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Gods and Heroes: A Talk with Perpetual Entertainment

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

Yesterday, Managing Editor Jon Wood had a chance to sit down for an interview with Chris McKibbin and Daron Stinnett from perpetual Entertainment to talk about the recent announcement that Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising would be put on "indefinite hold", as well as the future of the company and Star Trek Online.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit down for a short interview with some of the people over at Perpetual Entertainment. In case you’ve been living under a rock, up until a short time ago, Perpetual Entertainment was developing both Star Trek Online and a game called Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising. That changed, however, on October 9th when it was announced that the Gods & Heroes project would be put on indefinite hold. The sudden announcement surprised many in the community, which led to my conversation yesterday with: Chris Mckibbin, the co-founder of Peretual, Daron Stinnett, Chris Launius, Community Manager and Richard Zinser, the VP of Game Services.

When I asked the group why exactly they had chosen to put the game on indefinite hold, I was pointed back toward the official statement that the company issued back on the 9th. “The decision to put [the game] on hold was a result of looking at all of Perpetual's opportunities,” answered Mckibbon, “Gods & Heroes, Star Trek, and the Perpetual Platform Services business.”

“Why then,” I asked, “was Gods & Heroes in particular chosen of the three for the hold?”

Read it all here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • ShoalShoal Santa Clara, CAPosts: 1,156Member

    Another MMORPG Dead-Link

  • StraddenStradden Managing Editor Halifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

    You're too quick for me. I was just putting that in! Done now!

    Cheers,
    Jon Wood
    Managing Editor
    MMORPG.com

  • ShoalShoal Santa Clara, CAPosts: 1,156Member

    Originally posted by Stradden


    You're too quick for me. I was just putting that in! Done now!
    *Laughs*  Thought that might be it.  :)

    Nice write-up, by the way.

    One could also speculate :

    *  They realized that RV had captured what little ancients market there was to be had.

    *  RV had 'poisoned' the ancients market

    *  They were not willing to invest THEIR money in the project (I think this most likely)

    Good Hunting

  • gothgargothgar Riverside, CAPosts: 87Member
    I think they realised that a early released MMO is worse off than just canceling or putting it on indefinite hold.

    It actually gives me more faith in them as a company, since most companies out there would just release it and hope to get back some of the money invested.

    G&H had some damn good things that they were working with, and I had a good time in beta, it did need a lot of work and polish for it to be a hit though.
  • kadepsysonkadepsyson sun prairie, WIPosts: 1,937Member

    I just think it's funny that I could go to my local Best Buy or gamestop and still pay money to pre-order the game.  They haven't taken the box off the shelf yet and probably won't for a while.  I feel sorry for people who do buy that pre order box now.

    El Psy Congroo

  • JonMichaelJonMichael Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 796Member

    I beta tested GnH for a few months and I must say their handling of the cancellation of the game was quite poor.

    While I can understand the reasoning of moving resources, developers and funds to STO since it has a better chance of being successful, I can't understand why they allowed pre-orders to be taken when they had to have *some* idea the game wasn't going to be released.

    The dedicated beta testers of GnH were given no notice prior to the game being shut down.  As soon as the announcement was made, all game servers and forums were taken off line. No one was given a last chance to maybe play the game for a week, knowing it was going to close or even to touch base with the many new friends we made on the forums.  Not a good way to treat prospective customers.

    While I had no intentions of playing STO, I certainly have no intentions of playing any PE games in the future based on the treatment of their beta testers.

    Bad PR move, PE.

     

    _________________________________
    JonMichael

    Currently: AION, an MMO Beta under NDA
    Played: WAR, LOTRO, Hellgate: London, CoX, GW, SotNW, DAOC, EQ2, SWG, WoW, AO, Horizons, Second Life, There, TSO
    Beta'd: There, Second Life, EQ2, DAOC:LotM, LOTRO, Tabula Rasa, Gods and Heroes, Hellgate: London, Requiem:Bloodymare, AoC, WAR, DDO, Fallen Earth

  • TheOracle1TheOracle1 New York, NYPosts: 84Member

    PE is going after the money, the "phenomenal" market for STO. The interview was just more corporate PR.

