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[UO Herald] Jeff Hickman - Executive Producer's Letter

Discussion in 'UHall' started by UO News, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. UO News

    UO News RSS Feed
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    Hello everyone,

    With all that is going on within Mythic Entertainment and EA, I would like to take a moment to reinforce the studio’s dedication to both our games and our players. At Mythic, we remain committed to our games and the passionate people who play them – we’re going to continue to deliver the content and service that keeps you playing. We want to assure our community that we will maintain the same high level of customer support you’ve come to expect and continue to improve our games with an exciting schedule of patches, live events and new content.

    At Mythic, we are the torchbearer of three great gaming franchises that we love and nurture:

    • Ultima Online is the granddaddy of MMORPG’s and it’s still going strong after 12 years. Thanks to the release of our 8th expansion, there are now more players exploring Britannia than we’ve seen in quite some time. We have a passionate and committed team working on UO, and they have some really interesting plans for the future. Stay tuned!

    • Dark Age of Camelot is over 8 years old and the Realm vs. Realm action keeps getting better. The development team loves what they do and never forget that DAoC was the first true MMO love for many of you (and for many of us!). They are dedicated to providing continued updates and support for this great game so the fighting in the Frontiers will never end.

    • Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has had a solid first year despite some issues that we’re working to address every day. We’ve seen a great response to 1.3.2, which introduced tremendous performance improvements. A flood of new players are discovering the game every day thanks to the recently released Endless Trial and New User Journey. Moving forward, we remain committed to releasing more great patches, continued performance improvements, and changes based upon your valuable feedback.
    We want to thank you again for your continued commitment to our games. In return, we remain committed to providing you with the best possible gaming experiences and customer support both now and in the future. Be sure to keep an eye open for more information about upcoming patches and the exciting plans we have in store for your favorite MMORPGs.

    See you on the battlefield,

    Jeff Hickman, Executive Producer, Mythic Entertainment


    More...
     
  2. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    Well that's something. Not much, but thanks to Jeff anyway.
     
  3. Pawain

    Pawain Crazed Zealot
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    You that news guy from Iraq? Kinda sounds that way.

    Mythic has lost a lot of staff. Good Luck!

    My condolences to those who are out of work.
     
  4. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    Hmmm.... the exact same post on each of the three games heralds - and UO was listed on top. Any significance to that? Are we the best of Mythic? :)
     
  5. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    Sounds reasonably positive - although some clarity about what effect the cutbacks have had on the UO team would be very much appreciated, one of the strengths of UO is 'community' and that does extend to the Dev team we see on forums like Stratics, as well as the playerbase.
     
  6. Reximus

    Reximus Guest

    More likely the biggest mob of crybabies.
     
  7. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    Thanks for the post, Jeff. Keep us posted. Many of us have a great affinity for our UO team.
     
  8. Llwyd

    Llwyd Guest

    Thanks for the encouraging post. It looks like I'll be returning to UO after all. :)
     
  9. DaveSP!

    DaveSP! Visitor

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    "never believe something until its been officially denied"
     
  10. Lord Gareth

    Lord Gareth UO Content Editor | UO Chesapeake & Rares News
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    YAY!!! WOHO!!!!
     
  11. Miriandel

    Miriandel Seasoned Veteran
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    Thanks for the info, but it doesn't make much sense... unless the people leaving the studio were working on now abandoned unknown projects.
    Otherwise, I can't see how half the people can do the same job.

    Not that I care much though, but that kind of PR material often sounds weird :bs:
     
  12. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    LOL! Tru Dat *wurd*
     
  13. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    You've played UO for how long ... and you need to ask that?

    Of course, we're numero uno! First solid MMORPG, flexible beyond belief, complex and simple, frustrating and gratifying. Pfffft. :thumbup1:
     
  14. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    Please improve the bolded part ... it still lacks in many ways and has for a long time (even pre-Mythic). Other than that, I thank you for at least some official response to the recent news.

