Reading Brad’s update on the future of Vanguard and SOE “getting more involved with Sigil and Vanguard” reminded me, at first, of an old Spike Jones routine. During a song, the phone would ring, the music would stop, and the singer would answer the phone:
singer: You don’t say.
singer: You don’t say!
singer: You don’t say!!!
band: Who was it?
singer: He didn’t say!
So we get a lead-in from Brad that goes like this:
Does this mean an acquisition? I can’t say at this point.
Does this mean more or less people at Sigil? I can’t say at this point.
Does this mean management changes at Sigil? I can’t say at this point.
All he can say is that SOE and Sigil are talking and that it seems that the relationship between the two companies will be closer in the future.
And then there are seven more paragraphs of classic Aradune. Literally a week of material for any blogger worth his or her salt. There are items in there I do want to dig into later, but for now I want to concentrate on the big picture.
What did we learn about the rumored SOE acquisition of Sigil?
I think this line in the last paragraph is key.
To pull it off however, requires a funded and supported Sigil and a well marketed Vanguard….
What can we infer from it?
Sigil is running out of money (again). Yes, he says early on that Vanguard is doing “decently,” but if that were really the case, Sigil wouldn’t be looking for more funding. (One of the options I laid out the other day.)
SOE is their first choice to help them out. Natural enough, as they are already partners for hosting, Brad knows people there, and Sigil is unlikely to find another company as receptive as SOE.
Sigil’s current negotiating stance is “Just give us the money and we’ll make it all good.” A funded and supported Sigil is an independent Sigil, not just another department in SOE. Brad is not yet ready to give up control or, if you read the rest, some form of the vision.
Of course, the fact that he cannot say what is going to happen at this point seems to indicate that SOE is watching out for its own interests. Good for SOE. I’d rather see Sigil go elsewhere than see SOE commit to a deal that might harm any of its other titles.
And what does SOE have to say on the subject so far? Well, Smed doesn’t get out there and bare his soul for us like Brad. All they have is:
SOE is in discussions with Sigil regarding the future of Vanguard and Sigil Games in Carlsbad. Talks are going well and first and foremost, our primary concern right now is what’s best for Vanguard and its community. We want to ensure that this game and its community have a healthy future. The specifics that we work out over the coming days will all be with that single goal in mind.
Which is marketing for, “Yes, we’re talking. Yes, we have the upper hand. Yes, we want to look magnanimous. Yes, we will pwn you if the price is right.”