As a recovering World of Warcraft raider/addict, on occassion, I do look into news of new MMOs so I can get my fix. I’ve been getting some serious shakes lately since WoW was indeed the best game I’ve ever played and I’m quite short on stuff to do with the brand new box that I built. I know that if I go back, I’ll have fun but it’ll be back to the 30-35 hours a week of raid schedules, not counting the time I spend out of game as one of the raid leaders of my guild. No, I can’t play it casually…I just don’t know how. Hardcore is the only way I play, baby. But I digress.
One of the games that I heard the most about during my WoW “career” was Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. It was hailed by many to be the MMO that would unseat WoW for online supremacy. In fact, most of the time when players were frustrated by some of the details of raiding in World of Warcraft, a common response would be “Man, I’m going to play this until Vanguard comes out, then I’m gone.”
All has not been well for what was to be the next big MMO. The game had some serious potential but despite some merit in design and graphics, most reviews have not been kind and I can’t seem to find any news on player based milestones. I’m sure that if the game reached a plateau of, say, a million subscribers, it would be announced somewhere. Some speculate that the number of subscribers is somewhere near 100,000. In comparison, WoW passed 8 million subscriptions in March.
It seems that response to Vanguard was so poor that it prompted Sony to fire most of the staff of Sigil Games immediately after acquiring the rights to the game. Rumors on Fires of Heaven were confirmed today as F13.net writes:
The axe finally fell. It was only a matter of time, I suppose. And while many of you may try to spin this to make SOE look bad, apparently this wasn’t really their doing. You see, SOE doesn’t own Sigil. It doesn’t own Sigil now and they won’t own them tomorrow. But they do own Vanguard. What fate awaits that game? I don’t know. Don’t particularly care either.
But I do know that at approximately 4:30PM today, Sigil employees were told to meet outside. At which point they were terminated. On the spot. By whom? Doesn’t seem to have been Brad McQuaid, if it was, nobody is talking. But that doesn’t seem like something he’d do. But I suppose the executioner is irrelevant since most folks secretly want it to be SOE and it wasn’t. As it stands, people were told to come back tomorrow to do their paperwork and some may get hired by SOE.
They also have an interview with a fired Sigil employee. It offers some internal insight as to why such a promising game turned out to be such a disappointment (they had one internal tester…LOL!). It sounds like there was all kinds of internal strife and execs pushing the game out before it was ready.
So does this mean that Vanguard will be discontinued? If the servers don’t go down, chances are they do not have enough staff around to update the game or create new content and therefore, the future of this once highly anticipated game is very much in question less than four months after it was released. I would seriously doubt that they would keep the servers going for such a small number of people.
This probably won’t mean anything to the WoW juggernaut but maybe LOTR Online will see some new subscribers. I’ve yet to pick up another MMO but that seems to be the best bet other than the fighting orcs in Azeroth.