Fired Game Dev writes Anon letter

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Chubbaluphigous

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#1  Edited By Chubbaluphigous

EA Mythic is receiving another round of layoffs, and one of the dudes decided he should write a letter about why Warhammer Online failed.  This letter goes into details about Paul Barnett and why Bioware's Star Wars MMO will fail.  There is probably a good bit of embellishment since he just got fired and is understandably a bit emotional.  Still very interesting.
 
Link to Wordpress here:  http://ealouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/hello-world/
 
Copy of the letter is also under the spoiler. 
 

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Jeust

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#2  Edited By Jeust

Interesting. Thanks!

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KaosAngel

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#3  Edited By KaosAngel

QQ More 
 
Don't make bad Warhammer MMOs next time, and don't bitch at Bioware.  They and Blizzard, and Valve can do whatever the fuck they want (except for Jade Empire).

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Jeust

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#4  Edited By Jeust
@KaosAngel said:
" QQ More  Don't make bad Warhammer MMOs next time, and don't bitch at Bioware.  They and Blizzard, and Valve can do whatever the fuck they want (except for Jade Empire). "
Jade Empire is awesome!
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Chubbaluphigous

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#5  Edited By Chubbaluphigous

There is no way that was written sober, so it is probably very true and very embellished.  What parts are what really interests me.

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KaosAngel

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#6  Edited By KaosAngel
@Jeust: ...I never got the people who liked it.  I was really disappointed with it.  In my eyes, that's Bioware's only "subpar" game.  >.>
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wolf_blitzer85

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#7  Edited By wolf_blitzer85
@KaosAngel said:
" QQ More  Don't make bad Warhammer MMOs next time, and don't bitch at Bioware.  They and Blizzard, and Valve can do whatever the fuck they want (except for Jade Empire). "
Hey now Jade Empire wasn't all that bad! They would really need to fix a lot of shit if there was to ever be a Jade Empire 2 though...
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Diamond

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#8  Edited By Diamond
@KaosAngel said:
don't bitch at Bioware.  They and Blizzard, and Valve can do whatever the fuck they want
That's what they want you to think.
 
No, I wouldn't be surprised if the claims were at least partially true.
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GregariousGreg

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#9  Edited By GregariousGreg

So some guy got fired, got mad and decided to insult his employers

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KaosAngel

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#10  Edited By KaosAngel

If you check out the beta forums from TOR, it can be safe to say that the only problem TOR will have will be the same problem WoW had at launch. 
 
Everyone will be waiting in queues to log into a server. 
 
I dunno if the 300 million is true, considering GT5 is one of the top 3 most expensive games ever made and that barely breaks 100 million. 
 
Dude is fucking QQ that he can't make a MMO, and it came out the worst time when WoW was still climaxing.  

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Jeust

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#11  Edited By Jeust
@KaosAngel said:

" @Jeust: ...I never got the people who liked it.  I was really disappointed with it.  In my eyes, that's Bioware's only "subpar" game.  >.> "

I loved the characters, with some of them being the best Bioware have ever created. Who can forget Henpecked Hou (and his wife), and Kang The Mad?  
 
The story has really surprising twists, that make for some overwhelming moments. 
 
The background, supported with texts from Art of War of Sun Tzu. Heck even a character is the embodiment of the author.  
 
The gameplay is faulty at the beginning, but after a while and after having some moves, it becomes interesting, giving blows and changing strategy like a martial artist. Although one fight at the end is nigh impossible.  
 
For me it is perhaps the best game Bioware has made. Never a game surprised me as much at the major twist like this one. 
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Coombs

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#12  Edited By Coombs

Sounds reasonable to me, 
I can completely see almost everything he said being true, 
Poor management and backstabbing,  Sounds like a major corporation to me.

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BraveToaster

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#13  Edited By BraveToaster

This was funny 

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the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG

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that was really interesting, i really enjoyed that read haha

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Death_Unicorn

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#15  Edited By Death_Unicorn

Damn, that is a lot of money riding on SW:TOR, I sincerely hope it does well for BioWare's sake.

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KaosAngel

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#16  Edited By KaosAngel
@Death_Unicorn said:
" Damn, that is a lot of money riding on SW:TOR, I sincerely hope it does well for BioWare's sake. "
...are you honestly gonna believe the $300 million tag?  That makes no sense.
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Chubbaluphigous

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#17  Edited By Chubbaluphigous
@KaosAngel: At least it isn't $775 million
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RsistncE

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#18  Edited By RsistncE
@KaosAngel: Too bad Bioware makes shit games also. Mass Effect? More like Ass Effect as in "this game is complete ass".
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tourgen

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#19  Edited By tourgen

I played Warhammer.  It was pretty bland.  I'd say the worst things about it were the game design and the writing.  It was technically competent.  It played like a decent copy of WoW with slightly different graphics.  Not exactly a complement, I know.  The local area cooperative challenges were O.K. but really not all that fun.  I think it failed because it didn't really do anything all that interesting.  There weren't any real memorable encounters or dungeon crawls.  It was just boring to play.. a study in generic game and level design.
 
