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News & Features Discussion  » General: Grinds My Gears: Can SOE Make It?

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139 posts found
  Hornitos

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/08
Posts: 38

5/20/11 12:50:46 PM#21

EQ2 is a solid game but it's not enough to keep SOE afloat long term.  All their other games are crap and they don't have much in the pipeline.  The few Everquest Next screenshots we saw were not impressive.


Sony has to be willing to make some major changes and shake things up and then re-invest in the MMO market by hiring some quality game designers. 


After 4+ years of leadership from John Smedley it's clear he's part of the problem because he hasn't been part of the solution.  First things first, Smed needs to go.


  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7029

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

5/20/11 12:56:15 PM#22

Can I also suggest to SOE that an excellent way to make a start on getting rid of the 'old SOE' for a fresh slate would be to sell Vanguard to a company that would care for it and actually develop it?

Please?

Let something good come of it all :)

  Daffid011

Old School

Joined: 1/03/04
Posts: 7652

5/20/11 1:00:23 PM#23

To answer your question, no the security breach does not change my view of SOE.  It is just another step in the misadventures of this company.   It isn't something that on its own would cause me to walk away from a company, but this is just another straw on the camels back.

 

SOE is in a very tough spot right now.  Dwindling player base for many years, 3 consecutive years of layoffs, studio/game cancelations, massive turn over in their senior level leadership and now the loss of 45 days worth of subscription revenue and customer confidence over security. 

 

Sure SOE needs to make some massive changes, but honestly the time for change was years ago.  What we are seeing now is just the results of the decision not to make much needed changes some years ago.  

 

EQ3 is going to require a lot of cash, time and developers to make something that will be a big success in the current market.  Unfortunate for SOE time, money and developers does not seem to be resources they have an abundance of at the moment.

 

 

 

  gaugeforever

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/11
Posts: 7

5/20/11 1:04:17 PM#24

[quote]Finally, I wanted to talk about games that are left to languish with the Station Pass. Instead of getting the developer attention that they deserve, with a full team to pull some of them up by their bootstraps, games just seem to wither and die on the vine, and no one wants to see that happen to a game that they’ve invested time and money into.[/quote]


My thoughts exactly.  Vanguard ( i don't and havn't played it) is probably an example of a game that could have been saved and turned into a very profitable game.  There are thousands of people that don't play this game for this one reason alone.  Why get attached to something you are destined to lose very shortly.


  SuperXero89

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/16/09
Posts: 2595

5/20/11 1:08:45 PM#25

Unfortunately for all of you, SOE will be around for a long time to come.

  Tardcore

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/13/09
Posts: 2370

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to post."

5/20/11 1:09:34 PM#26
Originally posted by vesavius

Can I also suggest to SOE that an excellent way to make a start on getting rid of the 'old SOE' for a fresh slate would be to sell Vanguard to a company that would care for it and actually develop it?

Please?

Let something good come of it all :)

Why would they do that? This way they can stifle their competition by letting the game languish, actually make a bit of money off its slow demise, and if they ever want to, use the license for their own sequel. Selling the game to some other company who would actually put effort into improving it, would set it up as direct competiton, and SOE is nothing if not Byzantine.

"Gypsies, tramps, and thieves, we were called by the Admin of the site . . . "

  BarCrow

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/25/07
Posts: 2096

5/20/11 1:11:28 PM#27

I like Vanguard..but honestly ...at least SOE kept it on life support. They bought it because no one would and no one will ...touch it with a ten foot pole.  Them trying to sell it to a company who will care for it would be great...finding someone who will buy it to begin with...that's the trick.

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7029

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

5/20/11 1:13:08 PM#28
Originally posted by Tardcore
Originally posted by vesavius

Can I also suggest to SOE that an excellent way to make a start on getting rid of the 'old SOE' for a fresh slate would be to sell Vanguard to a company that would care for it and actually develop it?

Please?

Let something good come of it all :)

Why would they do that? This way they can stifle their competition by letting the game languish, actually make a bit of money off its slow demise, and if they ever want to, use the license for their own sequel. Selling the game to some other company who would actually put effort into improving it, would set it up as direct competiton, and SOE is nothing if not Byzantine.

 

yep, why would they?

Shame though.

  SuperXero89

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/16/09
Posts: 2595

5/20/11 1:15:19 PM#29
Originally posted by BarCrow

I like Vanguard..but honestly ...at least SOE kept it on life support. They bought it because no one would and no one will ...touch it with a ten foot pole.  Them trying to sell it to a company who will care for it would be great...finding someone who will buy it to begin with...that's the trick.

