For fate strums a mournful tune
For those whose campaigns peak too soon
-Stomper (aka Arrowroot of Arrowshirt), Bored of the Rings
Sony Online Entertainment announced this game on June 11th, 2007.
We’ll get back to you when positions are available
In SOE Podcast #19, recorded June 18th, 2007, Brenlo said that they had seen builds of the game for a couple of years at that point. He also nearly gave a release date then caught himself. Who knew how prophetic that would be.
People were discussing the subscription model even then. After all, it sounded like the game was just around the corner.
I happened to be listening to some old podcasts this week that, for no reason I could figure, iTunes felt should be on my iPod. Amongst them was VirginWorlds Podcast #127 with Brent and Jonathan at SOE Fan Faire in August of 2008 where they were very big on The Agency, though not as excited as they were for DC Universe Online.
It sounded like The Agency was just around the corner.
It felt so close that GameFly let people put it on their game queues in anticipation of it arriving on the PS3. Then they removed the game from their list and announced that it had been canceled.
For 2009 I started making “The Agency won’t ship this year” one of my standard predictions. It was a gimme, like Harold Stassen running for president. People were joking that it would be ready to ship on the PS4.
In 2010 I continued with that prediction, even though SOE announced a 2010 release date for the game. It was just around the corner. SOE showed it at E3… again.
But even as I was listening to VirginWorlds Podcast #127 the other day, Massively was posting a story about The Agency being pushed out until late 2011. All we got for 2010 was a Facebook game, The Agency: Covert Ops.
Were there even games on Facebook back when The Agency was announced?
I’ll give you a preview of my 2011 predictions: The Agency… it won’t ship in 2011. But I am a card carrying cynic.
And it isn’t that I am down on the team developing it. Nobody is saying their job is easy. I mean, a twitch based shooter as an MMO… and on the PC and PS3 to boot. No matter what some zombie lovers say, this ain’t easy.
The company though… I suppose it is easy, in hindsight, to say they were premature in announcing the game.
There is an art to knowing when to announce something, when to start building hype. The long run from announcement to actual ship… whenever that may be… just invites unflattering comparisons. Look at the games that have been announced, shipped, and had sequels since The Agency was announced.
Blizzard has shipped two expansions since The Agency was announced.
Microsoft fixed (mostly) Windows Vista and renamed it Windows 7 since The Agency was announced.
What do you think?
Is The Agency actually going to make it in 2011? Will it be worth it if it does?
SOE has talked a good game and shown us some spiffy trailers, but can they get past the PR nightmare of the long wait?