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Author Topic: So, About That Nasty SOE/Sigil Thing  (Read 32634 times)
schild
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on: April 25, 2007, 12:07:30 AM

Some people are expecting me to post something about this. So here goes.

There's a rumor going around that goes something like this:

1. SOE is going to buy out Vanguard.
2. SOE is going to merge down Vanguards servers.
3. Sigil is about to experience a massive... redundancies.

So, is there about to be a large influx of resumés floating around the MMORPG industry? Are some of them already flying about?

At this time though, I'm merely reporting what I've... heard. As such, do not consider this confirmation nor a denial.

That's all I have to say about it.
Engels
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Reply #1 on: April 25, 2007, 12:09:57 AM

You know, I never thought I'd say 'Thank god!' about Sony taking over a game.

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.

-Signe

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Jeff Kelly
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Reply #2 on: April 25, 2007, 01:08:16 AM

Farewell Vaguard, we barely knew you.
Xerapis
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Reply #3 on: April 25, 2007, 01:30:10 AM

Well, at least a server merge might actually help that POS.

I lol'd.

Sounds like funny.

..I want to see gamma rays. I want to hear x-rays. I want to...smell dark matter...and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me...
Ironwood
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Reply #4 on: April 25, 2007, 01:38:03 AM

What's Vanguard ?

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Tannhauser
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Reply #5 on: April 25, 2007, 05:51:34 AM

I hate to see anyone lose their jobs but Vanguard is one bloated, goat-corpse of a game.

Maybe on their next jobs the programmers will tighten their skills and code.

Yegolev
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Reply #6 on: April 25, 2007, 05:59:25 AM

Is this going to make Vanguard playable, or will it just be used as a detention center for bad players in other SOE games?  Now that would be awesome, cheaters and assholes from Planetside and EQ exiled to Vanguard.  Somebody get Roosterteeth on the phone!

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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slog
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Reply #7 on: April 25, 2007, 06:20:36 AM

Is this going to make Vanguard playable, or will it just be used as a detention center for bad players in other SOE games?  Now that would be awesome, cheaters and assholes from Planetside and EQ exiled to Vanguard.  Somebody get Roosterteeth on the phone!

You could just ask yourself "Is the Matrix Online playable?" and answe your own questions.

"Die of flaming ass cancer you schmuck. No really, die."

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Simond
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Reply #8 on: April 25, 2007, 06:25:49 AM

So SOE is going to buy out Verant Sigil and take over the development of Everquest Vanguard?

Wonder if Brad will get his old job back - Chief Creative Officer, wasn't it? Something like that, anyway; whatever translates to "You can come up with ideas all you like, just stay the hell away from actual development"

"You're really a good person, aren't you? So, there's no path for you to take here. Go home. This isn't a place for someone like you."
Falconeer
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Reply #9 on: April 25, 2007, 06:28:45 AM

No. He's going on his own to create the defnitive MMORPG he always wanted to do.
Right?

Ironwood
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Reply #10 on: April 25, 2007, 06:30:01 AM

Yup.  It's Going to be a Totally Unreal Revolutionary Dynasty.

I think he'll shorten that tho.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Strazos
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Reply #11 on: April 25, 2007, 08:59:36 AM

Once again...

Vanguard, lol

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Sky
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Reply #12 on: April 25, 2007, 09:42:31 AM

Maybe he can join the Areola team with Raph. It can be a thejeni thing, all your old dev friends!

Yoru
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Reply #13 on: April 25, 2007, 10:11:19 AM

This is all the more amusing because I know a guy who quit to take a design job at Sigil just three or four months ago. He was all starry-eyed about the game, too.

I tried hard not to laugh, but it didn't work so well. We don't speak any more. :)
HaemishM
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Reply #14 on: April 25, 2007, 10:12:03 AM

Is this going to make Vanguard playable

Ask the Matrix Online.

EDIT: Fuck, Slog beat me to it. DAMN YOU, SLOG!!!!

SnakeCharmer
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Reply #15 on: April 25, 2007, 10:29:59 AM

Can SOE realistically afford another sinking ship?

Fook, the have (rumored) two MMOs in development (the DC online and the spy espionage), SWG is in the toilet, EQ doesn't appear to be doing all that great, EQ2 is steady I think.  Planetside is, well...Planetside.  MxO appears to be on it's death gurgle.   

Sony as a whole seems to be tanking rather badly.  What am I missing?  Where are they getting all this cash?
HaemishM
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Reply #16 on: April 25, 2007, 11:09:08 AM

The Station Access Pass can cover up a lot of stinkeroos.

Sky
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Reply #17 on: April 25, 2007, 12:19:36 PM

The Station Access Pass can cover up a lot of stinkeroos.
It really makes me feel dirty.

Murgos
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Reply #18 on: April 25, 2007, 12:21:06 PM

EQ probably costs next to nothing at this point and is probably bringing in at least a hundred million a year.  I'm sure EQ2 is making a healthy profit also.

You can bankroll a lot of stinkers with that kind of cash flow.  Not only that but it makes gambling on future cash cows very attractive even when you have just had a recent spate of stinkers.

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HaemishM
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Reply #19 on: April 25, 2007, 12:25:56 PM

Last I remember, SOE claimed to have 600,000 subscribers on all of their games (before they stopped giving out numbers). This was before Matrix and Vanguard came out. If half of those are Station Pass customers, that's almost $9 million a month in revenue. That can hide a whole lot of fuckups, especially when Matrix, Planetside and EQ1 are all likely operating on skeleton crews.

