ROBOBLOG III Archives

3.31.2006

Keep this in mind ...


Well, it's nearly April, which means it's nearly my birthday again -- but that's not why I'm writing now. No, I'm writing because of an even nearer date than April 3 -- indeed, a very dangerous date for we ROBOTECH fans: April 1.

The folks at Robotech.com, on a typical April 1, will post up some outrageous and silly news story in celebration of April Fool's Day. Some years, like the year where on March 31 -- not April 1 (I think April 1 was Easter that year) -- they posted up a phony preorder for a Robotech 3000 box set, they post up honest yet remote possibilities, ticking off some people, who still hold small grudges, royally. With Shadow Chronicles looming so soon, I hope that's not the avenue they take. Usually, however, they post up a story that's obviously ridiculous, like the time they claimed they'd fired their internet staff and replaced them all with a supercomputer. Either way, my point is, take any news story that appears at Robotech.com this weekend with a grain of salt.

You know what would be funny? It would be hilarious if they posted the real, honest-to-god release date for Shadow Chronicles this weekend, then had to spend the next week assuring everyone that, yes, that's actually the real date. That would be golden.

14 Comments:

  • Yeah, that's what worries me too . . . posting a legit announcement as to the release date of TSC anywhere near April 1st is a bad idea.

    And even worse, would be to post a fake announcement.

    Robotech fans are in a sour mood, and to trifle with them like that would be an enormous mistake. Many are still pissed off with last year's joke, about RT.com shutting down.

    But HG has proven they have no sense of good taste, many times over. (e.g. Announcing Charles Duckworth has been replaced as Marcus, on Christmas Day of all days.)

    By Anonymous redrain85, at 31 March, 2006 12:16  

  • A joke's a joke. I'm amazed some still hold -- let alone hold to begin with -- "grudges" against HG concerning these April 1st gags. My fellow fans have to remember: RT is just a cartoon. RT:TSC will eventually come out. Life goes on. About this year: A gag that isn't really a gag would be great -- especially if it has to do with TSC. :D Talk about getting people into a tizzy! The fallout would definitely be fun to observe. :) (Sometimes watching a prank go down is as fun as executing it. And if you're the "victim"? As long as it doesn't hurt you and you have a sense of humor, it can be fun too... then you start planning your payback. >:) )

    By Blogger EhC, at 31 March, 2006 13:15  

  • I really hope then son't so such thing, they know we are getting angry by now, if they were to do something like that it will like their fan base.

    By Anonymous sdf1macross, at 31 March, 2006 13:15  

  • son't so???? what happened to me there??!!!, I hit the "s" instead of the "d", I meant "don't do ".

    By Anonymous sdf1macross, at 31 March, 2006 13:18  

  • Ok, I have to re-write it all because I don't know what happened, but my typo was horrible, here is what I wanted to say:
    I really hope they don't do such thing, they know we are getting angry by now, if they were to do something like that it will kill their fan base.

    By Anonymous sdf1macross, at 31 March, 2006 14:29  

  • Actually, Evan, the "some people" I was talking about was me, and I said it was a very small grudge. As I said, they pulled their damn stunt a day early that year, got a bunch of people's hopes up (or at least their curiosity), and then pulled the rug. When you're the only floodgate for information and you decide to pull your damn fool stunt on a day that ISN'T April Fool's Day, such a prank is what I call abuse of power. Go ahead, tell me I'm overreacting, tell me, oh, it's just a cartoon, Jon, tell me I'm a stinkin' party pooper, but the site's supposed to be a credible news source regarding their product, and RT.com's penchant for misleading statements -- remember the bit about changing servers over that they wrote like they were closing the site entirely? -- and annual crap like this really tarnishes them in my eyes. It's not been as bad since the Robotech 3000 stunt, and I hope that's because they realize that year they created the perfect storm, something relatively concievable posted on the wrong day ... I seem to remember either that year or the next they proceeded to rapid-fire off a series of more and more unlikely stories, casting the entire day's events into doubt, but in any case, it's just stupid. Pulling crap like this makes them no better than a goddamn teenager's fansite. Aren't these people supposed to be professionals? People doing stuff like this has made it so that nobody trusts anything posted onto the Internet on April 1, and let's take it one step further -- what if something honestly major happened on April 1, like someone related to the franchise died, and Robotech.com wanted to report on it. We'd all be laughing and going, "Oh, it's April 1, it's just a joke." And then the story doesn't go away. Wouldn't that just be swell?

    Goddamn, I hate April Fool's Day.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 31 March, 2006 14:32  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger EhC, at 31 March, 2006 15:14  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger EhC, at 31 March, 2006 15:26  

  • Don't worry Jon! I'm with you on that one... while the RT.com shutting down and other jokes were amusing, the RT 3000 one got me to, if you remember... In fact, I think we had a whole discussion on that one. I was so happy that I'd get to see Robotech 3000, even if was destined for craptitude.... I was going to be happy to see a new Robotech animation project of any sort...

