Rumours of a comeback

I used to have a team on Hattrick, from the beginning of 2005. Last summer, I lost the team.

I cannot say it was by accident, lots of things were starting to be a drag, it just wasn’t fun anymore. Quite on the contrary even, more and more stuff were becoming a nuisance and I had to urge myself to log in week after week. In the end, I just stopped logging in, during 7 weeks, and on the 3th of September, I got the mail: my account had been removed due to inactivity. I could ask for a new team, if I wanted to. No, I didn’t want to.

Things like collecting flags, keeping up a competitive team, making sure the youngsters were getting the correct training scheme to have that one star, …, all of those were becoming really hard to do. But I knew that would happen, my team had been existing for about 7 years, 22 seasons, my flag collections were almost complete, only lacking the hard to get flags, my team was good for 6th division Belgium, but just not good enough to win in 5th division and by far not enough for 4th division and I had no real plan anymore. I was also generally displeased with the way things were going inside Hattrick. Alltid had died soon before, not the first time that HT’s took something over and ended up killing it. CHPP was finally opened up again, but the change of login procedure ended finishing off a lot of working and perfectly good CHPP tools. Flag chasing was becoming ridiculous. For example, lots of managers were complaining because of that one deal that ended up going wrong, while my feeling was trading was inherently dangerous business that was supposed to go bad from time to time. Another example: new managers in small countries immediately asking for a one year subscription to HT-supporter in order to arrange a few matches! Nothing was done to stop this. In the federation I was running, once the most fun, it was also becoming really hard to get prizes for the organisations we were running, while there were a lot of traders around that could easily give a flag away. And finally, the economy was no longer what it used to be, even with the changes HT’s made from time to time to get it back on track. In general, it felt like Hattrick was going down the drain and I didn’t want to be part of it anymore.

Last 19th of March, I got a re-invitation mail. Rumours of a comeback was the title. The mail was talking about major changes to Hattrick and to Hattrick Supporter. Really? Let’s have a look! I didn’t see much changes in Hattrick, but maybe you needed a team to see them :P, but they were right about Hattrick Supporter, it had changed a lot. The main change was that Supporter was now available in 3 different packages, a very basic one (Silver), a more complete one, that replaced the current Supporter (Gold) and then a complete one (Platina) and it was there that some changes were (to say the least) unexpected: unlimited Federation slots (before limited to 7), unlimited support to other teams (before limited to 8), access to Stage (the test environment where new changes are tested and/or released first, before that access was limited to CHPP developers, (ex-) volunteers, like GM’s, Mod’s and LA’s) and last but not least, a second team, that you could even get in a foreign country! All very promising, but it was the last one that did it. Finally, something I had always wanted, a team in a foreign country! So I did it, a new team was born. This time, with the knowledge already gathered last time, things were going to be different, at least at the start. The second team was for May anyway, so that gave me some time to get used to it again.

By the way, I’m still sure that Hattrick is dying. There used to be near to 1 million users in 2009, the last 3 years, it is steadily dropping, now we’re just over 500k, I predict it will drop below that magic marker by the end of the year. Lots of managers are no longer HT-supporter, the main income for Hattrick. To me, it’s not a question of “if”, it’s a question of “when”. But I won’t let that bother me anymore, like I won’t let other things bother me anymore, I will be playing Hattrick for myself from now on and I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. Who knows, maybe this time I will outlive Hattrick :)

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