Sanya Talks About Imperator Being Shelved, the Health of DAoC and the Future of Warhammer
Mythic Entertainment Internet Relations Manager Sanya Thomas took a few minutes to sit down and answer our questions about Imperator Online, the health of DAoC and the future of Warhammer Online.
|MMORPG.com:||It is not often that we see a press release that “postpones” a game, especially when the press release reads more like a cancellation. What are your future plans for the Imperator title?|
We try never to say never around here. The assets we developed aren't going anywhere, and we still think the concept and the story have a lot of potential. We had great feedback at E3 from those who actually did a little play testing. For those reasons and more, we won't say cancelled - but we wanted to be very honest with fans in the press release, and make it clear that we weren't actively pursuing development for the time being.
|MMORPG.com:||Can you delve into the reasoning for the postponement and why you think Mythic will be a stronger company for it?|
*Points to the press release.*
No, really. It's all there. We did not think we were going to make the scheduled launch date with the top-notch kind of game we wanted to make. Rather than go into the extremely comical "delayed release" routine, or the less-amusing "whatever we've got" concept, we halted development - and we called the halt before Mythic suffered for it. No one was laid off as a result of this decision, and funding for Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer is not affected. Industry vets all know what happens when companies wait too long to make hard decisions.
|MMORPG.com:||Some have speculated that Dark Age of Camelot could be in trouble - especially after you followed the Imperator release with a free trial for returning players - forcing you to concentrate on a more direct “follow-up”, such as Warhammer. Can you give us an update on the health of DAoC?|
Doing great. Log in and try it!
We're also about to launch a free island zone. It's connected to the RVR frontiers, and it plays like a battleground for high level players. And keep siege RVR is just a quick trot across the bridge away.
- we're working on a gorgeous new expansion with the long-discussed player mounts, and cool new champion levels and quests.
- subscriber numbers are up, and it's August (typically a very stagnant month in the industry)
- we're trying a new server type, based off player requests, and it's been very popular so far
- we've radically tweaked requirements and encounters for the Trials of Atlantis expansion
- we've revamped the new player experience (older MMOGs have a tough entry hurdle for true newbies, but we basically built a ramp over that hurdle)
All in all, it's an exciting time. I've been hanging around Mythic since December of '99, and it's been feeling like the old days with all the changes.
|MMORPG.com:||Many of the game concepts in Imperator were well received, but in many corners, the setting was considered a bit odd. If Imperator ever does return, will it be even remotely close to the same game?|
We evolve from patch to patch, man. I'm not thinking much past the launch of Darkness Rising, myself. There's no way I can even guess what a retuned Imperator would look like. Sorry.
|MMORPG.com:||The release says no layoffs. These people working on it need to go somewhere. Does this mean that production on Warhammer is going well and we will perhaps see it sooner than expected?|
There were only a tiny number of people on Warhammer for the design phase. We were originally going to try and hire an entire new team for the implementation phase; now, we don't have to.
|MMORPG.com:||At the same time, with all these Imperator developers flooding into Warhammer – should we expect Warhammer Online to carry on any of the major game concepts from Imperator?|
Two different games, two different properties, two different audiences. But any developer will tell you they learn things from every project they're on, and that they bring that experience to their new projects.
|MMORPG.com:||Finally, with Imperator in limbo, and the company having previously planned to have three games in various stages of production, are there any plans to begin work on a third project?|
|Thank you Sanya for your time.|
Please, let us know what you think in this comment thread.