I think the voice over and sound work in Old Republic is going to be a HUUUGE selling point and they are right to be proud of it.  More story and more real characters is exactly what the new wave of MMOs need.  They don't need melted plastic genero-land overworlds populated with QuestGiver009 - GuestGiver0817.  Like Warhammer.

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TheMustacheHero

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#20  Edited By TheMustacheHero
@Diamond said:
" @KaosAngel said:
don't bitch at Bioware.  They and Blizzard, and Valve can do whatever the fuck they want
That's what they want you to think.  No, I wouldn't be surprised if the claims were at least partially true. "
Well, Valve definitely can do whatever they want. They even take polls from the staff to decide what game they want to make next.
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Death_Unicorn

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#21  Edited By Death_Unicorn
@RsistncE: Wow, that was a very incredible, justified remark! I applaud you!
 
@KaosAngel: I don't think its out of the realm of possibility. World of Warcraft has made huge returns, so I wouldn't say it is impossible to think a company would invest huge amounts of money on a "World of Warcraft killer."
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RsistncE

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#22  Edited By RsistncE
@Death_Unicorn: I figured someone needed to side with the dev, so I had no problem taking the hit for him. I HERE FOR YOU.
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iam3green

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#23  Edited By iam3green

pretty interesting read. it seemed like he was just on a rant about how he got fired. it is pretty sad that companies have to fire people because of work.

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meteora

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#24  Edited By meteora
@RsistncE: Troll harder 
 
The guy seems more like genuinely bitching and ranting because he's getting laid off. If poor management is to blame for the failure of the MMO, then what about all the other MMOs that has been released to date? Poor management? How about a lack of vision and crappy game developers?
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shakra

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#25  Edited By shakra

It sounds a lot like most jobs to be honest. Good teams rise above what holds them back. There is always going to be shitty things happening that can cause you to fail, and while a few people at the top can make things harder they aren't the only reason WAR was a giant pile of shit.

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SeriouslyNow

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#26  Edited By SeriouslyNow

That is NOT a letter from a Developer.  It's some fan pretending to be a dev, mark my words.  It's barely coherent and it uses the "EA Spose" as some referential moniker to make the laundry list of complaints seem more real.  EA wasn't the problem in this regard, Mythic was.   They wanted in on the WoW action and weren't competent enough to release a working product, nor were they prepared to support it.  EA has always played the long game, even when they've been total pricks, so I sincerely doubt that they would've layed off staff for an MMO to the point where the game would be utterly unsupported.  When an MMO slips and slips while the market shrinks and gets filled with F2P offerings the money men get worried as they should.  Mythic continually dropped the ball on the project and they knew it.
 
@TheMustacheHero said:

" @Diamond said:
" @KaosAngel said:
don't bitch at Bioware.  They and Blizzard, and Valve can do whatever the fuck they want
That's what they want you to think.  No, I wouldn't be surprised if the claims were at least partially true. "
Well, Valve definitely can do whatever they want. They even take polls from the staff to decide what game they want to make next. "

They also continually survey their userbase and help their community projects.  VALVe aren't a perfect organisation by any means, but they know what the hell they're doing most of the time and take a real interest in their communities that extends far beyond focus groups and licensed based tie ins.
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KaosAngel

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#27  Edited By KaosAngel
@SeriouslyNow: ...you really think some fan would be desperate enough for hits to do that?  Not even I would go around posing as someone else.  :\ 
 
It sounds like a drunk guy who is pissed that he isn't on the BioWare team.  
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SeriouslyNow

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#28  Edited By SeriouslyNow
@KaosAngel:  Yeah, I absolutely do.  I also think it's just as feasible that this was seeded by someone at Activision to denigrate TOR's potential in the market as well.  What I'm sure of is that the letter wasn't penned by a dev at all.
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shakra

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#29  Edited By shakra

I want to know why he hasn't answered my question about why he thinks TOR will fail. I need juicy details damnit!

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deactivated-5e49e9175da37

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This man had the ability to lay bare the guts of the industry, but all he did was throw a tantrum.  A wasted opportunity and an immediate, and permanent, loss of credibility.  EA Spouse laid a personal story of tyrannical business practices, this is a child throwing all the toys from the pram because he didn't get his way.  It's an excuse, and a complete dodge of responsibility, and I'm sure everyone at Mythic knows exactly who wrote it.

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scarace360

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#31  Edited By scarace360

That just opened my eyes O_O

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deactivated-5e49e9175da37

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@SeriouslyNow said:
" @KaosAngel:  Yeah, I absolutely do.  I also think it's just as feasible that this was seeded by someone at Activision to denigrate TOR's potential in the market as well.  What I'm sure of is that the letter wasn't penned by a dev at all. "
Your premise seems feasible.  There are serious credibility issues, such as the budget of Old Republic, and so on.
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Hamz

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#33  Edited By Hamz

If I had a tenner for every anonymous wordpress or livejournal blog entry supposedly written by a member of the industry spilling the beans on their ex-employer and the inner workings of the company I'd be a rich man! 

