How Smedly Madeoff with EQ Next! Sad day for MMORPG's

fistormfistorm Smalltown, WIMember UncommonPosts: 868

Where it all began...  the 80s.  The movie Wall Street with Michael Douglas.

Smedly got himself a game engine. ran the company like a 80s stock.  Hi Profits and Low Margrins.  If it did not make mega cash, no risk was taken to make it make mega cash.

We can match up every single game rise and fall according to market trends.  Games with huge IP's got Zero overhauls to the game engine or just flat out shut down.  When shooter games topped the charts in sales, he went right for cashing in on Shooters, (planetside and H1Z1).  When more graphic intense RPGs started to show up after 10 years of no progress, he decided to create EQ Next knowning the graphics was not next gen.  Instead of putting together a team of advanced graphic designers and innovation, he decided he would squeeze one last cash in on the outdated engine he had.  NO update to engine, just like games, no updates, just close them and let them crash and burn.  

After successfully getting Landmark marketed, they cracked open the campaign bottles and celebrated much like the disgraced "too big to fail" companies did after the bailout.  Then they marketed the company to the highest bidder capitalizing on hype with the investors of daybreak.  Once they gained full bailout they wanted to stay on as CEO of the company.  Dint work to well, and took their golden parachute.  Once they discovered that the game engine could not compete in the future Daybreak had no choice but to retire EQ NEXT.

That my friends was the way Smedly Madeoff with EQ Next!

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Comments

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Member RarePosts: 4,323
    No.

    In fact just about the opposite of what you said. What they should have done was adopt a low risk strategy and just keep on churning out expansions for EQ1 and EQ2. They didn't. They released new products - trying the f2p market with things like Free Realms and Clone Wars (with the usual trumpeting of account numbers 20M and 10M or the other way around). They attempted to buy in "failed" games and turn them around: Vanguard, MXO. They attempted to act as a distributor for other peoples games - Flying Labs PotBS. And I am sure I have missed some titles.

    And they had a bright idea with EQL (subsequently Landmark) and EQN. The idea being that people would create content in Landmark to port to EQN solving the huge issue of developers not being able to produce enough new content cheaply enough (they could make it fast enough if they hired enough people).

    None of them worked that well and c. 2010 financial issues started to catch up. They stopped taking on new staff; closed down some "new concepts" and started a serious of almost annual staff reductions from a peak of over 1,000 staff. With lots of reorganisations. They still tried however to create new games. They worked on Landmark but were being pushed - not unreasonably - to generate some money to pay the bills. The cash cow that was EQ1 and to an extent EQ2 had stopped giving.  So they pushed out Landmark as an alpha - as a cash grab and switched resources to H1Z1 - Smed explaining at the time they only had the resources to properly develop one game. And H1Z1 launched - as a cash grab but by then Sony had written off $60M and talks to see were underway. SoE was no more shortly after H1Z1 launched.

    If they had simply maintained a team of a couple of hundred, tended to EQ1 and EQ2 and taken no risks they probably would still have been around - as SoE - today.

    They took risks though - tried to develop new games, save other games etc. They just ended up being "bad" at it from a financial point of view - as in making enough money to pay the bills.. 
  • herculeshercules lancashire,blackpoolMember UncommonPosts: 4,897
    edited March 2016
    how is it anything that goes wrong people blame smed
    lets not forget without him there be no EQ and no WoW (if you think otherwise go watch evercracked! and you see brad gives praise directly to smed for the idea and wow devs clearly say without EQ there be no WoW)
    so love him or hate him he made mmorpg mainstream but  directly and indirectly.
    some bad decisions made sure he is human.tried to hype his product to gain attention .er all companies do this for all products
    yes i am sad to see the once great verrant then soe then daybreak be a total  shadow of itself with holly as exec producer for both EQ games left /shrug.but hey we will remember them as we remember ancient rome - an empire dead but one that brought new wonders to the world

    Post edited by hercules on
  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Austin, TXMember EpicPosts: 1,982
    hercules said:
    how is it anything that goes wrong people blame smed

    Because when a ship sinks, it's the captains fault?  When you're in charge of something that fails, it's your failure.

    Yes, at one short point in Smedley's life he had some fantastic ideas.  Everquest, Planetside 1 and Star Wars Galaxies were all brilliant games.

