I was a bit sad to see recently that some of the Shroud of the Avatar Developers were being let go, as many of them I consider associates outside of the game and in a few cases even friends. So anytime I hear about a staff change, it affects me a bit more personal in that I worry about people I know personally suffering some hardship.
When I read such news, I have no surprise. From that perspective, it’s like someone told me they decided not to have a cup of coffee or a Mountain dew that morning. Oh? That’s a bit different today, but it happens.
Then what BLOWS ME AWAY is the Damage the Shroud of the Avatar player Community does both to the Game and the company. It sort of goes like this:
-We are making a change, that is normal for us to make at different times in development, as a game developer.
-The community then scatters rumors, sells, players quit, and puts the overall player base and game development months behind. In short.. The player community does more damage then any enemy to the game could do.
Portalarium has exsisted since before Shroud of the Avatar. Something people seem to keep forgetting.
I have been involved deeply in my life with Shroud of the Avatar, since before it Kickstarted. What I mean by that, is I knew from watching the company and Richard they where working on things, and I was already being involved with the company, it’s develoeprs, etc.. in any way I could (although at that time it was small). If I didn’t take a picture, it didnt happen, right?
This is a group I THINK I created on Facebook before Shroud of the Avatar had even been fully decided on by the company and Richard Garriott. Course, I left my own group and didn’t delete it, and so just had to re-request membership to a group I once made. LoL. It still exists though, so you can pull it up on Facebook and verify its pre-dated Shroud of the Avatar
I am also friends on Facebook with Portalarium developers, dated before Shroud of the Avatar day 1 Kickstarter, and many other things. This was me saying “Dammit Richard, im stalking you and your company until your next RPG video game, whatever that is”.
During all this time. THIS HAS HAPPENED MANY TIMES!!!!!!
Game development is like hiring actors to perform a role. Once you have finished shooting their clips in the film, what the F do you want to do? Pay them to sit on their asses and watch everyone else work? Especially when you are running very lean?
I am not saying I agree with the model, the way it runs, or the way it works.
However, it has been fully established by Portalarium, that this is how they run their game development. This includes letting people go at different stages and bringing new people in. This is not the first time and it is not the last time.
What is the true state of the game, its player base, etc? I felt it was growing VERY slowly, but that it was growing. Given that no major marketing has been done yet I felt this was a good sign. This was my feeling only and the truth is, I have no idea!
Then Portalarium does what it has done many times now, and made changes necessary to continue that GROWTH, rather than stay at the same place, and everyone flips out. Now MAYBE this time is different in all the past times in that there’s more going on then we are seeing or they are saying, and it bodes ill.
The thing is, there’s no way for anyone to really be able to say that, just based on them doing yet another staff change, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!
Unfortunately, I feel bad for the company though and my fellow community members that get it. It being that, what DOES hurt the game is the panic from the community as a result..
Which is running around, making posts everywhere, trying to sell anything they can, and making judgments without basis on the state of affairs. Overall, this MAY be the end of Shroud of the Avatar or next time Portalarium makes some staff changes, THAT may be the end of Shroud of the Avatar.
However, I don’t blame Portalarium. I blame the reactions of its community in the panic they present, from what has already been proven as “daily business” for Portalarium.
Anyway, this is the most I could bring myself to talk about this subject. I see the forum posts, and posts in other places and I can’t respond to them, because all I want to do is yell at people and say “are you really that STUPID that you don’t realize, that right now YOU are the problem, creating a PROBLEM, when there might not have been a problem? Now there is.. because of you”.
So instead I keep my mouth shut. I felt I would do one blog piece on this, for the less stupid and this is the most I am covering this topic or the current state of affairs.
Thanks for listening!