Sunday, March 9, 2014

Interview on Turbine's MMO's and Future

Syp has pulled off a journalistic coup in an interview with Turbine on the studio's future.  He actually asked the tough questions about whether the studio's large scale layoffs and impending transition of the entire Asheron's Call franchise to maintenance mode is going to affect DDO and LOTRO.  He actually got answers. 

Turbine is notoriously close-held with info - even at the bitter end for the AC IP they still won't discuss player numbers! - but customers have had legitimate questions about what to expect from the studio's other products going forward.  This article is especially unusual because it is a Massively exclusive - usually, when there's news to be had, everyone gets it at once.  Perhaps Syp's interest in following up on the venerable AC franchise was what earned a little more open-ness.

Anyway, well worth a read if you follow the studio's titles, or have any interest in how turning a major MMO over to its community is going to work. 


Wilhelm Arcturus said...

Well, some of the answers were monosyllabic or empty fluff. Basically Turbine talked about what they wanted to talk about. If you were interested in a little insight into the changes for Asheron's Call, there was something. Outside of that, there wasn't much.

Green Armadillo said...

To my knowledge, we have not gotten a "yes" to whether the pre-layoff roadmaps remain valid before today. This is also the first official comment I'm aware of dis-confirming a future Asheron's Call title. It's not a ton of meat, but how often do we see more from someone who isn't trying to hype a Kickstarter?

Bhagpuss said...

My immediate impression was similar to Wilhelm's. Someone at Turbine actively wanted to talk about Asheron's Call and where that was concerned there was indeed some solid information. Everything else was stonewalled. By far the most significant response, in my opinion, was the flat "No" to the question about whether there were any future AC projects in hand. That completely scotches the speculation about an AC3.

Other than that, reading between the lines, I thought it was an uninformative yet oddly depressing read for anyone interested in Turbine's games.

Wilhelm Arcturus said...

Well, yes, I guess they are not going to hedge on their LOTRO goals. But those goals were modest enough that I was wondering what else they might be working on. In hindsight they now seem like a signal that belts were going to be tightened.

As for when we see more, I think Blizz has delivered more since BlizzCon, SOE has been letting it all hang out (for better or worse) of late, at least when it comes to Landmark, and CCP Dev Blogs about EVE Online set a pretty high bar for comparison.

But for Turbine that was a lot more meat than they tend to give us, something which I think hurts them more than they know. When they ration things out in such tiny portions, or in non-specific terms, it just leads to wild speculation. The contract renewal with Tolkien Enterprises is a good example. If they had just come out and said they had renewed there would have been less "LOTRO is doomed" feeling running about. And even when the did announce it, they phrased it awkwardly enough that they had to clarify.