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Into 2012...

2011 was a hectic, busy, crazy, year full of crazy challenges, and some awesome experiences (small stuff like getting married ya'know) and lots of stuff I'm pretty proud of all round. It's always a good year when things come together and you deliver what you were asked to (and more in some cases) and those you work with make your life enjoyable on most days. The various launches on Age of Conan went well, with the Unchained Free to play conversion and the adventure pack coming together so nicely (and I am so proud of the team for that one! I still can't get over how well those areas worked, and how stunning they look). I have a feeling that 2012 won't be any different, and is going to keep me on my toes.

A huge thanks to everyone who made all that possible, including you folk here who frequent the blog (which has grown way more than I ever expected this year) and all those who enjoy the games, or the talks, or the articles. It's huge fun to get to share this with a wider community and hopefully 2012 will also present some opportunities to talk more about games.

I have also resolved to write much more than I managed last year, going as far as to join a secret cadre of like minded souls (i.e. a writers club of sorts) in order to further some authorial ambitions. More on that later hopefully.

I'll hopefully keep the interesting blog posts coming at semi-regular intervals. This could be a very interesting year ahead for MMOs, with Guild Wars 2 inbound, another WoW expansion on the cards, the development of The Old Republic to track, and the potential of other games like our own Secret World, and imports like ArcheAge to make a mark...and that's before you consider the games that will come that many would argue share much with the genre like Diablo III and Planetside 2. I am sure there will be plenty to talk about.   

I still have a back-log of games from the end of 2011 to catch up on as well, but my in-laws provided a wonderful Christmas gift of the new HD remasters of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus as a Christmas gift...so I fear that Uncharted 3 and the latest Assassins Creed may well end up waiting a little longer!

Here is to an exciting 2012!
  
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5 comments

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Sil! Now get cracking on our damned PVP content :p

StygianWitch on Fury

AmandaP said...

Happy New Year :) The HD remakes of Ico and SotC are amazing. It was so much fun to play through them again, had totally forgotten how good they were. The end of Shadows is still one of my favorite gaming moments.

Anonymous said...

you make it sound like age of conan is doing well. ever since you have released the new "tech" patch both us and eu servers are dieing... its like like the original aoc launch and 1.05 launch. all three have been horrible, and if you are proud of it, i dont know what to say. I think sometimes you are in your own little world thinking age of conan is somehow doing great. yes its bringing in positive profits, but overall you have really dropped the ball on the game overall, especially pvp. With the graphics and combat system you were inherited, the game had so much potential, and now a few years after you have taken the game over one can pretty much consider the game dead.

Funcom will need to learn how to do a better job with quality control in the future. You guys release patches that have previous bugs in them. That means how you are managing patches and data management is way off. For the secret world to do better you guys need to learn how to test your releases better as well. Aoc Launch, 1.05, and the recent tech patch were all horrible, and with the number of mmo companies and games out there, customers just won't put up with it anymore.

Craig Morrison said...

@anonymous Well, tech patches are indeed always risky, and yes, they usually have an effect on some users for the worse (and other users for the better). The key is always in that balance being more on the positive side. It is always worth striving to improve your technology, even with the risks involved, and the team always work on following that up to ensure the kinks are smoothed out.

Overall, I think any personal opinion about that would 'consider the game dead' is simply something you learn to take with a pinch of salt. Someone says that every single time there is anything related to a game, yet the games tend to survive just fine. Age of Conan will be four years oldthis year, Anarchy Online is over a decade old, as are games like EQ, and UO (and a bunch inbetween at various ages like DAoC, EQ2, Lineage 2, even World of Warcraft), and with all of them you see people claim that the game in question is 'dead'. Thankfully that usually isn't the case and as long as there are people enjoying the game, then it will continue to exist for some time to come :)

You are definitely right that customer expectations are higher, and rightfully so, as better and better releases continue to set the bar. I think the technology platforms as a whole, ours included and those of other MMO companies, are improving all the time. Choosing, as we do, to aim higher end with the visuals does tend to result in some other occasional performance and compatibility issues that lower end engines may avoid, but again, pushing what is possible isn't inherently a bad thing, even if it comes with some extra risk factors, and possibly not quite as broad an install base...but like I said, that is improving all the time.

ForGwend said...

I think people said that AO would die years ago, even before Craig's time. Yet it is still there and, no offence Sil, it is better than ever and still fun a decade on for those of us who have stuck with it.

Unless it has actually closed down saying an MMO is 'dead' is a little silly. Why would a company close down a game that was still turning a profit? (The Funcom CEO said just last week that Conan was profitable)

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