    Ah well...

    Heh, for any D&D fans out there... Wizards of the Coast has an amusing page for their D&D Cover page... Made me smile today.

    By Anonymous Tolarin, at 31 March, 2006 20:16  

  • Pulling crap like this makes them no better than a goddamn teenager's fansite.

    You mean this one?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31 March, 2006 22:30  

  • "[Remember] the bit about changing servers over that they wrote like they were closing the site entirely?"

    My favorite of their jokes, actually. It was all in how you read it; pretty clever. A number of us saw right through it, but for those who didn't -- it was an interesting couple of days to behold on the forums. ; ) And the RT:3000 prank was pretty transparent, don't you think? Good point about the death-in-the-family scenario though; something to think about.

    Btw: You're overreacting. It's just a cartoon, Jon. Don't be a party pooper. [ joking, of course; ya know I luv ya : ) ]

    By Blogger EhC, at 31 March, 2006 23:33  

  • I turn twenty-five on Monday, anonymous smartass. So no, not this one.


    I already said words to this effect to you on the phone, Evan (though not so eloquently), but for the benefit of the general public, I honestly didn't think the RT3K prank was so transparent. So little had leaked out regarding that project, so I don't think many had any clue how much had been produced before Netter Digital closed house. I remember reading in interviews that their previous show, Voltron 3D took practically no time at all to produce per episode due to the (rather fakey-looking) motion capture technology they were using to handle the character movements, so the thirteen episodes or so that would have filled up a Legacy Collection-style box set wouldn't have been such a tall order. At the same time, beyond Netter Digital's problems, my understanding is that the axe fell on RT3K due to feelings within and without that the series didn't really follow from or live up to the ROBOTECH legacy; I just figured, when the phony announcement of the DVD set was made, that Harmony Gold had just finally decided not to waste what they had in the can and see if they could make a little money on it. Heaven knows developing RT3K couldn't have been cheap -- wouldn't it make sense for them to want to make some of their money back?

    Though the remark about Rick Hunter's brain being in the robot did make me a trifle suspicious, I will admit.

    On the other hand, yeah, I know when I read the server thing I saw right through it, but reading a bit of the doom-n-gloom remarks I just slapped my forehead and decided to sit that nonsense out. I believe my thought at the time was, "How irresponsible of them."

    Of course, in the words of my dear mother, "Oh, Jonathan, you're no fun."

    Yeah, I know ...

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 01 April, 2006 01:51  

  • From a marketing point of view, saying that Robotech.com was probably the stupidest thing they could have done.

    To the casual visitor of the site, it said that Robotech.com was going away, implying that the franchise itself was going away. And seeing as how they've yet to actually produce any new product, that's actually pretty believable.

    I've seen people work on a product for so long, being exposed to it day after day, they forget how the general population views it. Because it consumes their world, they'll assume it does so for everyone else.

    So by saying "we're going away" comes across as a total joke for them, it can come across as totally serious for everyone else.

    Seriously, if I were in an upper-brass position at HG, I would have been asking for some resignation papers first thing Monday morning.

    By Blogger Darkwater, at 01 April, 2006 12:37  

  • Excellent point, Darkwater. There's an old bit of comic book conventional wisdom that goes, "Every issue could be somebody's first." By the same token, it's always possible any day of the year that someone might walk over to their computer, think, "Hmm, didn't I used to watch some cartoon called Robotech? I wonder if there's a Robotech.com ..." We know Harmony Gold knows this -- that's why there's a little "New to Robotech?" bar across the top of the main page.

    That was kind of the side effect of keeping the novels in print, continuing to have comics published, keeping new RPG books coming out, etc. -- it gave the impression of Robotech still being a going concern. Today things are different: the 1980's nostalgia wave in 2002 briefly resurrected a lot of inert properties from the 1980's, series that still aren't coming back for real anytime soon, and DVD releases ... well, it's like I've said hundreds of times to my friends, everything is going to wind up on DVD someday. These are not signs of life; if anything, these have become signs of trying to squeeze milk out of a dead cow. Those of us inside the bubble know that Robotech isn't a dead cow, but random guy off the street doesn't know that ...

    And considering how often on any given day I ask the question, "Um, what day is it?" I'm sure random guy off the street doesn't check his calendar either.

    Of course, all this seems moot because A) this is largely concerned with last year's business, and B) I don't see a prank at RT.com this year. (If Darkwater's not pulling one of his own at his site -- honestly, I think he is -- and that virus notification is really popping up for him, I'm still not gonna see it, seeing how I'm on a Mac.)

    But then, given history, who knows, they might decide today is too obvious and do it tomorrow.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 01 April, 2006 13:21  

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