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Sunday, July 29, 2007

38 Studios Enumerates Their Vision

Over at Ten Ton Hammer, they have a set of videos from the guys over at 38 Studios. I'd encourage you to head over and have a look.

There are a few things that struck me about the videos and the "Vision."

First of all, this vision is a lot different than the infamous Sigil "Vision (tm)." These guys remind me a lot of some of my friends that have been professional athletes. Supremely confident, focusing on the positive, and focused as hell.

This attitude, which is very evident in the videos, is indicative of one or many of these things.

1. Incredible hubris. These guys haven't done anything in the gaming industry, other than Brett Close, and he doesn't have any hands-on MMO credentials. Now, their rank-and-file development team is shaping up to have a lot of experience, but the leads don't.

2. Confidence in their ideas. I can see why this is, as they have ALL been incredibly successful in their chosen fields. Curt Schilling has had an amazing MLB career, R.A. Salvatore has been one of the most visible and read fantasy authors of our generation, and Todd McFarlane has made an empire of comics, figures, and custom illustration. Even though I am not personally a big comic reader I have been aware of Todd's work for some time. I've been collecting his Dragons figures for a while now. It's easy to see why they are confident that they can contribute to a really amazing new IP.

3. Confidence in their ability to execute their plan. Lots of other have been down this road. It remains to be seen if this part of their plan can be pulled off. A lot of people with more industry experience have churned out mediocre projects, or even projects that never got shipped. I think there are a lot of land mines on this road. I like their chances based on the collectives' refusal to accept anything but the best. I think this may possibly be the tie-breaker in their ability to do this, although it's SO easy to find yourself 3 years down the road and over budget and behind schedule.

I'd be interested to hear when you readers think about this. What do you like about 38's team? Their chances to do what they are saying they are going to do? Are they going to achieve "World Domination Through Gaming?"

Head over to TTH and see the videos. It's our first real taste of what these guys have in store.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

SOE Continues to Not Get It

So this is probably just a minor thing, but I wanted to share with you all why I want to continue to distance myself from SOE and it's products.

The links on VGPlayers to my forums have been broken for months. I had requested quite a while ago that they get fixed, and they didn't. It's understandable, as Sigil was in the process of imploding. Today, when Michelle Butler, the "community manager" for SOE/Sigil had requested on the fansite forum that we update our links, I again requested that the links get repaired. Here is the reply;

"I am told the links are difficult to modify and so they are staying like they are."

OK

1. If this is so, why did you ask us to check them?
2. What's so fucking hard about updating a link in your Dreamweaver page?

This is just another example of how SOE keeps it's "community" at arm's length, and has done NOTHING to repair the rift that was created by their dismissive dismissal (yes, I did that on purpose) of the Affiliate Program at the time of their takeover. There has been no communication from SOE to us other than requests for us to do tasks for them. No offers of help, no offers of support, no offers of content or anything of the like.

That's all fine. They aren't beholden to us. They are missing an opportunity for the community to help them repair their damaged reputation, and instead once again they go the opposite way.

We've all spent lots of time supporting their lousy game, and they can't even be bothered to fix a link page.

This is why SOE will never be World Class.