Gary Schofield, aka 'Goldemort', has finally left Gaia Online. The inflationary, money-grubbing magnate is gone. We can start to breathe a long sigh of relief. It's over. Right?
Gaia's former CEO and infamous COO, Jason Loia, have permanently left Gaia Online. As of December 2016, these men were replaced by Gaia Online founders, Derek Liu (Lanzer) and Josh Gainsbrugh (L0cke).
So how much different is the Gaia that Lanzer envisions than the one Goldemort was in the driver's seat for?
Let's take a look back at some of the notable events that occured in the first months that Goldemort was Gaia Online's CEO:
- Terminated Several Staff Positions (9 Developers, 3 Writers) three months after starting .
- Started Working on 'Adult' Sister Site, Tentacl, six months after starting
- Started Historic Re-Releases (Angelic Halo for $999), six months after starting
- Flynn's Booty (Gold Generators) and Hyperinflation began eight months after starting
Here are some of the notable events that have occurred in the first six months of Lanzer's return as CEO:
- Gaia Favorites - Avatar Saving Feature Introduced one month after starting
- Many bugs fixed in Inventory Arranger one month after starting
- Monster Galaxy is restored two months after starting
- Deals Page introduced to help lower number of announcements three months after starting
- zOMG is restored a little more than four months after starting
- Hundreds of bugs fixed throughout the site in the first six months since starting
So is it really that straight forward? Did Goldemort ruin Gaia only so Lanzer could come fix it?
From a user's standpoint... yes. Outside of the small, new feature, Gaia Favorites, Lanzer has returned and really brought the website back to a modest version of what it looked like in 2012. Minus the developers, writers and artist it had before Goldemort took over.
I personally have mad respect for what lanzer's been able to accomplish in such a short period of time.
But for Gaia to succeed in 2017, can it really survive by existing as a shell of its former self?
The simple answer is: No.
In trying to monetize in a similar fashion to Goldemort, lanzer has introduced bonus cash sales. As of July 1st, 2017, the highest sale was GC with a 76% bonus. Buy 1000 GC for $10? Recieve 1,760 GC. These rapidly value-fluctuating 'get it while it lasts' sales are what Goldemort thrived on. Given the type of response lanzer has had toward what happened under Goldemort, there's an easy explanation for these sales.
Gaia needs money and the status quo is the easiest way to get it.
Does this mean Gaia will always be money-grubbing? Probably not.
Lanzer indicated in late December 2016 that it would be necessary for Gaia to remain on its current monetization model until it could reasonably transition to the next phase.
So now that we're in July 2017, the big question may be, not if, but when will we begin to se a shift in Gaia's model for monetization?
Based on what lanzer has done to 'Bring Gaia Back' in his first six months, it seems that users are generally optimistic about Gaia's future.
At Gaians United, we are certainly hoping for the best outcome, as soon as possible. And it's my personal opinion that lanzer crushes Goldemort in a side-by-side.