By Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman
In our world of mammoth hosting sites, WarZone is certainly among the top. Lately itís been branching out into a new area, that of software development. Itís also all run by one man, Nick "Trixter" Fisher. Pretty neat, eh? We here at loonygames decided to see exactly what kind of person can handle all that.
Name/rank/serial number? Nick Fisher, I am the CEO of the company in question, and have always been so.
Is the company in question WarZone? Well, there are actually 3 companies that most people do not realize are separate companies, EnterNET International is the web hosting company (such as WarZone.com) EGN is, well, EGN, and BrainScan is the software company behind EGN.
How old are you, to be CEO of 3 companies...wow Well, I am 28 now, and yes, I have been very fortunate.
Which one came first? :) Funny you should ask that. BrainScan did, way way back in the days of BBS's, it was a large gaming BBS...that grew to a full ISP.
I think you're probably best known for WarZone...how long has it been around? Well, WarZone has been around since December of 97.
I'm trying to remember the gaming community back then...the spurt of hosting sites. Did you jump on the bandwagon, or were you there first? :) That is an argument that could go on forever, however, I was certainly not first. I was working with the Stomped guys as they are local to me here, and then left Stomped to do my own thing, which has worked out well. But stomped.com was really my inspiration for where the gaming websites under WarZone are today.
I'm not entirely sure how to ask, so...I guess I'll just come out with it. You host PornQuake, which has gotten a lot of well, publicity lately. What's your opinion on what they're doing? Well, officially I can't even tell you I was part of the decision to host them, someone below me in the "food chain" made the decision, and with that said, my official opinion of them is that everyone deserves a chance.... But personally, I find it highly offensive, and there have been many questions of whether to continue hosting them or not. The thing that makes it so tough, is they really are good guys, just having a good time...although some of us might question their sense of entertainment ;)
Do you have some sort of veto power over which websites go under WarZone? Oh sure, I have complete control. But as the business portion of what we do became more then a full time job, I had to pass the ball on a lot of things that I just no longer have time to handle...hosting being one of those.
What is EGN? EGN is what we call a communications package for the Internet.
...for people who don't know, what does that mean? Sorry about that...heh. Well EGN is much more then just something for gamers, and we intend to establish that very soon. Granted right now it is heavily gaming emphasized, but that will change with time. EGN allows people to see at a glance who is online (that they have on their list) and exactly what they are doing with the same glance. Whether that is playing a game of Half-Life or TRIBES. They can see and join with the click of a button.
We've talked about EGN a little in our mailbag lately...why do you think it is that many people prefer using 2 programs (ICQ and GameSpy), to do what one program (EGN) can do? Well I think that answer is simple. Features. We are missing many key features that people are looking for in each of those 2 programs, but once again, we are addressing those issues. Most people do not realize that EGN is really only 6 months of work so far, and with another 6 months I am hoping people will find the decision to switch much easier.
Only 6 months? Do you have dedicated programmers working on it, or is it a 'part time' type thing?:) We have a full time staff of many programmers of various programming levels. I have 2 guys that are extremely talented guys that lead up the implementation of design, and coordinate things for me. But EGN is a complete and fully sustained corporation, with accountants, a law firm, everything a business needs.
Is EGN going to require registration, or some sort of payment to sustain the corporation? No, for the people that never want to pay a cent for EGN, all you will have to do is see the ads in the interfaces. EGN will never nag you to register, remind you that you are not registered, or even once suggest you register. If people want to, they will. EGN will be 100% completely free, and we have set up a model to ensure our success in this manner.
I don't know how the images came about, but there's certainly an impression of GameSpy/PlanetQuake being a business side of things, while WarZone/EGN is a fan based side. How do you feel about that? Well, being called a fan based program is not all that bad. That is really how we consider ourselves. We are not in it for strictly money (and there is no hidden meaning in that), but everyone must realize that running a corporation with employees, equipment, servers, office space...etc costs money. The ad space covers those needs.
As for not being a business type, that also is not true. We are incorporated, copyrighted, patented, and keep very accurate books through a large accounting firm. We just choose to not speak of it. :)
You've been watching the community for a LONG time..do you think this is the way gaming web sites are going? In terms of EGN or WarZone?
WarZone/EGN (well, I guess I'm stuck in seeing the two as a single entity...my bad) What do you think :) Well, it would be incredibly egotistical for me to pronounce that I know where the gaming industry/community is going.
Ok, with that said, my humble opinion is that the public likes to play their games for free, heck so do I. That leaves you with a few choices to make revenue to cover expenses, and we chose the route that we feel is best. EGN should assert its self more along these lines very soon, we are working on some new features that I am very confident people will love.
You recently had the WarZone awards' on your site. Were those a result of a staff vote, or you, or... Those were a result of feedback throughout the year, staff, and our Editor in Chief William Abner.
It seems rumors are always flying around about someone, this time they're about WarZone. Do you want to answer the rumors that WarZone is for sale? Ahhhhh. Man, it amazes me that these things get out. But sure I will answer.
There have been all of a sudden many (and very generous I might add) offers coming in. And when you talk about the amount of money some of them are for, it is difficult to not consider them. I have some goals in mind that I really want to do, and the difficult part is financing of course. Now, after saying that.... I love what I do, and I make a nice living at it. So I am not going to "sell out" to turn a quick buck, or let someone come in and change things around and get away from what has made us successful. I will ensure WarZone would survive. In fact, I can tell you the only offers I am currently considering are ones that keep me at the helm running things, but as a full time employee as opposed to the owner.
What are your favorite games? It is funny how what started this all out is exactly what I do not do anymore, and that is play games.
But, when I do get the time, I play Half-Life a lot, and I am really impressed with EverQuest. And I gotta tell you, I am beta-testing a new game called Infantry, itís made by the guys at www.harmlessgames.com, that game is going to be hot.
What are your favorite websites? That is an easy answer. I am a big fan of VoodooExtreme. Billy does and says what the rest of us just don't have the courage to say. And I highly respect that. Heck, not only does he say it, he gets away with it :) That is why I went out and made the deal to get him over to WarZone...hehe.
- Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman is an associate editor for loonygames.
Credits: Community Profile logo illustrated by and is © 1999 Dan Zalkus. Community Profile is © 1999 Stephanie Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is just a bad idea. We have lawyers.