Myst Fandom: Food For Thought

Talk about The Starry Expanse Project (aka realRIVEN), Myst, Riven, or anything related.
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Myst Fandom: Food For Thought

Post by Yali » ... rttwo.html

Just found this. Look at the stats! :shock: :o

Here is a transcript of what Gordon Currie wrote at the closing of


The Future of

A Message from the Webmaster - June 1st, 2001

As many fans have been aware, this past 6 months at RivenGuild have been tough from a financial perspective. With much regret, I have been placed in a position whereby I have had to shutdown We are in discussions with a couple different companies and on one final round of negotiations with UBI SOFT. At this time, we don’t have an agreement in place and thus, you are seeing this webpage.

Please read the notes below for more background and details. I am also including a FAQ to deal with common questions that you may have.

Background started over 7 years ago when Doug McBride and I decided to create a “super” fan community for Myst and Riven. This site quickly grew to cover realMYST, Myst III: Exile, MUDPIE and other versions of MYST. When we started, we wanted to always increase what we offered fans. The web site traffic grew and pretty soon we were getting hundreds if not thousands of visitors. A couple of years ago, Doug McBride moved to Spokane and began work at CYAN Inc. This was an exciting time for us both. Doug’s incredible talents went to good use at CYAN and we hope to hear more from them soon.

With the growth in the past few years, we found that costs got much higher. Here is a quick overview of just how much traffic we get and some stats:

Over 55,000 Myst fans come to RivenGuild weekly.

Daily traffic varies from 7,000 – 9,000 daily visitors. We have hit surges of over 15,000 since May 7th when Myst III: Exile was launched.

We have over 9,000 registered newsletter subscribers; over 3500 registered webboard members and these numbers are growing about 100-200 per week.

We are the largest ( traffic wise ) Myst fan site and have always pointed our site to other Myst fan communities around the globe. We never held the monopoly but rather encouraged fan site around the globe. We have fans from over 55 countries.
So why are we closing?

The number one reason we are closing is finances. It has become very expensive to pay for in terms of bandwidth and operating costs. We are easily capable of eating through 135 GB of network traffic every 3-4 days. Previous attempts at setting up banner ad sales and sponsorships have failed, as the banner ad revenue never adds up to enough to cover costs. The change in how banner ad revenue is calculated has hurt us ( impressions vs click thru models).

Over the past year I have received some funding from UBI SOFT to stay afloat but this funding has run out and they made a recent decision to not continue supporting beyond this June.

I have received some funding in past years from CYAN Inc. and many offers from Presto Studios. The fact remains: the game developer ( CYAN or Presto Studios ) do not have marketing budgets or funds to support outside sites. Any funding that is available would normally come from a marketing budget associated with a game publisher.

On June 1st, 2001, my work as Webmaster at and ended. UBI SOFT made a decision to handle the websites and webmastering internally within the company. I did enter into negotiations with them to provide Webmaster / community manager services but were unsuccessful in negotiating an agreement with them. I will state publicly that I am very disappointed that I am not in a position to continue working in the same capacity as in the past with

I spent many hours each day personally answering emails to fans around the globe. When it came time to assist in the tech support issues for the Myst III: Exile product, I worked hard to provide the best links and information as I could.

I don’t wish to get into any details as to why I am no longer working on the website or project. Lately, it’s been a frustrating, disappointing experience.

Special Thanks

I want to take a minute and thank all the folks at CYAN Inc and Presto Studios who have supported me over the years. Working on the recent realMYST and Myst III: Exile projects have been a dream job for me. And based on the traffic of both sites, I can honestly admit they seemed to work as the fans enjoyed the work my team did.

Thanks also to my original partner, Doug McBride. His support and help made working on RivenGuild alot of fun. His friendship is something I still value a great deal!

Jim Stephenson at the Unofficial Riven Homepage has always helped me out and was a travel companion when we flew south to Presto Studios last year. A great guy who has always worked very hard for the Myst Franchise and fans.

In the past 12 months, I worked very closely with Dan Irish and Daniel Achterman at Mattel / TLC / Games Studios. They have been great to work with and have ALWAYS supported me at RivenGuild. I also want to personally thank Susan Weyer, Greg Uhler and Michel Kripalani at Presto Studios. Their support ( along with their team in San Diego ) and encouragement has helped me in more ways than one.

Lessons Learned…..

A recent article at Adrenalin Vault really hit home with me. It talks about costs and the role the game publisher plays within the fan community. It brought to light that fan communities provide a great service to the gaming industry but in most cases, the costs are born by the fans. Products are created with the intention of making a profit for the publisher. All marketing efforts are focused on branding, selling product and making a profit. But some game publishers need to be reminded that the fans are the reason product sells. I honestly don’t think anyone can ever forget the fans…..we make the product a winner when we shell out our own money to experience what the game developers like CYAN and Presto Studios have created.

Where To Now?

This is a tough question to answer really. I hope to continue my friendships with fans around the globe. Without work on or I don’t have much going on design wise with the current publisher / developer. I don’t have any information I can release on Myst 4 at this time and the project CYAN is working on ( MUDPIE / PARABLE ) is still a couple years away.

During the past weeks I mentioned to fans around the globe that I was returning to my roots. I was going underground. Returning to the great city. Well, without giving too much away, I plan to bring the GRID back online soon. I plan to go back to being a fan of what I consider to be the best series of computer games anywhere. Announcements will follow soon and I will be sure and keep in touch with everyone. This underground movement can be reached when I make FutureContact.

In closing, my biggest thanks go to all of you. THE FANS! The people who care and the hundreds if not thousands of fans that have become my closest friends. Although RivenGuild may close, our friendships never die. If anything, they grow stronger.

Many thanks again

Gordon Currie

Webmaster of
“ex-webmaster” of realMYST,


Can you guys bring us back to this golden age? :shock: Please? With a TV show coming, Obduction nearing completion and realRiven turning heads, there's a chance the post-Uru dark ages might end soon. Here's to hoping.


Being a Myst fan in 2014 kinda sucks. Our fortunes might change soon though by the looks of it. ;)
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