    Remember, G&H was considered a "world-class" MMO by PE too.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,183Member Uncommon

    Pepetual is doomed, they did not fire Daron Stinnett .  Every time that guy opens his mouth, complete nonsense spews forth.  He knows as much about how to make a MMO as my 3 year old niece, nothing.

    Knowing the source it must have been a whing ding of an interview.

    BTW if you think this will give Star Trek a boost, go spend some time on the STO forum.  They are almost completely ignoring the lore.  It is basically a space shootem up game with a Star Trek logo.  I cannot believe Paramount is letting them do this.  

  • TymoraTymora Manorville, NYPosts: 1,312Member
    Originally posted by JonMichael


    I beta tested GnH for a few months and I must say their handling of the cancellation of the game was quite poor.
    While I can understand the reasoning of moving resources, developers and funds to STO since it has a better chance of being successful, I can't understand why they allowed pre-orders to be taken when they had to have *some* idea the game wasn't going to be released.
    The dedicated beta testers of GnH were given no notice prior to the game being shut down.  As soon as the announcement was made, all game servers and forums were taken off line. No one was given a last chance to maybe play the game for a week, knowing it was going to close or even to touch base with the many new friends we made on the forums.  Not a good way to treat prospective customers.
    While I had no intentions of playing STO, I certainly have no intentions of playing any PE games in the future based on the treatment of their beta testers.
    Bad PR move, PE.
     



    I'm right with ya on this one.  As a former core tester of the game, I had nothing but positive things to say about how PE handled things during development, but this has turned out badly.  Not that I am really upset about the game being cancelled, I wasn't going to play it anyway (it was good, but Tabula Rasa is going to be better).  I just hope they can be a little more considerate to their fans of STO.

  • teriakiteriaki San Francisco, CAPosts: 2Member

    I think it's misleading of McKibbon to say that most people were moved to STO. PE laid off the majority of GnH staff, with no notice and no severance. To my knowledge, there were only five people retained.

    The entire debacle was poorly handled.

     

  • TheOracle1TheOracle1 New York, NYPosts: 84Member

    Originally posted by teriaki


    I think it's misleading of McKibbon to say that most people were moved to STO. PE laid off the majority of GnH staff, with no notice and no severance. To my knowledge, there were only five people retained.
    The entire debacle was poorly handled.
     
     

      It shows PE will lie about anything for anyone. Over the course of the last year, PE fired nearly 100 employees who were working on G&H. About 30 were fired last Christmas, and about 40 this spring. During that time, PE released statements that the firings had nothing to with G&H problems but rather because the game was in polishing stage and needed less work.

      PE is not a truthful organization. Now they are saying the staff was mostly moved to STO, impossible!

      PE wants to get STO released and screw the Trek fanbase. It's sad because the last 10 years the Trekkies have been screwed royally, their undying interest in Trek expoited by cheap and derivative corporate products (Voyager, Enterprise, Nemesis, Star Trek: Legacy).

  • DracusDracus The Bay Area, CAPosts: 1,449Member

    I learned nothing new from this interview.

    Mr. Wood, I feel that PE should apologize to you for wasting your time.

    And that is why...

    Conservatives' pessimism is conducive to their happiness in three ways. First, they are rarely surprised -- they are right more often than not about the course of events. Second, when they are wrong they are happy to be so. Third, because pessimistic conservatives put not their faith in princes -- government -- they accept that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. They believe that happiness is an activity -- it is inseparable from the pursuit of happiness.

  • slivilslivil Somewhere, NYPosts: 14Member

    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    Pepetual is doomed, they did not fire Daron Stinnett .  Every time that guy opens his mouth, complete nonsense spews forth.  He knows as much about how to make a MMO as my 3 year old niece, nothing.
    Knowing the source it must have been a whing ding of an interview.
    BTW if you think this will give Star Trek a boost, go spend some time on the STO forum.  They are almost completely ignoring the lore.  It is basically a space shootem up game with a Star Trek logo.  I cannot believe Paramount is letting them do this.  
      I agree Daron Stinnett should have his mouth silenced. But what shocks me is what forums are you talking about ? I only seen a fan run sites that is all good and dandy if you like mostly one sided catering and pandering to the few PE people that actually read and post on them (bring on your own forums PE and then you will get a bigger picture).