    Planetside 1 played and felt like some really great minds sat around a table and said "How do we take the shooter genre, make it tactical and deep and then set it in a persistent world?"  or "How can we make the best MMOFPS ever made?"

    Planetside 2 played and felt like a group of people sat around a table and said "How can we write a game that will squeeze the most cash out of the player base with the least effort?"  or "How about we take Planetside 1 and monetize every single aspect of it, and release it as a new game?"

    Greedy cash grab Smedley can fuck right the fuck off into the sunset on the horse he rode in on.  When he's out in the desert contemplating why everyone hates him maybe he'll change his tune and make some smart and fun games that don't try to harpoon our wallets at every turn.
  • OfficerFriendlyEQ2OfficerFriendlyEQ2 Member UncommonPosts: 105

    ole smed sold out to the highest bidder, as would any highly skilled American worker should do. Why would he or any DEV would want anything less than their fair share just to keep you lollypops happy?

    This is my opinion, if we all want change or something different in games, you wont find that in Smed. It makes sense to find and try out new talent or what I hope for, a new game developed in a garage like Apple.

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDMember EpicPosts: 21,106
    H0urg1ass said:
    hercules said:
    how is it anything that goes wrong people blame smed

    Because when a ship sinks, it's the captains fault?  When you're in charge of something that fails, it's your failure.

    Yes, at one short point in Smedley's life he had some fantastic ideas.  Everquest, Planetside 1 and Star Wars Galaxies were all brilliant games.

    Planetside 1 played and felt like some really great minds sat around a table and said "How do we take the shooter genre, make it tactical and deep and then set it in a persistent world?"  or "How can we make the best MMOFPS ever made?"

    Planetside 2 played and felt like a group of people sat around a table and said "How can we write a game that will squeeze the most cash out of the player base with the least effort?"  or "How about we take Planetside 1 and monetize every single aspect of it, and release it as a new game?"

    Greedy cash grab Smedley can fuck right the fuck off into the sunset on the horse he rode in on.  When he's out in the desert contemplating why everyone hates him maybe he'll change his tune and make some smart and fun games that don't try to harpoon our wallets at every turn.
    I've been around this topic since 2005... when the nge hit SWG.. in my experience the only people who hate him are those who just can't accept a business made a bad decision. They did what any one steering a ship would do, they saw a leak and tried to plug it, it didn't work. Hating them over it is juvenile. 

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Austin, TXMember EpicPosts: 1,982
    Distopia said:
    H0urg1ass said:
    hercules said:
    how is it anything that goes wrong people blame smed

    Because when a ship sinks, it's the captains fault?  When you're in charge of something that fails, it's your failure.

    Yes, at one short point in Smedley's life he had some fantastic ideas.  Everquest, Planetside 1 and Star Wars Galaxies were all brilliant games.

    Planetside 1 played and felt like some really great minds sat around a table and said "How do we take the shooter genre, make it tactical and deep and then set it in a persistent world?"  or "How can we make the best MMOFPS ever made?"

    Planetside 2 played and felt like a group of people sat around a table and said "How can we write a game that will squeeze the most cash out of the player base with the least effort?"  or "How about we take Planetside 1 and monetize every single aspect of it, and release it as a new game?"

    Greedy cash grab Smedley can fuck right the fuck off into the sunset on the horse he rode in on.  When he's out in the desert contemplating why everyone hates him maybe he'll change his tune and make some smart and fun games that don't try to harpoon our wallets at every turn.
    I've been around this topic since 2005... when the nge hit SWG.. in my experience the only people who hate him are those who just can't accept a business made a bad decision. They did what any one steering a ship would do, they saw a leak and tried to plug it, it didn't work. Hating them over it is juvenile. 
    If you think that I hate him, then you didn't read my post very carefully. You skimmed the post, saw the word "hate" and started firing that colt off at the hip.  I very clearly stated that I think he was a brilliant mind who created several fantastic games.  

    At some point everything changed, and he went from brilliant mind Smedley to wallet harpooning cash grab Smedley.  NGE was the first step in that transformation to the dark side, but by no means the only step.

    You can make a great game that also makes money, but rather than trying to go down that road, he led the company down the path of "How do we make a game that makes money" with no real care if the game was good or not.

