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EverQuest Next: Omeed Dariani: "I resigned due to philosophical differences"

SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,126

Sony Online Entertainment's former International Brand Manager has finally written about why he left the company so abruptly a week ago. According to Omeed Dariani, he left as a result of failing to communicate his notion that "community first" is the way to go to build brand recognition for Everquest Next and Landmark.

I want to clarify a little about why I left SOE. I understand that it’s been sudden and cryptic – that was how SOE wanted to handle it and I respect their wishes. Please remember that in working for a company, you agree to keep some things confidential. I care about a great many people there, I wouldn’t want to say anything that might violate their trust or hurt the company.

It was 100% my choice to leave. I was not fired or asked to leave. I was not “given the option to resign or be fired.” It was not about making jokes on livestreams or a few off-color tweets. I didn’t leave due to personal or family issues (though I did laugh at someone on this thread's suggest that I left to go into rehab).

I chose to leave because my direct supervisors didn't support the community-first marketing approach we’ve taken on the EQ Next/Landmark teams. After months of trying every way I could to convince them that we had the right approach, I felt it was better for me (and my sanity) to move along.

That means I’m not leaving because I have another job lined up. I’m resigning because of a philosophical difference with a few people. I love the EverQuest/Landmark teams I worked with – and they have my full support. I only wish I could have helped them more.

Do I have plans? Of course I do. Can I talk about them yet? Of course not. :)

If you have questions, I’m easy to reach on twitter (@omeed) and Twitch.tv/omeed. I’ll be streaming as usual at 4PM PDT on Saturday. I can’t promise to answer everything (again, I don’t want to violate their trust), but I’ll do my best.

Source: EQN Reddit

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Comments

  • ITPalgITPalg Member UncommonPosts: 314

    I assume Dave is not a direct supervisor.

    If the "direct supervisors" didn't support what was already undertaken, then what is the point of it all? Just ignore their lack of support? If it is working why would they not support it? It sounds like someone needs a lack of support adjustment (removal from their positions).

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  • observerobserver Member RarePosts: 3,685
    What does he mean by "community-first"?  Was he trying to market to the existing EQ fanbase, or what?
  • BattlerockBattlerock Member CommonPosts: 1,393
    This statement is unprofessional - you owe no one on the outside an explanation and stating that they don't agree with your "community first approach" is basically stating that the remaining faculty doesn't care what the community wants. Those kind of jabs are best left out of public eye. Just let it go brother it's to early to be making statements.
  • CelestianCelestian Member UncommonPosts: 1,136
    Originally posted by observer
    What does he mean by "community-first"?  Was he trying to market to the existing EQ fanbase, or what?

    I'm curious as well. For me I've not been interested in EQN or Landmark... and I'm a huge EQ1 fan.

     

  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 33,977
    Originally posted by Battlerock
    This statement is unprofessional - you owe no one on the outside an explanation and stating that they don't agree with your "community first approach" is basically stating that the remaining faculty doesn't care what the community wants. Those kind of jabs are best left out of public eye. Just let it go brother it's to early to be making statements.

    Actually we don't know what he really means by this remark.  I took it to mean something entirely different than you, perhaps his supervisors didn't agree that game designs should support building a strong community first, then take other factors into consideration.

    Not saying I know that to be true, but no one really does unless he cares to elaborate further one day.

    But as for sharing with the public, as he mentioned there was rampant speculation why he left abruptly, and he just tried to share a bit of insight without being too specific which is sensible.

     

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  • Investor_bobInvestor_bob Member UncommonPosts: 1

    Curiously, that buck stops here: http://www.gamemarketingsummit.com/bios/laura-naviaux

    SOE, historically, has never marketed themselves well. Just look at Twitch.tv to see where SOE games rank in popularity.

    Omeed promoted himself more successfully than any of the games he was responsible for. That may indeed be due to issues he sites.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,505

    SOE could care less about the gaming community.  All you have to do is look at their past record, probably not as bad as EA, but they are close.

    That is why I don't have a lot of hope for EQNext, the upper echelon at SOE really has never had a concern for the gaming community.  They also seem to be mired in the old days when EQ was king when there was not near the competition there is today.

  • DakirnDakirn Member UncommonPosts: 374

    He talked about it on his stream Saturday if you want to hear him talk about it more, the replay is still on his Twitch channel. Keep in mind that he was in marketing so his "community-focused approach" relates to marketing.

     

    It seems that his direct supervisors didn't agree that focusing on the Landmark community was the way to market the game even though that's how it's grown over the past 9 months. The Twitch community and Insider program was one of those marketing methods.

     

    Omeed is a good guy, I'm sad that they didn't listen to him. I've been in the Landmark community since before Alpha and I always felt that they were trying to reach out to us and the Twitch community to develop a cohesive fan base. I'm surprised that his supervisors didn't feel that way considering how well things seem to be going.

  • ArchlyteArchlyte Member RarePosts: 1,405
    He saw the division between direction of the product and what the players want in advance, and dodged the coming storm. Good for Omeed, he took a principled stand. I will support his future work if I can.
    MMORPG players are often like Hobbits: They don't like Adventures
  • obocoboc Member UncommonPosts: 189

    So I take it as , he really did wanna build a MMO through the community.

    But, the big shots wanna once again keep doing crap that has failed a billion times already ?

  • ArchlyteArchlyte Member RarePosts: 1,405
    Originally posted by oboc

    So I take it as , he really did wanna build a MMO through the community.

    But, the big shots wanna once again keep doing crap that has failed a billion times already ?

    Yeah makes sense. He realized he was being pressured to lie, and he knew he was going to be in the vise between the community and the company.

