I've already had a few questions about this. I didn't want to announce it before a few more things were complete but I want to avoid the alternative and having the community panic thinking the site was sold.
To dispel any fears of this, MMOG was not sold
... but it is no longer owned by Paul (NoeJeko). It is owned by Gavist Media LLC. Paul (NoeJeko) owns Gavist Media.
Here's the tl;dr so you can stop reading if you don't really care:
I needed legal liability protection in case something goes wrong with our publisher affiliations. Something did go wrong with one, actually, and it could have been bad. I also need to protect myself financially so I don't have to pay thousands extra per year in taxes. tl;dr crowd can stop here, interested people can read on...
Q. What is Gavist Media?
From Gavist's "About Us
Q. What "legal protection" do you need?
Gavist Media, LLC is a Limited Liability company organized in the state of California on October 25, 2008. Gavist's mission is to popularize and promote MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) - focusing more specifically on Korean-developed MMORPGs brought to the global community by English/international publishers. Gavist provides the following services to MMORPG enthusiasts:
- A common community for interaction among gamers
- Promoting enjoyment of the "free-to-play" games by making content available to all users
- Working with game publishers and developers in providing a more enjoyable gaming experience
- Promotion of MMORPGs and their associated trade and fandom through an annual convention
Gavist Media, LLC seeks to attain its goals through the MMO community site, MyMMOGames.net, an annual MMORPG convention, and affiliation/partnership with game publishers and developers. MyMMOGames.net provides discussion forums, extensive wiki databases for games, member blogs, image galleries, and an online store for MMOG/game merchandise. MyMMOGames is a community run site staffed by volunteers. More information about MMOGCon will come as it exits the planning stage and enters the execution state.
This one is pretty simple. We deal with copyrighted information (game logos, character renders, etc.
). If the site is sued and a person owns it, the person is sued. If the site is sued and an LLC owns it, the LLC is sued and the person running it cannot be held personally liable.
Q. What "financial protection" do you need?
It would take much longer to explain the US tax system here than I have to write this post, so if you want more information on it read up on Google. In a nutshell, I am required by law to report any money anyone gives me as income and the government taxes me on it. If I report donations and ad revenue for this site alongside my personal income, I could potentially be liable for thousands extra per year in taxes.
As an LLC, the LLC (entity) is taxed separately from my personal income. This means it has no chance of hurting my personal cash flow.
Q. So because it's a company, do you plan to make money off the site?
You betcha. Why? The more money this site makes, the more things we can offer the community. At our current growth rate, we'll need to expand the webserver by about September 2009. This time, it won't be as simple as paying $200 extra a month and getting a more powerful machine. We're at our limit with single-server power. We'll be required to operate redundant webservers and dedicated backend database servers to handle the load. This will increase our monthly bill to somewhere around $1,500 per month
. So yes, we plan to make more money so we can spend more money on the community. This is also why I changed the donation policy and told everyone that donations, starting November 1, 2008, will go to any expense MMOG requires to operate.