    Gameplay has improved, as has the story. Keep it up.

    Safe journeys and good hunting!
     
  15. Zooithion

    Zooithion Crazed Zealot
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    Thanks for the update!
     
  16. canary

    canary Guest

    I love that UO's continued tagline for years has been the vague 'interesting plans soon'. In other words, 'We have no idea what to do with this game, so we'll just dangle some words as a carrot'.

    This letter says absolutely nothing save trying to save face on the fact they canned a lot of people and need to reassure folks for the time being the sky isn't falling. Kinda like if you cut off someone's head only to state 'Don't worry, it's just a flesh wound'.
     
  17. five oclock

    five oclock Guest

    'We have no idea what to do with this game, so we'll just dangle some words as a carrot'.

    and for 12 years the game has been going strong :D
     
  18. canary

    canary Guest

    No, that just proves they have a loyal fanbase. They just have no clue what to do with the game and often lack a grand vision.
     
  19. DHMagicMan_1

    DHMagicMan_1 Guest

    I don't know if I'd go as far as "Going Strong"... More like the last 5 years it's been coasting downhill pretty much, but it's still going.
     
  20. Ailish

    Ailish Lore Master
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    Right ... which would be why they laid off our community coordinator, who has been with EA for years. mmmhm.
     
  21. olduofan

    olduofan Guest

    funny how people thing SO DIFFERENTLY I seen that as well uo on the top and had a grim feeling matbe its order in witch they well be shutting down the games

    lets hope not but they did say DOAC was slatted to be closed if it didn meet certain milestones this year
     
  22. ACB1961

    ACB1961 Lore Keeper
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    I love that little peril thing...

    But anyway, this game is the best it has ever been imo in the 12 years we have played.
     
  23. CassieDarksong

    CassieDarksong Babbling Loonie
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    I'm curious if they could repeat themselves any more often while being so vague?

    Wow...I could bull**** better than that for an executive producer's letter to the concerned gaming populace.
     
  24. Theo_GL

    Theo_GL Grand Poobah
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    I wouldn't put too much stock in this.

    This message was very expected. If you are in their shoes - you need to reassure the playerbase you are still there. A mass defection in the game or even another slide will be a self fulfilling prophecy and ensure it gets closed.

    Think about it - would you start playing a game if they said 'well, times are tough and we are thinking of shutting down'? No, you need to reassure players that they will be there tomorrow like a bank.

    They will talk about 'great things to come' up until the day it shuts down.

    There is little value to this message other than knowing Rick still works there.
     
  25. You are all funny. You know which ones.

    SA was once one of those "we are working on interesting things to come". And its great.

    UO isnt being canned. Yet, somehow I think if GOD came down a said "UO will be around 40 years with new content every 6 months"... everyone would still doubt it.

    It sucks the company is losing money and the way to fix it is people had to be laid off. End of story.
     
  26. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    Yeah, 2012 is just a heartbeat away really.
     
  27. Endrik

    Endrik Sage
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    LOL... This was my EXACT reaction. Dont get me wrong, Im happy for the announcement, and that they took the time to at least say something... but holy crap that was the funniest thing I have heard in AGES!!!
     
  28. Mr. Gnome

    Mr. Gnome Guest

    It sounds so desperate (to retain its subscribers after the massive layoff) its amusing
     
  29. Dust Bunny

    Dust Bunny Guest

    Instead of constant griping and moaning about all the problems UO has and blahblahblah...you negative people should be glad its NOT UO being shut down for good.

    It's like no matter what the devs do, no matter how they improve one or two things in the game, the negative folks just continue to pick n pick n pick. I bet it was like that if you had a scab as a kid, just picked n picked at it till you opened it up again.

    SA is a great expansion, it has given us players so much to do and new content that hasn't been in the game in the 5 years i've played it BUT you people still have something to ***** about. For once..be grateful its still around and their at least adding new stuff periodically, and we are being updated in regards to situations concerning Mythic/EA and stop acting like a spoiled little brat not getting everything you want in one handful.