    Here Daron Stinnett have a cookie and everything will be right as rain 

    Still think TheOracle should put that in his sig.  

  • FinniganGuyFinniganGuy DublinPosts: 57Member

    Amazing interview.  Amazing that it really doesn't say anything.  No matter how McKibben or Stinnett spin it, this is a major debacle of galactic proportions.  The Gods and Heroes situation reflects poorly on their management.  It appears that these guys have no clue how to manage software development and are truly  poor stewards of the Star Trek franchise license.

    If I were an investor in PE I would be plenty worried right now.  They have had the Star Trek License for over three years and NOW they are realizing it has potential and that it should be the game that has priority?  What kind of judgment does that indicate?  It appears that they have a problem with priority and with software development project management.

    If I were CBS, the owners of the Star Trek license, i would be very concerned that my valuable intellectual property was being handled by people who have demonstrated that they have not taken said property seriously and have squandered three years of "pre-production" time.  If they are just now starting true development on the STO game then it will be additional years before this title even enters a Beta state. 

    How are any of us who are Star Trek fans, and potential customers of STO, going to have confidence that the team that just screwed the pooch on Gods and Heroes is going to be able to successfully develop the STO game?  The purpose of the interview should have been a confidence builder.  Instead, I have more questions and less confidence.   My sensors indicate that "She canna take any more!  The warp engines are gonna blow!"

    My prediction for PE and STO:  Imminent warp core breach.  To quote Commander Kor:  "A pity, Captain.  It would have been glorious!"

     

     

  • eric_w66eric_w66 North Richland Hills, TXPosts: 1,006Member

    G&H was an all right idea I suppose, but nothing so earth shattering that I'd have paid to play it (a minion pet doesn't strike me as novel enough). If it had come out when DAOC came out, THEN I might have looked into it.But alas, that's what it reminded me of, 5 years later.

    I've always regretted STO being in the hands of PE. How in the world did they get it anyways? Have they ever released anything? Who is their sugar daddy that they can afford to hire (then fire) so many people, waste 3 years+ on a game only to dump it, AND afford the STO license?

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Newport News, VAPosts: 5,615Member

    [quote]when I asked him for a response to theories of STO’s demise (which seem to be greatly exaggerated).[/quote]

     

    This has yet to be seen.

    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • arvainisarvainis Zeeland, MIPosts: 548Member

    Anyone who beleives the lies coming from PE is either already dead or should be locked up for their own safety.  The only optimism at PE is how they're going to lay people off or piss off as many people as they can in one announcement.  Yes I am ranting and I don't care.  PE WILL PUT STO IN THE GRAVE!  In the words of one of the most intelligent thinkrs of our time (sarcasm) Eric Cartman, "Screw you guys, I'm goin' home"  Good night now!

    "Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves." ~ Ronald Reagan

  • GoddiQGoddiQ VedbPosts: 99Member

    I was a beta tester of this game, and it's sad to see it had to end like this, even though they might take it up again, i doubt though.

     

    R.I.P GnH

     

     

  • LouiseKLouiseK PortsmouthPosts: 258Member

    I completely understand the decision they made and the only people i feel sorry for are the people who had actually pre-ordered the game and the people who lost their jobs.

    They don't owe beta testers anything... testers aren't doing them a favour, they are doing it because they are enjoying it.

     

     

    I expect it was one of those things that someone was trying to prevent from happening for a while, fought the battle right upto the deadline and lost at which point the server went down. No chance for notice and no funds to prolong the servers.

    I actually respect the decision. Nothing worse than an unfinished release and to me it expresses just how much in the way of resourses they are going to put into STO. If they do a bad job, it will be an unforgivable tragedy and i think they realise that.

    Good luck to them, and i can't wait for STO!

     

  • KeoghKeogh Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,099Member

     

     

    Listen, read it again.

    They admit that it took them 5 years to figure out that a niche MMO on Roman Mythology would not be as popular as a Star Trek MMO.

