SOE & Sigil – No News is No News

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: Hello?

singer: You don’t say.

singer: You don’t say!

singer: You don’t say!!!

Hangs up

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.”

6 thoughts on “SOE & Sigil – No News is No News

  1. Tipa

    Oh, and if Sigil really wants a well-funded and well-marketed game, maybe they should be talking with Blizzard, not SOE. I love SOE games but I hardly ever hear anything about them! I hear more about UO than EQ1…


  2. cyanbane

    Can you really market Vanguard any better? It really has no appeal to the general public that has not already played MMOs. there within lies its fault, they gunned for picking up the elite player and hoping other more “non-uber” people might want to play with the l33t kids are playing. It just didn’t get past step 1. It has potential, it just stands between a rock and hard place right now and a lot more rocks are coming down the hill (LOTRO, Conan, WH, future EQ2/WOW expansions)

    I don’t know what the answer is, but I don’t think it is marketing.


  3. kilanna

    I am not speaking here with any authority, just what I recall from when EQII launched. If I recall there was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth when EQII launched. High hardware requirements, bugs, gameplay issues. Is Vanguard not just repeating the same mistakes??

    Now of course EQII is by far the best MMO on the market IMHO, and I am not biased at all:). So perhaps, given time Vanguard will evolve into something special.

    However, I think I am fairly typical of many MMO players and a new game would have to be pretty darned special to pull me away from my current game. I have purchased and installed Vanguard and it just has not done it for me.

    No matter what marketing is thrown out there, I am not inspired to committ a lot to the game. I have a fear that I will committ a lot to developing skills or aquiring equipment or whatever, only to have them nerfed when they “rebalance” or “update” the game.


  4. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Yes, Cyanbane has one of the tragic flaws in the vision there, that by Brad’s own statement in the post, Vangaurd is targeted at people who want to commit to an MMO, but are tired of their current MMO. The thing is, people who really like MMOs tend to commit to a single one for a long long time. That EQ still has the subscriber base it does today is a testament to that. So the idea that there is a base of dedicated MMO players that are all sick of their current game seems to be flawed. People aren’t playing WoW until something else comes along. People are playing WoW because they enjoy WoW and are invested in it.

    As for the flaws in EQ2 at launch, they were parallel to what VG is seeing now but, in my memory, an order of magnitude less severe. I could still play EQ2 with the video card I had when it came out, a mid-range, one generation behind card.

    One of the prime problems with EQ2 is that it wasn’t “EverQuest updated” but “A different game set in Norrath.” SOE thought people would give up on EQ and move to EQ2. Given that their populations were about equal at a couple of ugly points in EQ2’s life, they found out that wasn’t going to happen.


  5. Pingback: Neriak is Coming to EQ2? « Trot Line

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