Brad McQuaid, CEO of Vanguard developer Sigil Games, made a lengthy forum post this weekend, appearing to confirm recent rumors that publisher Sony Online Entertainment is looking into various actions regarding the future of Sigil and its recently released MMO, including a potential acquisition of Sigil by SOE. "SOE is in discussions with Sigil regarding the future of Vanguard and Sigil Games in Carlsbad," wrote McQuaid (pictured left), relaying SOE's official position. "What does that mean? It means that right now Vanguard is doing decently but not as well as we hoped," he added. Potential courses of action theorized by McQuaid include acquisition, changes in management, or workforce adjustments at Sigil.
Shacknews confirmed with Sony Online Entertainment that discussions between the two companies are indeed in the works, and that the forum post in question was written by McQuaid.
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes launched in late January of this year. Executive producer McQuaid is well known as one of the original designers of Verant Interactive's EverQuest, on which he became executive producer. In 2002, McQuaid founded Sigil Games. Vanguard was originally announced as being published by Microsoft; last year, SOE took over all publishing duties on the game.
"Both companies agree that we need more of SOE's involvement if Vanguard is going to continue to get the support it needs to both continue to be worked on and improved and debugged and optimized," said McQuaid of the MMO. He went on to list a variety of challenges for the game, including its demanding system requirements, consumers overestimating its necessary time commitment, and difficulties in distinguishing itself to consumers from primary competitor World of Warcraft as well as the EverQuest series, on which many Vanguard team members have worked.
McQuaid advocates a significant overhaul of Vanguard to rejuvenate its user experience and its image in the MMO market. "What the game needs is a re-launch of sorts, including targeted marketing campaigns, an all-around successful move by gamers to the next generation of hardware, continued good word of mouth 'viral' marketing by those who are already playing, enjoying, and re-subscribing," he explained. "And all of this could and should ramp up by the end of the year, all the while the Vanguard team is putting in more content." Such a relaunch would likely occur by the end of 2007 with the game's first expansion releasing in the first quarter of 2008, he projected. "I think it's safe to say that both Sigil and SOE see the potential of a mind blowing game by the end of the year," said McQuaid. Features pegged for the first expansion include RTS-style city construction, naval combat, and jousting.
Speaking to Shacknews on the matter, an SOE representative stated, "Everyone's primary concern is what's best for Vanguard and its community. Specifics can not be discussed at this time, however I can tell you that the talks are positive." SOE declined to go into further detail on the two companies' current plan of action.
I was in love with the game from the beggining but I cancelled - whats really the point of playing right now when theres minimal "end game" goals as far as adventuring go?
I'm shaking my head and starting to think this is SWG all over again.
If Vanguard were shut down tomorrow, it still wouldnt be as big a failure as SWG. Sure, 30 million would be down the tubes, but SOE/LucasArts has lost a fortune with its handling of SWG. They could have had Wow type subscription numbers long before WoW came along.
Yar, but the point Im making is that once SWG started having "Management Issues" of this sort and no apparent direction, the game went down the tubes.
I still cannot believe how they fucked up a golden opportunity of a SWG MMO and hope to fuck Bioware really is making one.
Seriously, people wanted space adventuring, thrilling combat, wonderful stories etc. Instead they catered to the social MMO players and crafters. GOOD ONE GUYS.
Two words : Raph Koster
That's how they fucked that golden license square in the ass.
Actually, the social aspects and crafting aspects are crucial to making an immersive MMO.
To me, WoW isnt immersive because combat is the only path one can take in the game. SWG provided very little for those who like to adventure and bash things.
The game that pleases both audiences will make for a very fun MMO. Eve handles both well, but its a PvP based game.
IMHO, DAoC has come the closest to creating a good pve, pvp, and crafting/marketplace game. Good, but not great.