    EQNext came on to the scene with a big PR bang and a Round Table community building forum, but the direction the game is going is a collection of fad design ideas mashed together in a crude voxely soup, largely devoid of anything resembling EQ or player requests. Omeed must have had enough.

    MMORPG players are often like Hobbits: They don't like Adventures
  • tixylixtixylix Member UncommonPosts: 1,288
    All I know is EQN is gonna suck. they should have named it something else, nothing about it is EQ.
  • DeathtognomesDeathtognomes Member UncommonPosts: 104
    His direct supervisor is Smedley. Smedley is an asshole since the early days as an EQ1 dev, he's the one that basically told the community to go f**k themselves(fact) because he didnt care what the community thought.  So it doesnt surprise me that history is repeating itself.
     
  • grimalgrimal Member UncommonPosts: 2,907
    Originally posted by Battlerock
    This statement is unprofessional - you owe no one on the outside an explanation and stating that they don't agree with your "community first approach" is basically stating that the remaining faculty doesn't care what the community wants. Those kind of jabs are best left out of public eye. Just let it go brother it's to early to be making statements.

    I don't really see it as any jabs, he is just saying he left for creative differences.  Most individuals in the public eye issue a PR saying the same sort of thing.  In fact, I think he was very polite.

  • grimalgrimal Member UncommonPosts: 2,907
    Originally posted by tixylix
    All I know is EQN is gonna suck. they should have named it something else, nothing about it is EQ.

    Wow!  What other super powers do you have?

  • UtinniUtinni Member RarePosts: 1,009
    Originally posted by grimal
    Originally posted by tixylix
    All I know is EQN is gonna suck. they should have named it something else, nothing about it is EQ.

    Wow!  What other super powers do you have?

    Doesn't take superpowers to see SOE consistently letting their financial department dictate game design. 

  • ElsaboltsElsabolts Member RarePosts: 3,438
    EQN is gonna fail and Sony knows it.
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  • SlyLoKSlyLoK Member RarePosts: 2,619
    Landmark is already slowing down and probably isnt bringing in the money like SOE thought it would ( you can get it for $20 so it is as good as released even if feature incomplete ). Additions to the game are coming in at a snails pace now unlike early on. My other guess for the slow down for Landmark is that they are more on the EQN train now and have moved devs over to it since that IMO will be their money maker between it and Landmark.
  • LegereLegere Member UncommonPosts: 119
    sucks for omeed, but just like any job, your boss is your boss.  fall in line, do as they say, do your job as what is asked of you and there wont be any trouble.  going on your own crusade will end up unpleasant for you. right or wrong, there is a hierarchy in place and employees need to learn to follow the leaders, not the other ways around.  
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 11,826
    Originally posted by Utinni
    Originally posted by grimal
    Originally posted by tixylix
    All I know is EQN is gonna suck. they should have named it something else, nothing about it is EQ.

    Wow!  What other super powers do you have?

    Doesn't take superpowers to see SOE consistently letting their financial department dictate game design. 

     

         As in what? EQ  is still going strong and producing XPacs. EQ2 Is still a great game and releasing XPacs. Planetside 2?

    Please do not bring up SWG AGAIN.  Sony is not the best but darn near every single company out there has issues.  Guild Wars 2 was going to save humanity until the masses played it.  I am glad they are making an EQ Next because we can not have too many MMO's on the market. Something for everyone. I do not have to like it to be pleased for them to release it. I hope it is a hit. Whether I play it or not. Good for the genre

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  • kilunkilun Member UncommonPosts: 745
    Originally posted by Legere
    sucks for omeed, but just like any job, your boss is your boss.  fall in line, do as they say, do your job as what is asked of you and there wont be any trouble.  going on your own crusade will end up unpleasant for you. right or wrong, there is a hierarchy in place and employees need to learn to follow the leaders, not the other ways around.  

    Wow, this is a professional job that he choose to do.  I feel sorry for you if that's the way the jobs in your career has been.  I would never let someone dictate my fundamentals and values especially in a civilian job.  Just because someone is higher up in a company than you does not mean that you can't have better ideas and actually jump and take a position higher up than them, becoming their boss.

    I'm not a lemming at work.

  • AtrayoAtrayo Member UncommonPosts: 64

    Best of Luck to you Omeed.

    It seems he philosophically fell on his sword because after hitting a brick wall with his direct supervisors. Was probably exhausted after months of dealing with their BS. Direct Supervisors often means the Executive Producer or another Producer or President role. Since Omeed himself was a Director aka Brand Manager of PR as in middle management. So his immediate direct supervisors were more of a hassle than am asset to his leveraged efforts with the other departments he was working with on the projects.

    It takes cajones or principles to resign when after trying and trying to make it work. They diss him, so he moved on to greener pastures it seems.

    On the other side of the coin is that his "Philosophical Differences" could mean he wouldn't compromise on his style or vision for EQ Next and Landmark in terms of marketing. So they reached an impasse and he decided to leave based on principle.

    I hope Mr. Dariani idealism is a strength to him and those he served at SOE rather than anything less than that in truth. Albeit this is just conjecture of how it may have slightly gone down in circumstances.

     

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  • JyiigaJyiiga Member UncommonPosts: 1,133
    SOE is a terrible MMO company. I find it laughable that people still support them after some of the crap they have pulled over the years. Gutting entire communities, ignoring their players till they leave in droves then having to close games downs. They never learn.
  • cybertruckercybertrucker Member UncommonPosts: 1,117

    A lot of SOE hating going on... For me they have  been behind  of my top 3 favorite games of all time. Eq1 and vanguard...

     

    they have made some mistakes sure. But I don't see them as evil in anyway.

  • AsamofAsamof Member UncommonPosts: 824
    The only thing SOE is successful at is nickel and diming their blind and drooling fanbase.
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