Monday, 18 October 2010


A member of my kinship alerted us to this thread, which will repay study by anybody interested in the reality of the sausage factories behind the games we play. The meat of it consists of some very angry whistle-blowing by an about-to-be sidelined employee of Electronic Arts - touching on, amongst other things, the reasons behind the poor performances of Warhammer and Age of Conan, and some pessimistic predictions about SWTOR. I can't judge his criticism about specific individuals, but I do have some first-hand knowledge of the disasters which can follow on the takeover by a rich but badly-run company of an poor and efficient one, and a lot of what EA Louse (the original poster) has to say rings true.

On a slight tangent, while reading though the thread, I was struck by the following comment which may well have some relevance to the recent content slowdown in LOTRO. And no, I don't mean the F2P delay on the European side, which I'm still convinced is due to legal shenanigans, but to the shortage of serious new story content which tends to show through all the glitzy bells and whistles which will accompany the eventual arrival of F2P.

"Do you think they have enough story content to last months or a year? Even the non immersive, non cinematic content takes a long time to produce and just hours or days to play through for a dedicated player. It takes BW a few years to develop a high quality single player RPG and those rarely have more than a couple dozen hours worth of good storylines. [...]Voiced, well made story content just isn’t enough in an MMO and that kind of content is very slow and expensive to develop. Even a minor setback can slow the amount of story content being developed for the game to a crawl. The point is, that while the story content will be a good thing, the game won’t survive on it no matter how good it is. It is the bait to get people to try out the game for a month or two and get hooked by the normal MMO activities."

No doubt time will tell...

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