    But for 5 years they dumped money into a weak idea, and then did a pitiful job executing it.

    This only proves that they are incompetent, lack sound business judgement or any creativity.

    PE wreaks of arrogance, ignorance, mediocrity and stupidity!

    "Don't corpse-camp that idea. Its never gonna rez"
    Bladezz (The Guild)

  • arvainisarvainis Zeeland, MIPosts: 548Member

    Originally posted by LouiseK


    I completely understand the decision they made and the only people i feel sorry for are the people who had actually pre-ordered the game and the people who lost their jobs.
    They don't owe beta testers anything... testers aren't doing them a favour, they are doing it because they are enjoying it.
     
     
    I expect it was one of those things that someone was trying to prevent from happening for a while, fought the battle right upto the deadline and lost at which point the server went down. No chance for notice and no funds to prolong the servers.
    I actually respect the decision. Nothing worse than an unfinished release and to me it expresses just how much in the way of resourses they are going to put into STO. If they do a bad job, it will be an unforgivable tragedy and i think they realise that.
    Good luck to them, and i can't wait for STO!
     
    What resources are being put towards STO?!?  They laid off almost everyone from the GnH team!  The way GnH turned out (GARBAGE!) how can you have any confidence in the people that actually kept their jobs and moved into the STO team???  No new onetary resources are being shifted from GnH to STO, the people funding them saw what junk GnH was and pulled out.  I'm gld they canned the project instead of putting out an unfinished product but they had to know it was getting canned far before they let the community know.  They say they want community feedback but they shut their forums down right after the game is canned, no feedback there.  There is no respect in their decision because part of the process of making that decision was how they were going to handle it and that they did HORRIBLY.  I don't respect comapnies that LIE TO THEIR PLAYERS AND COMMUNITY!  They don't realise screwing up STO will do them in, obviously this is a poorly managed company.  I would be willing to bet the people who made these decisions are still working at PE and this is bad news for STO. 

    If you want to back a company that lies and cannot produce a decent product go ahead.  Have fun waiting but if you want something similar to PE's finished product of STO look up your local garbage dump.

    "Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves." ~ Ronald Reagan

  • ShoalShoal Santa Clara, CAPosts: 1,156Member

    Star Trek Online will  NEVER see the light of day.  At least not from this company.  I am surprised they ever managed to get the IP to begin with.  I would have expected it to go to a company with a sucessful track record.

    Just my opinion.

  • bonzoso21bonzoso21 Michigan, USPosts: 108Member Uncommon

    I wasn't surprised by the cancellation--I've beta tested a dozen MMOs, and G&H's was a train wreck compared to almost every one. The game had a few great features, don't get me wrong, but they were found amidst a bevy of ones that looked good on paper and poor in execution. At the rate they were moving in beta, it would have never shipped in the condition to compete with the likes of WAR and AoC. Several months ago, I said to some friends of mine that were testing the game that I fully expected Perpetual to either scrap the project and shift focus to Star Trek or ship G&H in a half-finished state just to recoup some of the development losses, regardless of the impact it would have on their reputation. At this point, I'd be pretty worried if I were an investor OR an employee at Perpetual...STO is a last ditch effort to showcase their development platform, and if the creators of the dev tools can't even produce a good game from them, I wouldn't be surprised to see BioWare (now owned by EA) taking steps to annul their license in much the same way Silicon Knights is at war with Epic Games right now.

  • LukainLukain WestmeadPosts: 593Member Common

     

     I wonder

     

     

     

  • qbangy32qbangy32 GT YarmouthPosts: 681Member

    I would have to agree that cancelling a game at such a late stage will have a negative impact with the communities of the other games in development, If I was following STO I would be seriously wondering "Will they cancel?".

     

    I've been following Age of Conan for quite sometime now and each time the game has been pushed back for "Further Polish" I keep getting those dreaded feelings of "Vapourware", but G&H had no real signs that it was going to be shelved and this is what worries me with regards to their other titles, the axe could fall with no warning at all.

     

    Oh and what a waste of a competition Beta place, my second one that I've won here and it had to turn into a turkey  =(

     

     

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