Managing Fan Expectations - An Interview with Vanguard Founder Brad McQuaid

Updated Tue, Nov 03, 2009 by Shayalyn

It’s inevitable--as any MMOG nears launch, excitement builds to a fever pitch and message boards, from official forums to fansites to network communities like Ten Ton Hammer, buzz with activity. But hype for a game about to launch can lead to an almost inevitable crash when expectations meet reality. Brad McQuaid, the man behind EverQuest and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, has learned a thing or two, sometimes the hard way, about keeping fan expectations in check. In one of the first interviews with him since the launch of Vanguard, McQuaid speaks candidly about fan expectations, and shares his thoughts about how to keep them in line.

“I definitely got caught up in my own hype with Vanguard,” McQuaid admits.
In retrospect he offers this advice to developers: “I think it’s very important to hype only features that you are positive will make it into the game. As development progresses one becomes surer of what will and will not make it into the released game. So, over time, you can reveal more and more about the game with confidence. That said, I think a certain degree of fan-generated over-hype is inevitable.”

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