Dear online news sites,
Also. More people are speaking out. Cover this too. The Truth About IceFrog: Behind the Bullshit
Finally for all the people who have read my initial rant and wanted more there will be more. What I did was rant though and whine and bitch and moan and play the attention whore. Here is a response that needs real attention from another anonymous dev at Mythic. It is balanced and fair. Well spoken. I have highlighted important things in bold.
kno won says:
Call me insider. I’m going to spare bullshit and dive right in. First I’m ignoring SWTOR in this post. We have less than 15 people in our studio working from all departments as merely far far backup assistance for them. Trust me, we are not going to change the course of that game. Hell our studio is down to probably what? 150 people if you include in game CSRs. Anything said on it is purely conjecture IMO. Even our studio doesn’t have beta access… aside from a few >.>
Moving on. Because sadly his comments on SWTOR have detracted from the point of the topic. Warhammer online.
Reading this post is extremely conflicting for my emotions. I have been with this company well before we were aquired by EA. I was in the area on 2. Listening to Jacobs talk about how this was great for us, the doors it was opening. How it was on OUR shoulders. Hoping in my heart this endeavor would be a lucky one and turn out for the best. In a lot of ways what people from Mythic have posted previously is true regarding the buyout. EA is concerned about the money folks. They figured if we were successful all was well and best not to get involved. WE dealt with GW, we GREW because of their budget for us. I think sadly what people are missing in this is EA was not the problem haha. WE were the problem. No EA coporate execs came our way. No one MOVED to the studio from EARS as overseers. We did acquire someone from EA chicago when they dissolved years later. Only one sadly. Good guy, I digress. In the end what the employees saw was a lack of direction. We saw management being promoted beyond need. Anyone who challenged their newfound authority and “EA managment” status, debunked. You have to understand this was on all fronts in departments. Who doesn’t want their shot at promotion in a studio? EA of all places, a giant studio. They all dreamed of what was happening, it went right to their heads in most cases. So let’s get this over with.
The part about Hickman being the manager of customer service is true. Some might think talent can come from anywhere. I am one of those. You would have thought someone of his roots would have been humble to those around him. It would appear not.
It was really obvious from our persepctive that our marketing was suffering. I can’t say why, maybe we didn’t have the funds. I don’t know I wasn’t in marketing. I’m amazed with the commercials for other EA games we didn’t beg them for assistance though. I can only speculate here as well. Though I admit it was heavy on the heart to see us spend the kids college money to blur for a CGI intro and then never run a single TV ad. Hell Bethesda covered the metro signs for fallout.
This brings me to Paul. He tried to sell a game, true. He was a great face for War, and advertised well in his blogs. Why that comes into play with design choices and influence is beyond me. His newfound glory and long time standing with Hickman are prone to speculation though at work currently. They both made out really well in the end. On a seperate note, office relationships should be addressed. Especially since they work for the same game now. I’ll leave it there.
So many choices made by management leave us with bitter tastes in our mouth every day. To “them”, and I know they will read this. Remember your choices have consequences far greater than you can see. Careers, friends, loved ones and families are collateral. We were, and still can be a great studio. Some accountability is needed. Love for your employees would be a great place to start the rebuild too. Start open discussions amongst teams allowing for input. Teams NEED to be able to guide directions of working titles and no one person has all the answers. There is no I in team.
To EA corporate, your hands off approach to this company helped lead to it’s failure thus far in regards to WAR specifically. I’m not saying you needed to come crack the whip, but as a smaller studio you could have help guide us a little bit better down the roads of multi million dollar projects. It’s like the ugly divorce and no one is winning. We can come out of it with our heads high though and a bit of dignity. We forged DAOC. We helped forge some of the great mmo pvp concepts in the industry and we can return to that. **We don’t need anymore existing IP’s**. We had our own and it was something to be proud of. Come up with something new if you can’t commit to DAOC. Hell we poured/are pouring our hearts and souls into Warhammer and did the best we could. Now come talk to us, ask us what WE think went wrong and where we want to go. Let’s start again. Look at UO and DAOC now, for those of you who are fans, we have some of the best talent in those games now. Calvin and Stuart have assembled amazing teams and are still creating awesome content and ideas. Our two oldest games are our money makers. We did something right there and we need to rediscover it. EA Louse, you are obviously upset and I won’t discredit you. I personally believe you were/are an employee. I know you are entitled to your opinions and that is what you saw from your standpoint. It’s actually rather funny no one is really quite sure who you are at the studio.
Now I’ll be honest. If Warhammer were a person in the middle of a circle. And surrounding it are doors all around. My point of view is askew. I see what I see. Not what others do from other departments. I can’t speak for his art department or anyone elses. I can offer no proof in the end haha. None to support you, my difference with you either. Sadly its all speculation. It is a widely shared speculation though. I want to say who I am but I can’t… I am sorry. I can’t let this person be thought a liar however, because I do in part think he’s right. Anyone at our studio is capable of greatness. We saw people rise in our studio above what we thought or what they were originally hired and come up with great ideas and take on new positions well. We all come to work with more layoffs looming in the back of our minds. We’ve already lost so many. What we need are lines of communication open. We need inspiration and collaboration. We need to be Mythic again. I dont think of this as the end, more like a crossroads with two distinct paths.
Thank you, insider. Thats what these people needed to hear. Not my hate filled tirades.
EA. Save Mythic, dont just shut it down. Save the good people and the good products.