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Author Topic: The Short and Morbid Tale of Sigil Games Online  (Read 57364 times)
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on: May 14, 2007, 08:59:14 PM

The Short and Morbid Tale of Sigil Games Online

The axe finally fell. It was only a matter of time, I suppose. And while many of you may try to spin this to make SOE look bad, apparently this wasn't really their doing. You see, SOE doesn't own Sigil. It doesn't own Sigil now and they won't own them tomorrow. But they do own Vanguard. What fate awaits that game? I don't know. Don't particularly care either.

But I do know that at approximately 4:30PM today, Sigil employees were told to meet outside. At which point they were terminated. On the spot. By whom? Doesn't seem to have been Brad McQuaid, if it was, nobody is talking. But that doesn't seem like something he'd do. But I suppose the executioner is irrelevant since most folks secretly want it to be SOE and it wasn't. As it stands, people were told to come back tomorrow to do their paperwork and some may get hired by SOE.

I contacted SOE since I'm not in the business of burning bridges or spinning news and they had this to say:

"...an announcement is forthcoming tomorrow."

Update: There's some debate over this being ALL employees or just some of them. Obviously, it's not ALL of them - after all, someone had to do the firing. Let's just say that - from what I've heard - they don't have enough employees left to update a casual game... like Snood.
Lantyssa
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Reply #1 on: May 14, 2007, 09:38:07 PM



I cannot wait until tomorrow.

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
Merusk
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Reply #2 on: May 14, 2007, 10:10:37 PM

This thread (well, the article rather) has already been FOH'd.  'Ware.

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet within your power.
Margalis
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Reply #3 on: May 14, 2007, 10:14:51 PM

I cants hardly believes its!

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
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Reply #4 on: May 14, 2007, 10:16:50 PM

This thread (well, the article rather) has already been FOH'd.  'Ware.

Yea, by Cuppy Cake. Who I think is plugged into the internet like Neo.
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Reply #5 on: May 14, 2007, 10:23:22 PM

Said the man with 17k posts.  :-D

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet within your power.
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Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 11:14:15 PM

Who is Cuppycake?
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Reply #7 on: May 14, 2007, 11:53:16 PM

Who is Cuppycake?


I have an RSS feed in my mind.... =/

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Drogo
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Reply #8 on: May 15, 2007, 12:01:03 AM

Sucks for the employees at Sigil. I hope they all get hired somewhere soon.

On a side note, I wonder how long it will be before someone gives Brad a ton of cash to make another MMO? You know he will be back.
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Reply #9 on: May 15, 2007, 12:04:55 AM



On a side note, I wonder how long it will be before someone gives Brad a ton of cash to make another MMO? You know he will be back.

I don't see that happening for a long time....if ever.  Not a chance.

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Nebu
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Reply #10 on: May 15, 2007, 12:06:00 AM

On a side note, I wonder how long it will be before someone gives Brad a ton of cash to make another MMO? You know he will be back.

Let's see if any investors out there have ever heard of the term "box office poison".  

Looking back on an old thread, it looks like most of you saw this coming.  I do hope the best for all involved.  I'm sure a lot of long hours got poured into this disaster. 
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 12:10:59 AM by Nebu »

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Reply #11 on: May 15, 2007, 12:17:14 AM

On a side note, I wonder how long it will be before someone gives Brad a ton of cash to make another MMO? You know he will be back.
I don't see that happening for a long time....if ever.  Not a chance.
Exhibit A: David Bowman
Exhibit B: Net Devil
Exhibit C: <This Space Reserved for Brad McQuaid>
Kyper
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Reply #12 on: May 15, 2007, 12:48:51 AM

I was never a Vanguard fan and I certainly saw them shooting themselves in the collective foot with some of their design decisions, but it really sucks that so many people are now out of work.  Hopefully they won't be unemployed for long.
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Reply #13 on: May 15, 2007, 12:49:07 AM

Exhibit B is Turbine.

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Reply #14 on: May 15, 2007, 12:55:36 AM

On one hand I feel bad for the people who suddenly lost their jobs, on the other hand pretty much anyone should have seen the writing on the wall, you know, several months ago, so I hope they were prepared, and if they weren't, it's kinda on their own heads.

I'd kind of like to blame them for creating that suckfest of a game, but then again it was Bradley's "vision" that drove the game into the toilet. Hopefully they and the rest of the industry will learn from the pile of suck that is Vanguard.


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Reply #15 on: May 15, 2007, 01:26:26 AM

Dead beat CEO? I had a different picture of Brad, as a micro-managing boss, but considering how at sea the whole project seems to have been since launch, this depiction doesn't suprise me either.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something.

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Reply #16 on: May 15, 2007, 01:57:43 AM

Sucks for the employees of Sigil, but ummm... Vanguard.   rolleyes
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Reply #17 on: May 15, 2007, 02:13:45 AM

Wow, I figured they'd have significant cutbacks, but I didn't expect them to line up the remaining battered soldiers on the front lawn and execute them. That sucks, good luck to everyone with talent, the game wasn't *that bad*, may the future treat you better than the past.
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Reply #18 on: May 15, 2007, 03:30:12 AM

That article is scary:

Quote
but I have been able to confirm that Brad hasn't even bothered to be at the office.

Since last year.

Reliable sources confirmed to me that Brad hasn't been at the Sigil offices save a couple of brief visits since December of last year.

What if he's already working on something else?!

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Reply #19 on: May 15, 2007, 03:51:36 AM

Why, you getting ready to rave about it for 15 minutes ?

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Falconeer
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Reply #20 on: May 15, 2007, 04:17:24 AM

Actually, I hope he's already working on a new project. The drama/comedy material he provides is unmatched. But my entertainment makes me feel guilty for his employees (who, by the way, should know better).