Yeah, I love how people bash SOE for this, acting like selling the game to some random independant developer will cure all it's woes.  What people don't realize is that these major updates cost money, and without a player base, there isn't enough money coming in to fully develop the game.  It's a vicious catch 22, but even if SOE sold Vanguard to another company, that company isn't likely to have enough funding to truly reinvigorate the game (as is the case in Ryzom) or they will simply buy it only to watch it whither and die while syphoning what little cash they can off of it, because adding developers and producing updates for an unproven product is too much of a financial risk.

  JeroKane

Elite Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 4658

5/20/11 1:16:54 PM#30

They need to fire John Smedly and replace him with someone new.


Only then things will change and a new fresh wind might blew through the company.


As let's face it! John Smedly has been solely responsible for all their escapades and mishaps and so pretty much ran this once great company into the ground to the point where it is today!


Any CEO of any other company would have been fired long ago! But somehow John Smedley always escaped the dance and let his hardworking employees take the fall by several rounds of lay offs these past years! with a fairly huge one recently!


If they want to salvage this sitiuation and for SOE to have any future left, then they need to start kicking at the top and start replacing there!  Not the talented and good people on the bottom!!!


  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7029

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

5/20/11 1:17:15 PM#31
Originally posted by BarCrow

I like Vanguard..but honestly ...at least SOE kept it on life support. They bought it because no one would and no one will ...touch it with a ten foot pole.  Them trying to sell it to a company who will care for it would be great...finding someone who will buy it to begin with...that's the trick.

 

If someone like CCP bought it, spent 6 months or so tweaking it, and relaunched it people would play it, I am sure

We will never know though, I think it's obvious SOE will shut it down before selling it on, because thats the kind of company they are (and an example of the reason they have the rep they do.)

  Samhael

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/28/04
Posts: 573

5/20/11 1:17:21 PM#32

No, the security breach really didn't impact my feelings on SOE. DCUO pretty much cemented my lack of faith in the company.


  BarCrow

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/25/07
Posts: 2096

5/20/11 1:23:17 PM#33
Originally posted by JeroKane

They need to fire John Smedly and replace him with someone new.


Only then things will change and a new fresh wind might blew through the company.


As let's face it! John Smedly has been solely responsible for all their escapades and mishaps and so pretty much ran this once great company into the ground to the point where it is today!


Any CEO of any other company would have been fired long ago! But somehow John Smedley always escaped the dance and let his hardworking employees take the fall by several rounds of lay offs these past years! with a fairly huge one recently!


If they want to salvage this sitiuation and for SOE to have any future left, then they need to start kicking at the top and start replacing there!  Not the talented and good people on the bottom!!!

  Can't argue with this. It does seem like ...with all the fire he draws that Smedly would have been replaced. I have a feeling nobody wants his job though.

  Daffid011

Old School

Joined: 1/03/04
Posts: 7652

5/20/11 1:24:05 PM#34
Originally posted by SuperXero89
Originally posted by BarCrow

I like Vanguard..but honestly ...at least SOE kept it on life support. They bought it because no one would and no one will ...touch it with a ten foot pole.  Them trying to sell it to a company who will care for it would be great...finding someone who will buy it to begin with...that's the trick.

Yeah, I love how people bash SOE for this, acting like selling the game to some random independant developer will cure all it's woes.  What people don't realize is that these major updates cost money, and without a player base, there isn't enough money coming in to fully develop the game.  It's a vicious catch 22, but even if SOE sold Vanguard to another company, that company isn't likely to have enough funding to truly reinvigorate the game (as is the case in Ryzom) or they will simply buy it only to watch it whither and die while syphoning what little cash they can off of it, because adding developers and producing updates for an unproven product is too much of a financial risk.

@Barcrow

There is a pretty active trend of companies buying up failed games and trying to relaunch them right now.  I wouldn't go saying that no one would or has tried to buy vanguard from SOE.  I've heard from a pretty good source that 2 offers have been made.

@SuperXero89

SOE didn't invest enough money to see vanguard launch in a completed fashion when they took over publishing rights from Microsoft.  Then they didn't invest enough resources to properly relaunch the game after they bought it.  Sure in some morbid sort of way people can feel "lucky" that vanguard is still limping around, but SOE didn't really save it from anything.  They have actually done a rather poor job of developing the game aside from fixing some bugs.

Perhaps another company that didn't already have 2 fantasy mmos competing for the same audience as vanguard would be a little more motivated to make vanguard a success.  What did SOE really benefit by purchasing a third game made by Brad McQauid? 

