A couple of days before Christmas 2009, NDOORS Interactive launched an event called Acong’s Stocking Stuffer in its hit massively multiplayer online role-playing game Atlantica Online. The event is actually a year-end sale for the game’s item mall or cash shop wherein players are encouraged to purchase items at a discount.
Behind the marketing scheme, however, lies a noble motive: the company wanted to donate five percent of its proceeds from the event to Child’s Play, an organization that has been working closely within the gaming culture and industry to bring millions of dollars in toys, games, books, and money for sick children in hospitals across America.
Alas, the charity event was ruined by some ill-meaning Atlantica Online players. For those who missed the official announcement of Child’s Play’s withdrawal from the fund-raising event, here’s a copy of NDOOR’s open letter to the Atlantica Online community:
As you may or may not know, we created a special edition, limited random box that contains some of the rarest items in the item mall and game. We priced this item at 3,999 Gcoins (almost USD 40) because of its innate value and potential to offers some of the rarest items in the game. At the same time, because of the holiday season and the spirit of giving, we thought it would be nice to donate a portion of the proceeds from the box to a charity that we here value greatly (some of us have personally been donating to this charity for years). We decided to give 5% of gross revenue generated from this box to this charity in the hopes that it would bring a little more joy in the hearts of the charity’s cause.
However, we are saddened to inform you that due to some negative player complaints, Child’s Play has regrettably asked to be withdrawn from our efforts to raise money for their cause. We were informed that Child’s Play received negative emails from Atlantica Online players around the nature of the donation and the box, causing them to request removal from our fund-raising efforts.
It is incredibly unfortunate that we are unable to give the donation amount that you, our players, raised for this charity due to the negativity of certain players around the nature of the donation and an optional, opt-in purchase. While we recognize that not all of our players were negative towards the donation and/or box, it is regrettable that the actions of a few have prevented our players, as a whole, from donating to this cause (we say “as a whole” because our players can still donate directly, and we encourage you to do so).
In accordance with Child’s Play’s request, we will be taking down all descriptions, logos, and links from our announcements and website. We will continue our fund-raising efforts, and will actively look for other charitable causes. As we progress in our efforts to find a different cause and charity, we will be sure to provide visibility to you, our players. In the meantime, we ask that our players refrain from letting negativity hamper efforts to give to those in need during this holiday season.
Sigh. Some players accuse NDOORS of being greedy, but their actions, the one that resulted in the withdrawal of Child’s Play from the fund-raising drive, far outweigh whatever suspicions players lay on the online games publisher.
I feel for NDOORS and its executives. It’s not every day that a good deed gets tarnished by unscrupulous people. It’s even rarer considering it is Christmas, supposedly a time of giving.
These players who ruined Christmas for the wards of Child’s Play should come out in the open and own up to their actions. That way, they will learn that the spirit of Christmas does live on in the hearts of most people when they are forgiven for their trespass.