http://gamingtrend.com
August 30, 2014, 08:56:37 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Age of Conan producer/game director quits Funcom  (Read 1187 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Blackjack
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 10822



View Profile
« on: September 17, 2008, 12:48:14 PM »

Yikes! I wonder how Funcom's going to spin this one.  eek

Funcom co-founder quits, "dissatisfied" with Age of Conan
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/funcom-co-founder-quits-dissatisfied-with-age-of-conan
Quote
Gaute Godager, one of the original co-founders of the company, said that he was dissatisfied with parts of the game, and that it was now time to hand control of the popular MMO over to a new team member.

"I have done my very best making this fabulous game, but I have concluded there are elements which I am dissatisfied with," said Godager.

"I have decided to act on this, and as a result I have chosen to leave Funcom."
I know we have an ocean of AoC threads, thought this was worth highlighting.

To avoid confusion though, this is *not* Funcom product manager Erling Ellingsen, whose face is probably more familiar from interviews and cheesy photo spreads (like so, http://www.massively.com/2008/09/16/daedren-pulls-no-punches-on-erling-ellingsen-interview/). But Ellingsen is more a marketing type.

Massively also has a cheesy photo of Godager in happier times...
http://www.massively.com/2008/09/17/producer-and-game-director-for-age-of-conan-resigns-from-funcom/
Quote
His replacement is Craig Morrison, who's held the same position with Anarchy Online for several years prior to this change.

Morrison had a post introducing himself to players:
http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?p=1993007

==============================
Godager throwing his hands up and saying "this won't work. I give up!" is... I don't know what to liken it to. I guess it's like if Jack Emmert had thrown up his hands after City of Heroes had been out a few months and said, "I'm dissatisfied with City of Heroes. I give up!"

While I'd probably have more respect for Godager if he gutted it out and found a way to make said elements "satisfying," I can't help thinking there must be something ugly going on behind the scenes there, esp. with the Funcom stock falling into a black hole (from $55 to $8 per share, as various news sites have pointed out), for him to throw in the towel in such a public fashion. Normally, if you're "bought out," a condition is to keep mouth closed as you exit, certainly not the case here.

The timing seems bizarre as they are finally getting the ballyhooed, revamped PVP system into place today I believe (or perhaps tomorrow) after some delays.

I stilll have affection for the game's combat, mounts, environments, sounds (I may have returned to LOTRO but I miss AoC's heavy use of well voice-acted NPC dialog, and visceral combat sounds) and some of its more interesting quests. I also think it has too many remaining hardware bugs, not enough different zones at the various levels to adventure in (it's a bad sign when you have to "wait in line" for quests at a certain level because everybody your level is doing the same things in the same zone), too many hunt quests (it almost rivals Dungeon Runners in that respect), a kludgy interface and UI, and seems to think "M-rating" means "Nipples everywhere!" rather than "let's do interesting quests that old farts might find interesting." icon_neutral And of course PVP is nothing like what people were hyped up to expect (this week's update might finally make a dent in that, if it works properly).
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 01:08:49 PM by Blackjack » Logged

Playing
PC
-Halfway (sci-fi, turn-based squad strategy)
TiLT
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Online Online

Posts: 6460


Preaching to the choir


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2008, 01:52:41 PM »

As a Norwegian (Funcom is a Norwegian company as well) I'm particularly interested in these things. What might be worth mentioning is that Norway is a very tough country to do game development in, despite our economy being unreasonably strong. I run a game development company myself, and it's a constant uphill battle. Local investors have no idea what gaming is about ("Oh, video games! I have a son who's into that."), and there's a cultural expectation that if you're not into oil or real estate, you're not really serious about business. Norway has taken a step towards embracing local game development in the last year, but even the meetings arranged about the subject devolve into a discussion about how gaming can serve the oil companies. It's both funny and sad at the same time.

Some of you might remember a company called Innerloop Studios. They were the guys who developed the I.G.I. games. I was told what happened to them: Their CEO just decided to venture into real estate instead. He never even shut down the company, from what I know. He just came to the logical conclusion that game development is hard work for little pay, while real estate is less work for obscene pay. I'm sure he was also just tired of trying to establish gaming here when every element of our society seemed to not take him seriously.

I suspect Gaute Godager's resignation came as a result of meetings with his board of directors, and from frustration with their lack of understanding of how to develop and maintain a MMORPG, and what to expect in return. He probably just wants to take a break from the whole thing, get some stability back in his life, then hopefully head back into things once the Norwegian game industry looks brighter.
Logged
hepcat
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 9216


I'M the one that knocks! Now...burp me!


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2008, 02:13:37 PM »

It was fun for a month, but ultimately it became just the same old song and dance for me.  To be clear, ALL mmorpg's lose my interest after a period ranging from a month to 6 months.  The ones that have kept me longest (EQ2, DAoC, City of Heroes/Villains, LOTRO and WoW) do so primarily because of content (especially when it comes to starting up new alts) or because of neat loot that I can use to really make a difference in my character (WoW is especially good at this...and the new Warhammer appears to be following that paradigm so far...although whether that lasts remains to be seen).  AoC has one starting zone for all characters and the drops weren't terribly impressive to me.  The much ballyhooed interactive combat was really just a gimmick, imho.  I didn't really see any substantial strategy involved in the combat, to be honest.

In the end, it was a very pretty game with some nice mechanics, but nothing to really push it ahead of the pack.

Logged

Warning:  You will see my penis. -Brian

Just remember: once a user figures out gluten noting them they're allowed to make fun of you. - Ceekay speaking in tongues.
Destructor
Special Project Group
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 15916


▲▲▼▼◄►◄►B A Start


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2008, 03:06:59 PM »

Could it be a 'forced retirement' due to how poorly (at least from all that I've read anyway) Conan is doing?
Logged

"All opinions posted are my own, and not those of my employers, who are appalled."
Rich
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 498


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2008, 08:51:27 PM »

I think I read or heard that their numbers are around 400,000 subscribers or slightly less than half of the games sold, that isn't so bad compared to all the other MMO's that aren't Korean or WoW but it is only about 2-3 months after they sold around a million copies, I expect the numbers to drop even more this month and then again in November.
Logged

SteamID - Rich-NauticaLNaughT
XBox 360 - NauticaLNaughT
PS3 - PTCynic
rittchard
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3963


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2008, 09:15:29 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on September 17, 2008, 03:06:59 PM

Could it be a 'forced retirement' due to how poorly (at least from all that I've read anyway) Conan is doing?

Nah, he just quit so he could play Warhammer Online full time.  I think he might be in our guild now, someone mentioned they were taking a 6 month "vacation" last night.   slywink
Logged
EngineNo9
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11015


I said good day, sir!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2008, 09:28:47 PM »

Quote from: Rich on September 17, 2008, 08:51:27 PM

I think I read or heard that their numbers are around 400,000 subscribers or slightly less than half of the games sold, that isn't so bad compared to all the other MMO's that aren't Korean or WoW but it is only about 2-3 months after they sold around a million copies, I expect the numbers to drop even more this month and then again in November.

Yeah, with Warhammer Online, Wrath of the Lich King and Mines of Moria all poised to release this fall/winter the player population will likely dwindle pretty quickly if it does.

I can only imagine how much server hardware they now have sitting around doing basically nothing.  Spend millions of dollars on all of that backend only to have more than half of your players leave after a couple months.  Not pretty. 
Logged

Sandwiches do fix everything.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.35 seconds with 37 queries. (Pretty URLs adds 0.065s, 2q)