Funcom Co-founder Canned Over Age of Conan Failures

Funcom Co-founder Canned Over Age of Conan Failures

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Though the official word is Funcom co-founder and Age of Conan lead designer Gaute Godager has decided to resign today after 16 years with the company, an insider tells us the sudden parting of ways was less than amicable.

Tipping off The Escapist, a Funcom insider who spoke on conditions of anonymity said Godager was in fact fired from the company today, adding "Gaute is blamed for the failure of Age of Conan, but he's just a scapegoat. 90 percent of the company should be fired."

Despite relatively strong reviews, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures was plagued with numerous bugs and other issues from the start. The game generated backlash from the MMORPG community as a result.

In a press release earlier today, Funcom announced Godager has decided to resign from the company and his position as Producer and Game Director for Age of Conan, and will be replaced by Craig Morrison. After working as Funcom's Community Manager, Morrison spent several years as Producer and Game Director on Anarchy Online. He said the new position is a "great challenge," but he's eager to work towards creating up a bright future for the title.

"I have a clear conviction I can lead the further development in a good way, evolving Age of Conan into something even better," says Morrison. "My main priority now is therefore to listen to, and act on, player concerns, while ensuring we add additional great content to the game."

Though Godager is proud of his work on the game and his accomplishments during his tenure, he will be leaving the company after a decade and a half of working to build the company he co-founded. "I have done my very best making this fabulous game, but I have concluded there are elements which I am dissatisfied with. I have decided to act on this, and as a result I have chosen to leave Funcom," he said. Godager plans to pursue new ventures outside of the gaming industry.

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"We totally rushed this out the door before it was ready, we got called on it, and now we need to publicly punish someone to make ourselves look better. Pack up your things."

The Rogue Wolf:
"We totally rushed this out the door before it was ready, we got called on it, and now we need to publicly punish someone to make ourselves look better. Pack up your things."

Sounds about right.

I'm still playing Conan and enjoying it. I think the problems that this game faced at launch are pretty much the same that EVERY MMO faced/faces at launch. The sad truth is that WoW has had the best head start out of any game and has raised the bar so high that nothing can touch it.

Hopefully this can bring about some new changes and keep the game moving forward.

fl3sh:
I'm still playing Conan and enjoying it. I think the problems that this game faced at launch are pretty much the same that EVERY MMO faced/faces at launch. The sad truth is that WoW has had the best head start out of any game and has raised the bar so high that nothing can touch it.

Hopefully this can bring about some new changes and keep the game moving forward.

True, but that high bar is achievable, and it is exactly what companies that want to launch MMOs should aim for.
Yes that is costly, yes that can delay a game's release by months, but if you want to succeed in this market you have to match up favorably to WoW. Most companies however don't want to spend the money required to pull that off, Blizzard took a chance by delaying their game to polish it to a mirror finish and succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.
If WoW had bombed at launch this could have backfired badly and destroyed the company, however it didn't. What happened is history and has forever changed the MMO landscape.

Yes Wow did raise the bar for MMO's. And that is a fantastic thing, games are constantly raising the bar, which means expectations for a good game are higher, and developers should strive to achieve or beat that new bar, not release a bugged product and say 'your expectations were too high'.

In today's overly saturated MMO market, a dismal launch usually means the future probably won't be bright for the game. In the past, a bad launch was irritating, but companies could get away with it because there weren't many other MMO's to choose from. Not the case today. WoW had a hand in raising the bar for a smooth launch. It may be difficult to pull off, but it's certainly possible. LoTRo is another example of an MMO launch that went well. Had it not, its future probably wouldn't look near as bright as it does right now.

Funcom should have learned from the terrible Anarchy Online launch. Although, I can't say that I'm surprised.

Am I the only one who remembers the problems with WoW's launch ? WoW suffered from many issues after its launch but was able to overcome them with enough time & effort. However it had one thing on its side and thats the feeling of being a first in a genre, a star. It may not have been the first MMO ever but it was the first to bring all the right elements into all the right places and it was the first to define the genre, despite its serious problems people were eager to explore this new and interesting universe and as such WoW's troubles are forgiven.

New MMO's do not have that luxury, they're treading on ground already discovered and are trying to innovate on it, as developers you can't simply guess what everybody wants and make it happen before launching. The only option is to get the game as completed as possible, go with the launch then try to tailor the rest of the game based on the feedback as well as fix the bugs & problems, much like what WoW did in the beginning. Blizzard didn't just sit in their basement creating the current form of WoW then unleashed it onto the world, a good portion of what makes WoW interesting came after the launch.

WoW had low content and quite a few bugs upon its release too yet now everyone expects more from MMORPG's.

The Rogue Wolf:
"We totally rushed this out the door before it was ready, we got called on it, and now we need to publicly punish someone to make ourselves look better. Pack up your things."

Everyone likes a straw man, eh?

with things like This, i Only hope Interplay Doesent drop the Ball on the Fallout MMO there Making.

mondrawy:
It may not have been the first MMO ever but it was the first to bring all the right elements into all the right places and it was the first to define the genre

I wouldn't go that far. The MMO genre was already well defined before WoW came around. WoW didn't innovate anything...it took an already established formula and polished it to appeal to a broader spectrum of people.

Wait, wait wait. You're telling me they canned the guy responsible for bringing Age of Conan to us and replacing him WITH THE GUY WHO RUNS ANARCHY ONLINE? They're going to run this game into the ground. Get out while you can so you can point and laugh when other people say they paid money for this.

To be honest most the people playing wow now never played it on launch. The people who played it on launch were in the MMO market. But now that the MMO market has exploded and all these new people enter, they think they understand what the market is.

If you have only just drank coke all your life, your opinions on other soda products are ill informed.

I think AoC failed because Funcomm failed to grasp what it is a MMO player wants. The game had great ideas but it was terribly executed. Where are the rewards for playing? All of the toons look EXACTLY the same from class to class. Shame, but most beta testers called it before the game went gold.

And of course, it doesn't help that Warhammer Online is rampaging it's way through the marketplace, racking up 1.5 million sales in preorders alone.

AoC is fucked.

thedrop2zer0:
Funcom should have learned from the terrible Anarchy Online launch. Although, I can't say that I'm surprised.

yeah my friend was trying to pump up AoC to me and i said it was going to be bad, as proof i offered the disaster that was AO.

i'm kinda glad that Mythic delayed WAR for a bit, tho it still has some bugs they at least took stuff out to fix it

Muon:
Wait, wait wait. You're telling me they canned the guy responsible for bringing Age of Conan to us and replacing him WITH THE GUY WHO RUNS ANARCHY ONLINE? They're going to run this game into the ground. Get out while you can so you can point and laugh when other people say they paid money for this.

What are you talking about? Anarchy Online is still being played years after it came out. Not only that, but they're overhauling the game engine and graphics very soon. It obviously doesn't have the same user base as WoW, but no MMO does. However, give credit where credit is due. It has good player support, it's run well, and they really care about the game.

 

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