    Cash grab Smedley can fuck right off.  If brilliant game designer Smedley wants to come back, then I'll be happy to have that guy back.
  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDMember EpicPosts: 21,106
    edited March 2016
    H0urg1ass said:
    Distopia said:

    I've been around this topic since 2005... when the nge hit SWG.. in my experience the only people who hate him are those who just can't accept a business made a bad decision. They did what any one steering a ship would do, they saw a leak and tried to plug it, it didn't work. Hating them over it is juvenile. 
    If you think that I hate him, then you didn't read my post very carefully. You skimmed the post, saw the word "hate" and started firing that colt off at the hip.  I very clearly stated that I think he was a brilliant mind who created several fantastic games.  

    At some point everything changed, and he went from brilliant mind Smedley to wallet harpooning cash grab Smedley.  NGE was the first step in that transformation to the dark side, but by no means the only step.

    You can make a great game that also makes money, but rather than trying to go down that road, he led the company down the path of "How do we make a game that makes money" with no real care if the game was good or not.

    Cash grab Smedley can fuck right off.  If brilliant game designer Smedley wants to come back, then I'll be happy to have that guy back.
    I didn't say anything about you, I was addressing this sentence. "When he's out in the desert contemplating why everyone hates him".
    Post edited by Distopia on

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Austin, TXMember EpicPosts: 1,982
    Distopia said:
    H0urg1ass said:
    Distopia said:

    Stuff
    Stuff
    I didn't say anything about you, I was addressing this sentence. "When he's out in the desert contemplating why everyone hates him".
    Ok, that's cool.  Misunderstanding then.  I just didn't want to be labeled as a ravening Smedley hater.  I'd love for the guy who made the original SWG to come back if he still in there somewhere.
  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDMember EpicPosts: 21,106
    H0urg1ass said:
    Distopia said:
    H0urg1ass said:
    Distopia said:

    Stuff
    Stuff
    I didn't say anything about you, I was addressing this sentence. "When he's out in the desert contemplating why everyone hates him".
    Ok, that's cool.  Misunderstanding then.  I just didn't want to be labeled as a ravening Smedley hater.  I'd love for the guy who made the original SWG to come back if he still in there somewhere.
    I agree.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 14,374
    edited March 2016
    Wasn't SWG made by the team at Verant? Unfortunately history is getting shuffled under the floor as the wikipedia authors have seen fit to redirect Verant to Daybreak Games.

    So that would be Koster, McQuaid, the people on that team who are getting muddled in historical abbreviations. McQuaid is making Pantheon and Koster seems interested in more intellectually stimulating games than yet another mmo. I think Koster is advising on some game, but...

    If you want to read something really interesting take a look at his site/blog. Here is the 5 minute lookback keynote transcript from GDC and slides from that. Well worth taking 5 minutes to read and another few to ponder all the observations and implications of what he's saying.

    http://www.raphkoster.com/2016/03/21/slides-for-my-gdc-flashbackward-segment/#more-28576
    http://www.raphkoster.com/games/presentations/gdc2016-flashbackward/

    I don't always agree with him on everything, but he is absolutely one of my favorite industry professionals to read and watch interviews with. Critical thinking isn't dead.


    Post edited by Torval on
    Avatar Artist: The Who
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  • GestankfaustGestankfaust Hidingfromyou, ORMember UncommonPosts: 1,989
    I don't understand why this thread was made. Hasn't this been talked about ad nauseam?

    "This may hurt a little, but it's something you'll get used to. Relax....."

  • ThebeastttThebeasttt Grah, ALMember RarePosts: 1,036
    Smed ruined two ground breaking MMORPG's back to back then released a dozen failures since, Planetside 2 and H1Z1 being the only two rays of sunshine amongst a giant pile of crap. He finally gets fired and you plebs come out from under your rocks pretending the above never happened. The criticism is justified.

  • SiugSiug Member UncommonPosts: 1,241
    In my opinion it's good that EQN will never happen because they should have chosen the EQ3 path. Well, Pantheon is shaping up so things are good after all.
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 14,374
    I don't understand why this thread was made. Hasn't this been talked about ad nauseam?
    There are some really angry people who game that take things too seriously and just can't let things go.
    Avatar Artist: The Who
    Album: The Who Sell Out
    Featured Tracks: Heinz Baked Beans, Our Love Was, Hall of the Mountain King (the first and most awesome rock version)
  • herculeshercules lancashire,blackpoolMember UncommonPosts: 4,897
    edited March 2016
    Torval said:
    Wasn't SWG made by the team at Verant? Unfortunately history is getting shuffled under the floor as the wikipedia authors have seen fit to redirect Verant to Daybreak Games.