Ironwood
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Reply #21 on: May 15, 2007, 04:24:20 AM

Speaking as a hard working father with a wife and five appetites to feed, I find nothing funny about this at all.

It's shite of the highest calibre.

I used to think I'd like a job in the gaming industry.  I think now I'd sooner take a job as a fluffer in the gay porn industry for all the stability that gaming seems to offer.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
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Reply #22 on: May 15, 2007, 04:44:25 AM

Speaking as a hard working father and appetites to feed (not five) myself, I think, by assuming the above linked grouchy's article says the truth, Brad probably doesn't have any. Or he has other means to pay for food.
As I said, to this point his tales are entertaining. Those of his employees aren't, hence the guilt.

Ironwood
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Reply #23 on: May 15, 2007, 04:49:50 AM

You misunderstand, I think.

I don't give a flying fuck about Brad.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Wolf
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Reply #24 on: May 15, 2007, 05:15:16 AM

I don't think he is, either. He has a point that the drama bombs this guy seems to produce can be entertaining... untill you find out that he didn't bother to show up at the office when he saw where things were heading. Instead he stayed at home, posted on FoH and played a miniature game with super heroes (??!). Head in the sand sort of shit. He won't be getting any more work, if this thing gets _some_ publicity.

As a matter of fact I swallowed one of these about two hours ago and the explanation is that it is, in fact, my hand.
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Reply #25 on: May 15, 2007, 05:18:21 AM

And, of course, if it's true.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Simond
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Reply #26 on: May 15, 2007, 05:54:34 AM

Anyone at Sigil didn't see something like this coming is too stupid to be allowed to breed, anyway.

Hey, I wonder if this means the paid shills on FoH, MMORPG.com et al. have been fired as well?

Edit: Actually, this is an industry first by Sigil - they're a MMOG studio so bad that even SOE doesn't want to take them on.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 06:00:55 AM by Simond »

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Reply #27 on: May 15, 2007, 06:10:49 AM

Anyone at Sigil didn't see something like this coming is too stupid to be allowed to breed, anyway.


It's very easy to say this, until you find yourself in that position.  1) We humans are able to lie our fucking pants off to ourselves about bad situations. 2) You don't know how much whitewash was or wasn't being passed around the office about the game's status and financial viability.   3)  Combine 1 & 2 and you're willing to listen to some sweet, sweet lies at times.    4) Games aren't exactly always-hiring, and it's a very small segment of jobs that's very competitive. Folks may have been looking for a while without finding things, and now they're boned.

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Reply #28 on: May 15, 2007, 08:10:34 AM

Having been through the experience of "Oh, by the way, we are having a department wide meeting at the end of the day. Oh, and the human resources director will be joining us." I do feel for them.

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Reply #29 on: May 15, 2007, 08:54:24 AM



I cannot wait until tomorrow.
Well I'm standing here freezing, inside your golden garden
Got my ladder leaned up against your wall
Tonight's the night we planned to run away together
Come on Dolly Mae, theres no time to stall
But now youre telling me...

I think we better wait till tomorrow...

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Reply #30 on: May 15, 2007, 09:12:21 AM

Actually, I hope he's already working on a new project.

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Reply #31 on: May 15, 2007, 09:37:24 AM

Wow, I figured they'd have significant cutbacks, but I didn't expect them to line up the remaining battered soldiers on the front lawn and execute them. That sucks, good luck to everyone with talent, the game wasn't *that bad*, may the future treat you better than the past.
I don't know for sure, but what's going on sounds like some clever maneuvering which allows SOE to acquire the game and the people without acquiring the company Sigil itself, which is crucial if Sigil has managed to acquire a substantial amount of debt.  General gist is:

1) Company A acquires all rights and code to Company B's project.
2) Company B lays off almost entire staff due to inability to pay salaries.
3) Company A says "Hey!  What do you know!  Available people with specific knowledge and talent about this codebase we just bought!"  Hires many of them.
4) Company C, who loaned company B a bunch of money, never sees it again.

Again, I don't know if this is what is happening here for sure, but it's a fairly common gambit in the industry, and I would not be surprised if a significant part of the newly unemployed Vanguard team happened to get job offers in the very immediate future.  Brad's a good guy, and I'd be very surprised if he didn't find a way to be sure that most of his team was taken care of when negotiating the deal.
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Reply #32 on: May 15, 2007, 09:48:38 AM



I cannot wait until tomorrow.
Well I'm standing here freezing, inside your golden garden
Got my ladder leaned up against your wall
Tonight's the night we planned to run away together
Come on Dolly Mae, theres no time to stall
But now youre telling me...

I think we better wait till tomorrow...

Well I think it's kinda funny, (for all the hype)
Well I think it's kinda sad, (for all the employees)
that the dreams of Sigil dying are the best I ever had... (for the industry)
I find it hard to tell you, (if Brad's working on another game)
Well I find it hard to take, (if Brad is)
When Brad starts running PR circles it's a very very...

Mad World.

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Reply #33 on: May 15, 2007, 09:54:08 AM

Stop with the (unfunny) lyrics, you tools.
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Reply #34 on: May 15, 2007, 09:57:03 AM

Ok.  In all seriousness, I feel really bad for the employees at Sigil and hope they land on their feet.  I'm really interested in seeing what McQuaid does next, because if it's anything more than "nothing", then people are not doing the homework on the man.  I'm really, really glad I turned down the chance to meet him in person at E3 2005.  It'll be easier to forget him now.

"Then there's the double-barreled shotgun from Doom 2 - no-one within your entire household could be of any doubt that it's been fired because it sounds like God slamming a door on his fingers." - Yahtzee Croshaw
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