Sounds like rubbish to me. Until someone willing to reveal their identity goes on record to actually confirm or deny the claims made in that blog I'd take what it says with a pinch of salt.  

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shakra

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#34  Edited By shakra

Inside industry gossip is fascinating. This may just be a complete fabrication but the drama is so delicious.

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jasta

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#35  Edited By jasta

Wow, Paul Barnett got blasted. 

Its strange how he is held in such high regard by some people in the game industry and completely hated by others. A not so subtle reminder that working in the games industry is still just a job.

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ThePhantomnaut

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#36  Edited By ThePhantomnaut

Anon...

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jakob187

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#37  Edited By jakob187

I find it interesting that the guy lists himself as "competent" yet misspells and uses terrible grammar on a regular basis.  Moreover, it sounds like a 12-year-old bitching on some forums rather than someone even being remotely constructive. 
 
Four or five men do not a failure make.  An entire team causes a failure. 
 
I'd be interested to hear Paul or Carrie's side of things on this as well.

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ch3burashka

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#38  Edited By ch3burashka

With no credentials or anything, it's hard to take this as fact. The language may be harsh, but the underlying complaints sound real to me. I hope we'll see some resolution or confirmation to this, but that's never going to happen.

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niamahai

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#39  Edited By niamahai

i am amazed how did WH:O rack up $50mil in production cost.
 
Equipment/Office rentals can't be that expensive!? Can they?

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deactivated-5f9398c1300c7

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Bioware only has two year development cycles for their games now; no way in the world will they make the next Baldur's Gate...

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jim_dandy

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#41  Edited By jim_dandy

I played some SW:TOR at PAX and it was kindabad.  One word.
 
Maybe it gets better the more you play it?

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Undeadpool

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#42  Edited By Undeadpool

He had me RIGHT up until he mentioned George Lucas knowing anything about how Old Republic is coming along. That man cashes paychecks. Quite frankly if he thought Old Republic wasn't any good, I'd take that as a ringing endorsement. Laid-off employee is bitter. Shocking!

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vidiot

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#43  Edited By vidiot
@Coombs said:
" Sounds reasonable to me, I can completely see almost everything he said being true, Poor management and backstabbing,  Sounds like a major corporation to me. "
This. Which makes the rest of his letter increasingly disturbing. Especially his take on The Old Republic. I was not aware of the budget for ToR, and gives more perspective to how much risk is going on. Bad management is bad management. Most of this letter sounds pretty damn sincere, consider myself concerned.
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shakra

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#44  Edited By shakra
@niamahai said:
" i am amazed how did WH:O rack up $50mil in production cost.  Equipment/Office rentals can't be that expensive!? Can they? "
Hookers and coke aren't cheap. Neither is paying sub-par devs who just blame all the problems on others in angry 3am blog posts.
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RsistncE

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#45  Edited By RsistncE
@Meteora: I'M NOT A TROLL.....YOU'RE THE TROLL
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ArchScabby

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#46  Edited By ArchScabby

I thought video games were made by robots.

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SeriouslyNow

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#47  Edited By SeriouslyNow
@Jasta said:
"

Wow, Paul Barnett got blasted. 

Its strange how he is held in such high regard by some people in the game industry and completely hated by others. A not so subtle reminder that working in the games industry is still just a job.

"
Not really.  It's an industry filled with personalities, personal interests, competitive products and intense deadline pressure.  There are bound to be conflicts at every level. 
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SeriouslyNow

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#48  Edited By SeriouslyNow
@vidiot said:
" @Coombs said:
" Sounds reasonable to me, I can completely see almost everything he said being true, Poor management and backstabbing,  Sounds like a major corporation to me. "
This. Which makes the rest of his letter increasingly disturbing. Especially his take on The Old Republic. I was not aware of the budget for ToR, and gives more perspective to how much risk is going on. Bad management is bad management. Most of this letter sounds pretty damn sincere, consider myself concerned. "
Ugh.  More expert opinion from the peanut gallery.
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niamahai

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#49  Edited By niamahai
@SeriouslyNow said:
" @vidiot said:
" @Coombs said:
" Sounds reasonable to me, I can completely see almost everything he said being true, Poor management and backstabbing,  Sounds like a major corporation to me. "
This. Which makes the rest of his letter increasingly disturbing. Especially his take on The Old Republic. I was not aware of the budget for ToR, and gives more perspective to how much risk is going on. Bad management is bad management. Most of this letter sounds pretty damn sincere, consider myself concerned. "
Ugh.  More expert opinion from the peanut gallery. "
Not really.
 There are a lot of 'hardocore' WoW players who raid everyday will tell you "fuck lore gimme lootz"
 
So yea it is kinda worrying. Spending $300mil on a feature where the majority won't appreciate. Also Three Hundred Milly? That's half the cost of Activision's E3 party!
To quote Leigh Alexander : "MATH!"
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SeriouslyNow

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#50  Edited By SeriouslyNow
@niamahai:  People who get worried over unsubstantiated rumours get what they deserve. heh