The Syndicate Turns 19 Years Old!
There are over 100,000,000 people who play online games. They make guilds. They join guilds. The see guilds implode. They quit guilds. And almost all of them want what The Syndicate has. As gamers, we mostly all want a stable group of friends we can count on year after year. We want a community without drama where you won't get backstabbed and you won't get yelled at and where you can make as big of a positive impact as you want to make simply by investing yourself into the team. Unfortunately, nearly all gamers will not achieve that success. There are definitely some great examples of solid communities out there but far far more common are the implosions, the drama and the infighting horror stories. Those don't exist in The Syndicate.

Back when we first were formed, there were almost no guilds around. Then UO came along and 200 or so guilds rose and fell each day. EQ came along and 1,000 or so guilds rose and fell each day. WOW came along and 10,000+ guilds rose and fell each day. And things have just exploded since then with dozens of MMOs and tens of thousands of guilds made and tens of thousands of guilds failing every single day. Even if you just take an average of 10,000 guilds rising and falling each day (and that is a low average), then over 70,000,000 guilds have come and gone in the time that we have been a guild. That is almost enough guilds for there to be 1 for every single gamer.

Many of those guilds seek to replicate the 'secret sauce' that makes The Syndicate what it is... but unfortunately, it cannot be easily replicated. Finding the right people... building the right structure... weathering the storms the right way... and constantly seeking to invest in ourselves to become better and stronger... over almost 7,000 days is a really hard thing to do. It is soooooo easy to jump guilds. It is soooooo easy to just get mad about pixels on a screen and toss away everything you have worked for. It is easy to quit and give up. It is incredibly hard to succeed. And that is why 70 million guilds have failed but we are here today celebrating your 19th anniversary.

The Syndicate is successful because of its people. They are what make us great. A huge number of people have tried to join The Syndicate but we only take the best. We only take those that share in the values that make us great. We only accept those who are willing to invest themselves into the team. We receive about 4,000 applications each year. That means more than 76,000 people wanted a spot in the guild. Those that we picked shared a common series of traits... they exhibited the right character, values, play style, friend focus that make The Syndicate a success.

Here are a few other interesting facts that give you a good indication of the massive size of the apparatus needed to keep those friendships forming... to create the opportunities for us to build those shared experiences...

* Almost 3.5 MILLION emails have come in (or gone out) from the central guild management inboxes.
* Together, Syndicate members have invested over 23,000 man-years into the online gaming universe.
* Over 500 Syndicate members have met each other in real life, mostly through our SyndCon events.
* They have posted over 320,000 messages to our current set of forums and those forums only go back for a portion of our existence.

We could also talk about the consulting and testing that we do... the fact that we own the Guinness World Record for the longest, continuously operating online gaming community... that we have even made a business out of some aspects of gaming.. have corporate sponsors.. giant charity raffles etc... Those things are all awesome and wonderful but if they all stopped tomorrow, The Syndicate would still be THE most successful guild in the history of online gaming... and our friendships and fun times would still be happening every single day. All of those other things are just icing on a very big cake.

As we embark upon our 20th year as a guild, we look back on a huge number of successes... some failures and challenges that we had to overcome.. and we look ahead to some really exciting adventures together and the chance to grow our friendships and our community even stronger. LLTS!

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