 

 

 

 

  Deathofsage

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/11/11
Posts: 1008

Honestly:
FFXI Fanboy
RIFT hater.
Stop rewarding wow-clones.

5/20/11 1:30:55 PM#35

I've vote No.

Some people have seen enough Sony titles flop that the next 5 years of tiles are tainted for them. They'd have to be bribed or threatened by friends to come back, and even then might just take the bullet so they can go play something fun.

The hack looked really bad. Listen, we programmers and armchair security experts understand enough about what's going on that we can appreciate when a company is doing its best. We wouldn't mock a company that really tried for being hacked. Hell, Google Chrome has finally been hacked (and patched) and it was thought nigh-unhackable. Sony wasn't prepared to withstand a skillful attempt at breaching the system and they were less prepared in the PR department.

On top of that--It comes out recently that the password reset page has a disgusting and laughable vulnerability. Here's what a reliably secure url would look like

[psnsite].soe.com/preset?email=[user's email address]&skey=[hash of user's email address salted in some way with say their user id]

The only way to breach via the url would be to know the user id and exactly how the email address was spliced with the userid to create the has. You could further splice it ("salt") with any assortment of information. Their method, wtih birthdates, is vulnerable to brute force attacks if the assailant doesn't already know the birthdate.

So this password page, and the accompanying email was written by a guy who's associated with (if not directly part of) the effort to secure and stabilize the system.--

Good news for him though, thumbs up is only a rotated version of the symbol he should get.

Spec'ing properly is a gateway drug.
12 Million People have been meter spammed in heroics.
Placing bets Blizzard's "Titan" will be a wow-clone.

  mnemic666

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/23/10
Posts: 89

5/20/11 1:47:26 PM#36

If SoE hires back on developers who are competent and doesn't push games out early, they have a great shot at coming back. But as is, they have a number of marginally profitable games coupled with a bad rep for massive failures. They're like the Wests version of the Korean F2P developers that create 15ish games, all of which barely manage to stay afloat.


  SuperXero89

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/16/09
Posts: 2595

5/20/11 2:05:29 PM#37
Originally posted by Daffid011
Originally posted by SuperXero89
Originally posted by BarCrow

I like Vanguard..but honestly ...at least SOE kept it on life support. They bought it because no one would and no one will ...touch it with a ten foot pole.  Them trying to sell it to a company who will care for it would be great...finding someone who will buy it to begin with...that's the trick.

Yeah, I love how people bash SOE for this, acting like selling the game to some random independant developer will cure all it's woes.  What people don't realize is that these major updates cost money, and without a player base, there isn't enough money coming in to fully develop the game.  It's a vicious catch 22, but even if SOE sold Vanguard to another company, that company isn't likely to have enough funding to truly reinvigorate the game (as is the case in Ryzom) or they will simply buy it only to watch it whither and die while syphoning what little cash they can off of it, because adding developers and producing updates for an unproven product is too much of a financial risk.

@SuperXero89

SOE didn't invest enough money to see vanguard launch in a completed fashion when they took over publishing rights from Microsoft.  Then they didn't invest enough resources to properly relaunch the game after they bought it.  Sure in some morbid sort of way people can feel "lucky" that vanguard is still limping around, but SOE didn't really save it from anything.  They have actually done a rather poor job of developing the game aside from fixing some bugs.

Perhaps another company that didn't already have 2 fantasy mmos competing for the same audience as vanguard would be a little more motivated to make vanguard a success.  What did SOE really benefit by purchasing a third game made by Brad McQauid? 

 

"SOE didn't invest enough money to see Vanguard launch in a completed fashion when they took over publishing rights from Microsoft?" -- source?

Development for Vanguard began five years before its release date, and McQuaid simply promised more than he could deliver within a reasonable timeframe.  You seem to blame SOE for not funding Vanguard after Microsoft dropped them, but what caused Microsoft to drop them in the first place?

Secondly, I would say SOE did a pretty good job with updates given the fact that the game pretty much tanked and the original developer went backrupt with their employees fired in the office parking lot.  Despite the relatively rapid decline in population, SOE added content, fixed numerous bugs, and actually made the game playable at max settings for those of us without $6,000 dollar PCs.  You never saw long term support for Vanguard because the population simply dropped below a critical point.  There were far too many bugs at release and endgame players were clamoring for new content, so instead of waiting on SOE to produce updates, they left the game.  It became financially unfeasible to put so much support behind a dieing game.  Even Everquest II doesn't get the kind of attention it did back in 2004-2005.  

