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When a game launches its immediate success affects its future
success. This often means company restructuring after launch. Find out
why in today's Loading...
If I Had a Dollar.
Last Friday the CEO of Icarus Studios, James Hettinger, announced
a restructuring of the company
. Icarus Studios is the company
responsible for Fallen
Let's face it - 'restructuring' of MMO companies is pretty much
inevitable some time after launch. Most games don't need a huge crew
after they've launched simply because there's not as much to do. If a
game picks up popularity and the money keeps rolling in, then sure,
optimizations, patches, and expansions will be enough to keep many
If, however, the game ends up sharing the same fate as virtually every
other MMOG launched since 2005 then while subscriber numbers may still
turn a profit, it's not usually enough to keep the entire launch
development team on board. It's just a sad reality of the industry and
most designers and developers can plan on looking for new work every
few years because of it.
Now, if the game happens to become a mega-blockbuster, then let the
good times roll. With enough revenue coming in new expansions can be
planned, new servers put in place, patches rolled out at a furious
pace, and so on. This means happy times for everyone. Investors start
seeing a solid flow of cash, developers and designers stay employed,
and players get more of what they want at a faster pace. Everybody wins.
This really, once again, emphasizes the benefit of spending a little
extra time in the development process of a new game, to ensure that it
launches in a complete, bug-free, polished state. Now, as any developer
will attest, typically an early launch is pushed by people not directly
involved in the development. Yes, it usually comes from the money
backing the project. Investors get to a point where they need to see a
return or write it off. Once they get to that point, it's very
difficult to convince them to wait a few more months, or even a year,
to maximize their return. Then we end up seeing a less-than-awesome
game, a small playerbase, and eventually a 'restructuring' announcement.
So, for Icarus Studios this means their team of 110 employees
has been reduced down to 35
. To be fair, 35 is still a
decent-sized team for a live game. It's when a team gets reduced to
three to seven that players should start thinking about what they're
going to be playing next.
Does company restructuring strike fear of game cancellation in you? Let
us know in the forums
Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
From our Articles,
News & Events Discussion
McQuaid Returns to Answer Questions in Q&A
really can't resist a Vanguard thread. (Yes, I'm still bitter.) Ten Ton
Hammer's favorite news guy, Stacy "Martuk" Jones, reported last night
that Brad McQuaid has returned after a several month hiatus from his
blog to answer readers' questions about Vanguard and game development.
McQuaid also says, "I’ve been busy and I’m looking into some gaming
opportunities. Nothing I can reveal, but I am excited!" So are
Brad. So are we.
Awesome Quotes from the
favourite question (which will undoubtedly go unanswered) was: 'When in
development cycle of Vanguard did you realize you where f***ed?
Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell
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EverQuest II Passport Q&A with Dave Georgeson
Online Entertainment has long been an industry leader when it comes to
establishing a diverse set of subscription options for players. So when
SOE announced their newest offering earlier this month, the EverQuest
II Passport, it was no surprised that the unique short-term
subscription option got people talking. Ten Ton Hammer decided
do a bit of talking of our own, specifically with EverQuest II Senior
Producer Dave Georgeson about the new Passport, its reception so far,
and whether we can expect to see the same concept applied to other
current or future SOE titles.
Microcosms – Gaming for Freedom: Atlantica Online Review
at Ten Ton Hammer our main goal is to chronicle, review and report on
the MMO games that you, the readers, find the most interesting. In an
effort to honor those requests our weekly free-to-play column,
Microcosms, has continued to evolve and grow with this exciting and
emergent genre. One of the most common requests from our readers was
that we feature more game reviews. So, without further ado, we begin a
continuing series of reviews that highlight not only the customary
topics of graphics, gameplay and interface, but also a game's overall
value. Join Jason “Medawky” Bolton as he kicks it off by taking a look
at Atlantica Online in this week’s Microcosms – Gaming for Freedom.
Just Mod It: Five WoW Addons Every Player Should Download
are a natural part of World of Warcraft. Players literally get to
change the face of their game by choosing from thousands of mods those
that will best aid their personal play style. If you can dream it,
there probably is a mod for it. But are there mods out there that every
player should have? Jason “Mem” Bechdel thinks so, and is pleased to
present to you his personal list of must have mods for World of
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WoW - Semi-Hardcore #3 - Bad Tanks Abound While Levelling
anyone possibly talk about Spelling, World of Warcraft, tanks,
nationality, Paladins, Beer, and Canada all in one column?
form any sort of cohesive discussion? Who knows, but Byron
“Messiah” Mudry gives it his best shot at putting all of these diverse
topics in one place at one time. Check it all out in
#3 – Bad Tanks Abound While Levelling.
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the Ten Ton Hammer team