Quote of the Day – A Treasure Trove of Turbine Turmoil

LOTRO’s launches in Japan and Korea were so disappointing they were immediately and quite effectively brushed under the carpet and never spoken of again.

-Aylwen, LOTROCommunity forums

Well, if you were looking to kick Turbine while they were down, Massively Overpowered linked to some forum posts earlier that will both set the “down” scenario and give you plenty of targets to kick.

In fact, if there is some Turbine issue you want to pick at, you’ll probably find it.  Infinite Crisis as an ill-conceived disaster that is hemorrhaging money?  Check!  Self-destructive rivalries between groups?  Check!  F2P conversions that did not meet expectations despite the external hype? Check!  Cheaping out on expansions?  Check!  Blizzard induced paranoia?  Check!  Leadership problems and rampant self-deception?  Check!  Neglect from corporate overlords?  Check!

It is like Ikea!

Bad marketing ideas? Well, we had proof of that already, didn’t we?

I picked the quote at the top because that was an event I couldn’t even recall.

And while the author of these posts, a former Turbine employee, says he is not disgruntled, this does feel like an EA Louse-level event for Turbine, and I haven’t even gone through half of it yet.

8 thoughts on “Quote of the Day – A Treasure Trove of Turbine Turmoil

  1. Jidhari

    Wow…just wow.

    Some other choice gems:

    “A cynic might suggest that the Paizs had flat lined DDO already and when Ascherons Call’s concurrency numbers are beating DDO on a nightly basis, you can only go up from there. …..In March or thereabouts in ’10 an email went out from Crowley stating that LOTRO’s US subs were down to around 85k (the only time specific sub numbers were ever mentioned even in-house while I was there) and could we maybe ask our friends to try the game?”

    85k?!? I wonder where they are now. And poor DDO.

    And another gem about ESO:

    “after leaving Turbine the first time I went to Zenimax Online for a year. By this point (fall 2010) they had been ‘developing’ ESO for something like 4 or 5 years and had a projected launch date of spring of ’12 (the idea being to follow up Skyrim with a big marketing campaign with WETA and then launch). But less than a year and a half from launch the game wasn’t remotely near alpha state, despite having already consumed untold millions of dollars. To make a long story short, I was amazed they finished it at all.”

    So eight or nine years in development?!?? Welp.


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Jidhari – Yeah, there is some pretty heady stuff in there. Though it isn’t like I haven’t worked at companies that have had most of those problems.

    I copied all of his posts to a text file to read through later, just in case he has a change of heart or gets waved off by somebody at Turbine for going too far and went back to delete things.


  3. Jidhari

    Good idea. I did the same! And you are right, all of this is par for the course in a lot of companies. Still, I find it amazing that they are still in business with three commercial middling MMOs.


  4. Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    I’d take most of this with the requisite grain of salt. Not to say that Turbine didn’t have a ton of problems, but I figure there’s some issues of perspective; it can be hard for the people in the trenches to see the whole battlefield.

    Especially QA, as in my experience most developers in very siloed companies see that group as “below” them and don’t associate with them as much. But, maybe Turbine wasn’t so typical in that respect.


  5. NetherLands

    So many juicy bits…

    Funny to see a staple of gaming forums regarding devs being possibly quite true (thanks to the pics and general tone I believe the Thread is genuine)

    Elliot loved LOTRO-his play time rivalled mine and that was saying something for a dev (many didn’t play LOTRO at all, much less log /played in the months).

    Also there goes my evening off :P


  6. Telke

    It’s interesting how he is very passionate about things and repeatedly praises Turbine for pulling off the things it did. I guess that’s a positive in this, that it’s not an outraged EA Louse, just a dev wanting to talk about how events worked out as they have.


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