As you may or may not know, it has been decided by the TMX crew that the Original and Sunrise Exchange will be closed. For those of you who are or have been active at any of these two, this is sad news indeed. This post is dedicated to the memory of the two, as well as a newsflash to bring you all up to date.
Years ago, no one ever dreamed there would be four different versions of the TrackMania Exchange – Original, Sunrise, Nations and United. The progress shows clearly, the improvements are vast, and the history is long. It has been a long and epic journey from Original to United.
The results are what we see today, in the United Exchange. United, the game that brings the three previous games together, and gathers fans and community members from all the previous games into one common area. Original is where it all started, Sunrise was a new experience for Original veterans as well as new players, and Nations recruited plenty of new blood into the community. And now, years after it all began, all of these players can finally come together in one place.
It is clear that the Original Exchange will be closed shortly, and whiles the Sunrise Exchange will survive for a while longer, it too will see the end in the near future.
But why is this happening? According to MrA, currently the top guy at the Exchange community, the Exchange community has exceeded its size limit. The activity at the Original and Sunrise Exchange is currently so low there is no point in keeping them. “We are spending an additional $35 a month while we have all the sites open, so we don’t want to be spending donator’s money on something which is now getting very little use,” says MrA. Additionally, the TMX crew currently focus entirely on United, so there is no one to moderate or update the Original or Sunrise Exchange.
As for the Nations Exchange, things are looking better. MrA does not want to rule out the possibility of the Nations Exchange being closed as well, but as the facts currently remain, the Nations Exchange is more active than the United Exchange. “We see the Nations Exchange as a gateway to TrackMania,” says MrA.
As most of you know, TrackMania United have not yet been released in stores in most parts of the world, and won’t be until February 2007. To top it all, Nations is a completely free game. It is currently hard to tell how the player activity will be divided between Nations and United in the future. Most likely, the TM veterans who have not already bought TMU in stores or online will do so once the world wide release of the game is completed. However, since Nations does not cost, it is also likely that activity will remain steady even at the Nations Exchange. On the current balance of activity between the Nations and United Exchange, MrA comments “In terms of paying the bills, maybe the Nations Exchange players are actually allowing the TMU Exchange to exist.”
Both MrA and the rest of the TMX crew are aware that closing the Original and Sunrise Exchange might not be too popular among the veteran players, but in the words of MrA, there is no point in keeping old stuff simply because it exists. “I think the closing of the original exchange is a good thing as it’s a dinosaur that’s taking up donations,” says Giler from the TMX crew. “The faster the better,” he adds.
In conclusion, it is time to let go on the Original and Sunrise Exchange. Old stuff can’t be kept up and running simply because it exists, and since it’s not free to run four Exchange sites, it would be better to spend the money on the active sites only.
MrA and the TMX crew advice all members of the Original and Sunrise Exchange to get whatever tracks they want, because soon there won’t be any tracks left.
We thank the Original and Sunrise Exchange for being borne, since without them the Exchange community would not be where it is today. However, it is time we all let go and move on, and start looking into the future, at United, and whatever the future might hold for the TrackMania series.
United is the Exchange of today, Nations is a gateway into the world of TrackMania and Sunrise has helped shape the TrackMania series into what it is today, but it is with the first game, Original, that it all began…