“Have you guys seen this? We need our game to be more like this.” – Electronic Arts Board Meeting
After a week of turmoil in the UO community it is time to reflect. All this sort of ties into one of the articles I have planned to write.
After three years being out in the working world I now understand a lot of things. One of those is why bad things happen. Whether it be for a website, a MMO, a business, or anything. One bad decision or event and everything goes to hell.
At my first job it was an event. I worked at a small family owned business where the previous owner worked himself to death. Literally, he was carried out of the office into an ambulance and died that day. There was a family feud and one of the son’s got hold of the business. It went from making millions a year to virtually closing in 6 years. I saw the tail end of it all.
While the event of owner’s death was the start of it all, he made several bad decisions leading up to it. The guy had cancer and was in his sixties. There was never a plan made on who would be next in line to run the business. There was no Will because his estate, which consisted of up to 30 houses, is still in litigation after all this time. It is an absolute mess and I was looking for a new job the week after I started there.
When you are not the boss, by which I mean at the top of the chain of command, you don’t have complete control. The board of directors at Blizzard could vote to shut down World of Warcraft. It would be a really, really stupid thing to do. But it could be done. The only thing stopping it is the people on that board. The same thing for UO, Electronic Arts could have pulled the plug anytime within the last 17 years.
Have you ever seen a politician make a statement or vote in a way you disagree with? The same type of people are found everywhere, including at game companies. Trust me they’re there. I’ve dealt with them many times. The kind of person who says don’t worry, you can’t get Ebola by riding on a bus. Then says don’t get on a bus if you have Ebola because you can spread it to other riders.
Five years ago I just did not understand why some decisions regarding UO were being made the way they were. Now I do. While the UO producer may have the best of intentions, UO was under the umbrella known as EA. People, commonly referred to as “pencil pushers”, have unwieldy power over UO even if they have never logged in or played a video game in their life. They decide to layoff people, budget reductions, or even major game features. “Turn UO into more like that game World of Witchcraft!”
I am so glad I have made good decisions for UOGuide. A previous Stratics owner wanted to buy it for a lot of money. Another person offered us server hosting which would have likely ended up in me being forced out (from what I’ve learned years later). I hope I can keep it up because I know a lot of people depend on it.
Have a Nice day.