    So that would be Koster, McQuaid, the people on that team who are getting muddled in historical abbreviations. McQuaid is making Pantheon and Koster seems interested in more intellectually stimulating games than yet another mmo. I think Koster is advising on some game, but...

    If you want to read something really interesting take a look at his site/blog. Here is the 5 minute lookback keynote transcript from GDC and slides from that. Well worth taking 5 minutes to read and another few to ponder all the observations and implications of what he's saying.

    http://www.raphkoster.com/2016/03/21/slides-for-my-gdc-flashbackward-segment/#more-28576
    http://www.raphkoster.com/games/presentations/gdc2016-flashbackward/

    I don't always agree with him on everything, but he is absolutely one of my favorite industry professionals to read and watch interviews with. Critical thinking isn't dead.


    well i can tell you the history since i was there when SoE announced SWG and followed it right till launch and beyond
    it was announced when company was still called verrant but during development it was already SoE
    At some point it was rewritten totally when koster was brought in.McQuaid has absolutely nothing to do with SWG so lets not give him any credit here for something he had nothing to do with.
    In short if i recall right he left SoE very early 2002 well before SWG launch and even prior to that he was focused on everquest purely.
    though i do wish koster would make a mmorpg .i like his style
    Post edited by hercules on
  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,780
    Siug said:
    In my opinion it's good that EQN will never happen because they should have chosen the EQ3 path. Well, Pantheon is shaping up so things are good after all.
    Yeah, because playing safe and doing what everyone else did was the thing that made EQ a great game, right?

    The reason EQ was so great was that it offered something we never seen before, most of us played either M59 or UO before. It was new and full of great ideas.

    A new EQ should have that pioneer spirit while still keep the feeling of Norrath. And yes, EQN probably wouldn't have pulled that off and the change in art style was a huge misstake. The art of an IP sets the mode and something that looks cartonish would never really be a EQ game just like making Wow 2 with realistic graphics would be as huge misstake as well.

    Pantheon is trying to do some of that though, I think SOE/DB big misstake was to not hire in Brad again, he is a visionary (even though he isn't great with money).

    Another problem SOE always had is that they never had any programmer nearly good enough, all their engines had their issues and they never been good at bugfixing. Heck, EQ2 still doesn't run good enough 11 1/2 years after release.

    An EQ3 that just would be an updated version of the 2 earlier games would have earn some money but it would never get close as many players as the first game.

    Lets hope Pantheon will become a large success and that they will buy or license the IP. That is the only hope we have for a new EQ game by now.
  • k61977k61977 Pendleton, SCMember RarePosts: 704
    I think the point a lot of gamers miss is that developers are not just trying to create games for you to enjoy they are trying to make money.  Money is what drives most companies period.  Yeah people like myself love working on some things and would do it for free if we could but guess what nothing in life is free.  So blame developers for wanting to make money all you want but don't forget that without them you wouldn't have anything at all.

    Don't get me wrong I detest a lot of decisions I have seen made, but in the long run if it is more profitable for the developer it is what is going to happen.
  • barasawabarasawa Eugene, ORMember UncommonPosts: 525
    I didn't like smed back when it was just EQ because of some of the b.s. he pulled. 
    It was pretty obvious he either had to be reigned in, or he was going to become a liability. 
    If anyone tried to redirect him, it wasn't enough. 
    His name still has some weight, but how much of it is truly earned? I don't know, but he certainly was part of a team. His stupid actions I recall were obviously his and his alone and not part of creating a game. He's his own worse enemy. 
    I don't trust his decisions, and feel he is like a lit stick of dynamite rolling around on the deck of a ship.
    If you're lucky, he'll jump ship, otherwise, somethings going to get blown up. 

    Lost my mind, now trying to lose yours...

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko JohannesburgMember EpicPosts: 6,538
    Smed isn't actually the Devil, but many people seem to believe that he is...
  • BrorimBrorim CopenhagenMember UncommonPosts: 91
    fistorm said:

    Where it all began...  the 80s.  The movie Wall Street with Michael Douglas.