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Reply #20 on: April 25, 2007, 12:30:27 PM

Well, EQ1 just had Another expansion, so I'm not sure how sparse their operations are at this point.

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SnakeCharmer
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Reply #21 on: April 25, 2007, 12:30:43 PM

Yeah, suppose you're right.

Given that a publish takes 3 months to come out for SWG, it seems it's on the 'skeleton crew' roster as well.

Murgos
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Reply #22 on: April 25, 2007, 12:38:55 PM

Well, EQ1 just had Another expansion, so I'm not sure how sparse their operations are at this point.

EQ still has 100K plus subscribers right?  Anyway you cut it thats around 100 mil+ a year into the system.  EQ has long since paid back any investment of capital, it's all gravy at this point.  Even if they are running a large team of developers and support and including the hardware support costs that still leaves a sizeable chunk of cash for (and lots of incentive to create) other projects.

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Sky
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Reply #23 on: April 25, 2007, 12:46:58 PM

EQ still has 100K plus subscribers right?  Anyway you cut it thats around 100 mil+ a year into the system. 

SnakeCharmer
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Reply #24 on: April 25, 2007, 12:48:48 PM

Well, EQ1 just had Another expansion, so I'm not sure how sparse their operations are at this point.

EQ still has 100K plus subscribers right?  Anyway you cut it thats around 100 mil+ a year into the system.  EQ has long since paid back any investment of capital, it's all gravy at this point.  Even if they are running a large team of developers and support and including the hardware support costs that still leaves a sizeable chunk of cash for (and lots of incentive to create) other projects.

100 mil?

O.o

$15 x 12 months = $180
$180 x 100,000 subs = $18,000,000

/scratches head

New math?  Or am I doing something wrong?
Rodivar
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Reply #25 on: April 25, 2007, 01:07:34 PM

Does this mean the no central community service "find your own damn information" test is over?
schild
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Reply #26 on: April 25, 2007, 01:08:09 PM

Does this mean the no community find your own damn information test is over?

Viklas?
Mesozoic
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Reply #27 on: April 25, 2007, 01:26:06 PM

I imagine that Brad and company are standing around waiting to see if LOTRO will fall on its face. Since Turbine's latest effort seems to be widely regarded as decent (it's certainly more stable and feature-complete, with better word-of-mouth), there's really no chance of any significant migration of bored WoWers flitting over to VG.  Not that people have been leaving WoW in significant numbers anyway, but in Brad's shattered, grieving mind, that was going to be a big source of revenue.

And of course WAR is up next, with an actual PVP component and the expectation of a solid release a la DAoC.

Things look grim.   Heartbreak 

For Brad, I mean.  Great for us. 

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Murgos
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Reply #28 on: April 25, 2007, 01:49:54 PM

Yeah, that was pre-coffee break.  My bad.  Some how when I did it in my head I came up with a much higher number.  18 mil isn't nearly as impressive but you can still fund a lot of crap with that kind of steady income.

Those 20 and 30 million dollar budgets aren't all at once, they are spread out over 5-7 years.

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
schild
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Reply #29 on: April 25, 2007, 01:50:42 PM

I don't know why people always assume SOE is hurting for money.
stray
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Reply #30 on: April 25, 2007, 01:58:32 PM

I don't know. Huge budgets. Game after game falling apart. Two modest successes that would seem to only have enough revenue for their own good.
schild
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Reply #31 on: April 25, 2007, 02:00:32 PM

I can't think of an SOE game that didn't at least break even if not make money. I could be wrong, but it's not likely.

Edit: Hell, they probably even broke even on MxO. And that's not even their game. They bought the stinker. Just saying though.
Hutch
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Reply #32 on: April 25, 2007, 02:17:37 PM

I imagine that Brad and company are standing around waiting to see if LOTRO will fall on its face.

According to this brief review of the launch, things went well on the first day, at least in terms of people being able to create accounts and log into the game and actually play.

Nothing about the dev team posting massive daily patch notes.

So, at least from a technical standpoint, it's doing better than Vanguard. We'll have to wait and see how it stands up in terms of subscriber retention, of course.

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Reply #33 on: April 25, 2007, 04:52:43 PM

I can't think of an SOE game that didn't at least break even if not make money. I could be wrong, but it's not likely.

Edit: Hell, they probably even broke even on MxO. And that's not even their game. They bought the stinker. Just saying though.
It's actually a pretty smart modus operandi, from a purely mercenary point of view:
Wait for MMOG to begin imploding.
Buy for a pittance when the original owners are desperate.
Sack 90%+ of the dev team & put development on minimal life support.
Outsource CS to SOE-Calcutta
Drop onto SOE All-Access.

Pretty much everything from then on is profit, minus a trivial amount of hardware costs and a handful of dev salaries (See: Planetside, MxO, SWG, etc).

"You're really a good person, aren't you? So, there's no path for you to take here. Go home. This isn't a place for someone like you."
slog
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Reply #34 on: April 25, 2007, 05:58:44 PM

I can't think of an SOE game that didn't at least break even if not make money. I could be wrong, but it's not likely.

Edit: Hell, they probably even broke even on MxO. And that's not even their game. They bought the stinker. Just saying though.

People also forget that it wasn't Sony that put all that money into Vanguard.  MS wrote off millions.

"Die of flaming ass cancer you schmuck. No really, die."

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