The Syndicate Turns 21 Years Old!

Internally we shared a message with the team. that message went like this...

As with each anniversary, this is a chance for me to share some thoughts with all of you about your achievement. I like to find a new way, each year, to discuss these milestones because, frankly, it is too easy to take them for granted. Humans do that very quickly and without even realizing it. But stop for a second and think about what you have here.

You are in a group of hundreds of other people.
Yet, there is almost no drama. Almost no turnover.
So, its the same people (plus new friends we add over the course of the year) every year.
That means you can build actual friendships.
You can get help from people that actually care about you.
You can invest yourself into something and not have that investment wasted.

That is something pretty special. In fact its almost unique in the online gaming world. Its almost unique in the 'real' world.

How so? The reality is that 99.99999% of all guilds will cease to exist LONG before 21 years. Most do not last 6 months. A rare few make it a year. Almost none make it to 5 years. You are at 21 years and the holder of the Guinness World Record for the Longest, Continuously Operating Online Gaming Community.

If you had joined any other guild... you would have dealt with drama... in-fighting... changing leadership... members that come and go all the time... and eventually, you would be looking for a new guild... and then another... and then another.

So while 21 is a cool number, this milestone is more than that. It represents YOUR choice to make us into what we are. Choice is the key word for this year. You CHOOSE to be a member. You CHOOSE to make friends. You CHOOSE to be a little bit vulnerable and take the risk to open up about yourself in the hopes you will be welcomed and made part of the team. You CHOOSE to stay with the team. You CHOOSE to help your guildmates and to create those shared experiences.

But... you don't have to do that. There are, quite literally, tens of thousands of other guild options out there at any given time. And despite me just telling you all those wonderful things about us and how unique we are, many of those other choices have a shiny exterior when you look at them. They have a fancy website. They have a compelling narrative. They kill bosses in game. They do raids and hunts. So at first glance, it appears like there could be lots of comparable choices out there. That is not true, as those who have been around gaming awhile have come to learn, but it appears that way at first glance.

And, moving guilds is super easy. It is far far easier than change in the real world. If you want to change jobs, you have to find a new job and interview for it and plan your move so you can survive without a paycheck for a few weeks. If you want to move locations you have to find a new place to live and pack everything up and then unpack it again. Its a giant pain in the rear. Change, in the real world, is alot more challenging and that usually causes us to stop and think before we act.

In the online world change is super easy. You literally click a button to leave a game or delete a toon or quit a guild. And you click a button to join a new game or build a new toon or join a new guild. There are people literally spamming unguilded toons with invites to join them so finding a new guild is so easy you don't even have to go looking.

Yet, all of you CHOOSE to be here. You CHOOSE to support our vision of a team of friends. You CHOOSE to make that vision a reality. You CHOOSE to make us THE best online gaming community in the history of gaming.

So as we sit here at our 21st anniversary and pat each other on the back, know that this didn't just happen. It wasn't an accident. It wasn't luck. It was a CHOICE. Each of you chose to make this a reality. You chose to do your part. You chose to be a lifelong Syndicate member. You chose to make us what we are.

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