    Smedly got himself a game engine. ran the company like a 80s stock.  Hi Profits and Low Margrins.  If it did not make mega cash, no risk was taken to make it make mega cash.

    We can match up every single game rise and fall according to market trends.  Games with huge IP's got Zero overhauls to the game engine or just flat out shut down.  When shooter games topped the charts in sales, he went right for cashing in on Shooters, (planetside and H1Z1).  When more graphic intense RPGs started to show up after 10 years of no progress, he decided to create EQ Next knowning the graphics was not next gen.  Instead of putting together a team of advanced graphic designers and innovation, he decided he would squeeze one last cash in on the outdated engine he had.  NO update to engine, just like games, no updates, just close them and let them crash and burn.  

    After successfully getting Landmark marketed, they cracked open the campaign bottles and celebrated much like the disgraced "too big to fail" companies did after the bailout.  Then they marketed the company to the highest bidder capitalizing on hype with the investors of daybreak.  Once they gained full bailout they wanted to stay on as CEO of the company.  Dint work to well, and took their golden parachute.  Once they discovered that the game engine could not compete in the future Daybreak had no choice but to retire EQ NEXT.

    That my friends was the way Smedly Madeoff with EQ Next!

    Smedley is an ******** but your story is all out tinfoil ..

    Smedley fired al the good devs at daybreak before he himself was walked. David Georgson should have taken the lead of that company, Smedley knew that and fired him ..
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko JohannesburgMember EpicPosts: 6,538
    Brorim said:
    fistorm said:

    ...

    That my friends was the way Smedly Madeoff with EQ Next!

    Smedley is an ******** but your story is all out tinfoil ..

    Smedley fired al the good devs at daybreak before he himself was walked. David Georgson should have taken the lead of that company, Smedley knew that and fired him ..
    Smedley fired nobody.

    The new owners fired them. They also fired Smedley at the same time, but gave him 6 months so that it wouldn't be obvious that they were "cleaning house".
  • BrorimBrorim CopenhagenMember UncommonPosts: 91
    Brorim said:
    fistorm said:

    ...

    That my friends was the way Smedly Madeoff with EQ Next!

    Smedley is an ******** but your story is all out tinfoil ..

    Smedley fired al the good devs at daybreak before he himself was walked. David Georgson should have taken the lead of that company, Smedley knew that and fired him ..
    Smedley fired nobody.

    The new owners fired them. They also fired Smedley at the same time, but gave him 6 months so that it wouldn't be obvious that they were "cleaning house".
    I'd like too see something that backs that ..
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarreMember EpicPosts: 6,529
    The game was doomed the day they fired Georgeson.
    I still wanted to believe in it, but I had little hope.
    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
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  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko JohannesburgMember EpicPosts: 6,538
    Brorim said:
    Brorim said:
    fistorm said:

    ...

    That my friends was the way Smedly Madeoff with EQ Next!

    Smedley is an ******** but your story is all out tinfoil ..

    Smedley fired al the good devs at daybreak before he himself was walked. David Georgson should have taken the lead of that company, Smedley knew that and fired him ..
    Smedley fired nobody.

    The new owners fired them. They also fired Smedley at the same time, but gave him 6 months so that it wouldn't be obvious that they were "cleaning house".
    I'd like too see something that backs that ..
    It was all the usual corporate window-dressing and "change management". Much smoke-and-mirrors to disguise and hide what was really happening behind the scenes. This is done to preserve a sense of "continuity" and so that consumers don't lose confidence in the products produced by the original company. They had a valuable IP to protect.

    So the shocks are delivered in gradual stages, like announcing that Smedley would be taking an "extended leave" and would be replaced by a new CEO. But no worries folks, Smed will be returning to the company in "some other capacity". Lmao !

    EQN was actually cancelled shortly after the DBG take-over. They fired all the senior EQN project members, and then the whole thing went dark. Next, they pretended to still be working on it for the next 12 months...

    it's all about keeping up appearances and trying to lessen the impact of the massive changes that were taking place. We are only now (a year later) seeing some of the changes that were made then already.
  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid GinnungagapMember EpicPosts: 8,676
    edited March 2016
    Whatever happened to that company and to Smedley, their biggest mistake IMO was turning the whole company into a F2P dispenser. Designing new games and changing all their existing games to become cash grabs was the first step to their demise. That terrible decision led them head on to ruin.
    Post edited by rojoArcueid on

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