Daily Archives: May 15, 2007

Vanguard: The Word From Smed

Posted up on the SOE forums The Official Vanguard Forums here:

Hello Everyone,

Today I would like to formally announce that SOE has acquired the assets of Sigil Games Online, including Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. As a part of this acquisition, we are bringing on approx 50 people from Sigil in order to insure that Vanguard continues to grow. SOE is dedicated to making sure that Vanguard is well taken care of and that we provide the same level of service we do for our other titles. In the near future we will come out with a publishing plan that will largely be driven by the strong player community that Vanguard has already built up. We plan on supporting Vanguard for many years to come, and you can expect many content updates as part of your subscription. Down the line we will of course be coming out with new expansion packs, but right now the focus is on making sure Vanguard is running the way it should be.

We are also officially opening up forums. In the past, our deal with Sigil didn’t allow for this, but as with our other games we fill this is an important part of communicating with the playerbase. You can expect a strong presence from our community team as well as the development team members. While we realize that Sigil had said they wouldn’t open up general forums, at SOE we fill this hampers our efforts to communicate effectively with the players. We will continue to support the fansites in a big way, and will be contacting many of them directly to discuss what this change means. By no means do we want to lose the strong fansite support by making this change, but we do think it’s important to have a forum for players to communicate directly with SOE.

A few other items I wanted to mention

1. Brad McQuaid will be consultant to SOE as a creative advisor for Vanguard. Dave Gilbertson will be the person directly responsible for the day-to-day management of both the Sigil Carlsbad office as well as Vanguard.

2. We do not plan on making any major changes to Vanguard. Any changes are going to come from the team itself. We aren’t mandating any big changes to the game. We’ve learned a thing or two with our experiences with the NGE and don’t plan on repeating mistakes from the past and not listening to the players.

3. We do plan on spending a lot of time cleaning up legacy issues with Vanguard and making sure the game’s performance improves.

By way of comparison, this team is approx. the same size as the EQ2 team and I feel like that team has done an amazing job improving EQ2 since it’s launch. We intend to do the same thing for Vanguard and it is our hope that the players feel like we’re doing right by them.


Addendum: The official SOE Press Release is now available here.

[Thanks to Rotacidare at EQ2-Daily who spotted this first.]

Vanguard Rumors and Recriminations Begin Anew

Yesterday there was a post up on F13.net about the majority of the Sigil team being let go and being invited to come back the next day to reapply for a small number of Vanguard development positions at SOE.  A very unhappy situation that I have been in before, both as the person laid off and the front line manager who gets to deliver the news. (And then turns around and gets laid off.)

More news is expected on this from SOE or Sigil today.

Of course, the Fires of Heaven forum is brimming with comments on the subject.

Part of me wants to say that is life in high tech, and even more so in the volitile gaming industry.  I have to lay off several people on my team come Wednesday, so I know the pain.

But part of me believes that something like Vanguard involves a lot more passion and dedication, which will make the pain that much greater. 

Of course my belief might be naive.  It seems that the Grouchy Gamer has some insight on the last days of Sigil Games Online.  If his statements are true, there may be even more righteous anger in the community.  Things can hardly fail to look better when SOE takes charge.

I will be interested to see how the Wikipedia articles on Vanguard and Sigil get updated over the next few days.  It is always amusing to watch the history page to see what people write versus what ends up in the article.

Thanks to Darren at The Common Sense Gamer for keeping his eyes open and his ear to the ground on these things.