If SOE sold Vanguard to another company, I see no reason why the same thing wouldn't happen again.  The company would put forth some effort into trying to fix numerous bugs, but when it came down to producing a plethora of new content, I'm not sure Vanguard would bring in enough money to justify the expenses.  In the end, because that game would probably be said company's primary source of income, VG's lifespan may be extended, but updates will be few and far between.

The better option, I think, is to turn Vanguard into a F2P title with a premium subscription.  

  TUX426

Inquisitor

Joined: 8/04/09
Posts: 1971

Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

5/20/11 2:13:38 PM#38

Kudos Jon! Another good article this week!


No. The hack didn't change my opinion of SOE, mostly just cemented my feeling that it is a morally bankrupt company that values it's customers so little that it didn't even bother to protect their identities.


As you pointed out, SOE has let several big name IP games dwindle and die for no apparent reason. The developers pulled off of SWG to make DCUO ensured SWG would never reach its potential. DCUO was their chance to prove they knew gaming...and it's been (imo) an abysmal failure, not even appearing on STEAMS top 100 games these days, merging down to 4 servers and replacing their lead developer less than 4 months after release.


SOE's problem isn't their security and they could have easily made it through this hack attack with minimal damage - their problem isn't even the quality of their games, because most seem to have aspects that players absolutely LOVE! In fact, I'd say SOE is the industry leader in "potential". SOE's core problem is that they place more value on the opinions of those who AREN'T playing their games than those who are. SOE has, for years, been more concerned with the players they didn't have than the ones they did.


  BarCrow

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/25/07
Posts: 2096

5/20/11 2:22:13 PM#39
Originally posted by Daffid011
Originally posted by SuperXero89
Originally posted by BarCrow

I like Vanguard..but honestly ...at least SOE kept it on life support. They bought it because no one would and no one will ...touch it with a ten foot pole.  Them trying to sell it to a company who will care for it would be great...finding someone who will buy it to begin with...that's the trick.

Yeah, I love how people bash SOE for this, acting like selling the game to some random independant developer will cure all it's woes.  What people don't realize is that these major updates cost money, and without a player base, there isn't enough money coming in to fully develop the game.  It's a vicious catch 22, but even if SOE sold Vanguard to another company, that company isn't likely to have enough funding to truly reinvigorate the game (as is the case in Ryzom) or they will simply buy it only to watch it whither and die while syphoning what little cash they can off of it, because adding developers and producing updates for an unproven product is too much of a financial risk.

@Barcrow

There is a pretty active trend of companies buying up failed games and trying to relaunch them right now.  I wouldn't go saying that no one would or has tried to buy vanguard from SOE.  I've heard from a pretty good source that 2 offers have been made.

@SuperXero89

SOE didn't invest enough money to see vanguard launch in a completed fashion when they took over publishing rights from Microsoft.  Then they didn't invest enough resources to properly relaunch the game after they bought it.  Sure in some morbid sort of way people can feel "lucky" that vanguard is still limping around, but SOE didn't really save it from anything.  They have actually done a rather poor job of developing the game aside from fixing some bugs.

Perhaps another company that didn't already have 2 fantasy mmos competing for the same audience as vanguard would be a little more motivated to make vanguard a success.  What did SOE really benefit by purchasing a third game made by Brad McQauid? 

 

 

 

 

 Well ..let's hope I'm wrong.

  Ebil_Piwat

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/17/06
Posts: 209

5/20/11 2:25:17 PM#40

It's hard to say honestly. Many of us 'Disgruntled Minority' felt sure SOE wouldn't survive what happened with SWG. Yet here we are 5 1/2 years later watching as SOE yet again gets involved with yet another community outcry.

Slapshot1188 may have said it best. It's not whether SOE can, or will it survive, but should it?

Any other company, from game development, to cars, cell phones, clothing, and beyond who has had the rocky career SOE has had, probably wouldn't survive. Let alone keep the same CEO at the Helm, diving the ship straight at the iceberg.

DCUO hasn't performed as the saviour they hoped for, and as a result Agency was cancelled, and staff layoffs began even before this recent hacker attack.

We see post after post of hate, anger, and 'I will never play a Sony game again' yet somehow they continue on.

Perhaps SOE isn't the Titanic and the iceberg, a catastrauphic collision with disaster, and loss, but more Road Runner & Coyote. No matter how many failures, blunders, miss-steps, and explosions the SOE Coyote has. He returns with more ACME ways to snare his elusive prey. The customer dollar ( Road Runner )

SWTOR. Face it, in the Scooby Doo Mystery Solving Van of coolness, this game is Velma. In this current MMO climate it has about as much chance for survival as a group of inquisitive teenagers in a 1980s slasher flick. -Tardcore May, 2011

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