain web videos be exclusive to XBox Live subscribers for a little while before it goes into general release. That may even include music videos, since MTV doesn't do that anymore. The Playstation Network may try that in the future.
ETA: As for the Guild DVD, it is quite spiffy, and I'm sure so will season three. Still, the fact I have the original DVDs from the first couple of seasons is still pretty good (Since my S1 DVD has Felicia and Jeff's autographs on it)

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2009-08-26 00:45 ]
XBox Live gets a one week advance preview for the first episode only. The first episode goes live for everyone on MSN video on Sept 1. Subsequent episodes will go live on XBox and MSN video at the same time, once a week.
The Guild started out as a show for the common gamer - the masses. But for now, it is exclusive to the elitist MS fanbois. Such is the way of life.
It's not exclusive to anyone, unless you consider "having to go to MSN Video" to be "exclusive".
Oh. I thought it was restricted to xBox Gold for this first week. If it is also now on MSN then coolness abides.

ETA, from the article it does appear that it is exclusive to the xBox Gold fanbois for this, the first week. Patience, grasshoppers.

[ edited by peacemonger on 2009-08-26 02:27 ]
Yes, but a one-week "Xbox first" doesn't magically transform The Guild from "for the common gamer" to "exclusive to the elitist MS fanbois". That was really my only point, the unnecessary rhetoric.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-08-26 02:29 ]
But coolness doesn't abide, not for another week. My point.

ETA Rhetorically supercharged, agreed.

[ edited by peacemonger on 2009-08-26 03:09 ]
XBox Live gets a one week advance preview for the first episode only. The first episode goes live for everyone on MSN video on Sept 1. Subsequent episodes will go live on XBox and MSN video at the same time, once a week.

This is from Alan D, and I didn't know that. Still, the idea that XBox Live could be the HBO of the future is something to think about.
I'm glad they are seeing some mainstream (well, sort of) success, but it does kind of bother me that this home-grown project that was initially supported by fans is now an exclusive thing for people with XBox Live...whatever that even is. I'm assuming you have to have an XBox to use it?

I know I'll still get to watch it eventually, but it bugs.
this home-grown project that was initially supported by fans is now an exclusive thing for people with XBox Live

Sigh. Only in an extraordinarily narrow, brief sense. The fact that Felicia got a sponsorship and distribution deal without giving up creative control is a good thing. The fact that Xbox gets this very narrow advance window is really a pretty minor thing. Before you can blink, we'll all be watching it on MSN Video.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-08-26 03:27 ]
The thing is they get funding from Microsoft. I know it kind of ruins the whole "home grown" thing just a bit but they still have free roam to do just about whatever they want. I don't see it as abandoning the roots so much as embracing them. Here's a show for gamers by gamers being produced by people who get gamers and it's delivered straight to where the intended audience is. Plus, it's still free and it's part of a service that's at the forefront of the new media distribution movement. The show's still working to do it's part and it's still of very high quality.
Sometimes you just can't win. The show is free and it goes out to everyone, including internationally. It's so obviously important to Felicia that that is the case. Waiting for one week for just the first episode is something I'm perfectly willing to do. Remember when it was a month or more between episodes? A week's easy.
It's like the opposite-world version of Dr. Horrible airing on Hulu for free for a few days before being commercially available via iTunes (and eventually being available for 'ad-driven-free' on Hulu again thereafter.

I'm all about new media experimenting with distribution models, and insofar as Felicia Day is concerned - more power to her.

But as a huge fan who is - for now, temporarily disenfranchised - I'm feeling a bit whiney and can't help but moan and groan for a few days. Which I suppose is the point. If my xBox weren't presently red-ringing deathness (again,) I'd upgrade to Gold for the pleasure of instant gratification. Which is what MS is going for - the perception or reality that Gold is worth the premium monthly tariff.
I'm with peacemonger on this one. Wish they had a secondary paid option so that it wasn't an exclusive to those with some form of vendor lock-in. Then again, I'd prefer it be a paid subscription to Amazon Video on Demand which I would happily pay for season-pass-wise. But its Felicia's biz, I'm sure she knows what she's doing... I just don't like to wait.
It's great advertising for The Guild and it's always being featured in some of the spotlight sections on Xbox Live. They seem to really love Felicia and I'm happy she & her show are getting all this exposure.

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