    If it's so bad and you've played 11 yrs and say it still sucks then thats bs because otherwise you wouldn't be playing the game that long IF it sucked so bad...you just want your cake and icing too and reality check!!! life doesnt work that way!
     
  30. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    *reads the generic "don't panic" notice and ponders what exactly it is I wanted to hear*
     
  31. Mairut

    Mairut Guest

    Hmmm......yup....

    Kthx Mr. Hickman.

    (Makes you wonder what it is that we're not supposed to be panicking about, doesn't it Maplestone?;) jk :p)
     
  32. shawnee6d

    shawnee6d Guest

    It's difficult to avoid being cynical about these kind sof statements, especially when each game didn't warrent a specific letter. Mind you that is my interpretation.
    Also, it's hard to see past how some of the folks getting layed off must feel. I don't see how laying off people is going to help do anything but make it harder to do a hard (and likley very fun) job. And I don't suppose any of us, much less the people getting layed off will get a reasonable explanation of that.

    I'm alittle curious as to how dev's and people not at the top of the pile can do a really good job and lose. Mythic's staff's missions was to keep exisitng people in love with ultima and increase players. Mission accomplished. Ultima has really been delivering great content, exellent entertainment and fun, most especially the last couple years I've been playing. And somehow some of the folks that made that happen are getting layed off. Go figure.
     
  33. Heartseeker

    Heartseeker Guest

    There, fixed it for you.
     
  34. Harb

    Harb Guest

    Ditto. ***Scratches head.***
     
  35. Tomas_Bryce

    Tomas_Bryce Rares Collector Extraordinaire | Rares Fest Host
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    Maybe you should shut down your accounts and save yourself the heart burn of going paranoid about UO shutting down every time EA fires people.
     
  36. Norther

    Norther Guest

    This sounds like a typical statement you hear right before a shutdown.

    Time will tell. Its just a game to me. It shuts down,I'll move on.
     
  37. Promathia

    Promathia EM Bennu Fanclub
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    This sounds exactly like the last time of EA having layoffs.... LoL

    Some of you people freak out way to much....
     
  38. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    I'm happy for the reassurance that UO is going nowhere anytime soon.
    I'm sure we have top billing through longevity, oldest first.

    It is true that this recent expansion is the best, and most extensive, for a long time. Just about every play style has been considered and catered for, it shows a lot of thought and dedication not just to the game, but also to us, as players. It has brought people back, just reading some of the posts on Stratics will confirm that.

    I will wait for the people who are leaving to post their 'goodbye' posts, and hope fervently that the ones who aren't leaving will also post a 'hi, I'm still here' too.

    As to the unconfirmed rumours of Chrissay's departure. It's sad, and we'll miss her (though I hope she'll keep in touch) - but, her position was the first to go last time around, if you remember? We lost Jeremy and shared a community rep with Warhammer, Joanne.

    I also choose to bear in mind that UO draws people back. Not just players, but also developers etc. Wilki left and returned, Leurocian left and returned (oki I'll admit he's left UO again, though still with EA I believe), Vex left and returned as Phoenix. I think I will entertain the notion that we may not have seen the last of Chrissay. :)
     
  39. Potgut

    Potgut Seasoned Veteran
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    Or maybe its that guy from General Motors like when he was assuring us about the future of their car brands such as Pontiac
     
  40. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    Yup, and that layoff sounded exactly like the layoff even before that, and the studio moves, and after EA bought OSI, and after UO was re-asigned to the Mythic studio, and the time where Mark Jacobs made a blog post, and during the dupes, and during KR, and during AOS, and during UO3D, and during UOR etc etc etc.

    Everytime there will be people that frets and worries that the sky will fall. It's pretty interesting though, that means people care enough for this game to actually worry.
     
  41. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    When I mentioned their 3 MMO franchises in the other thread, I mentioned it in the same order. Reasons are political, coz that in the the order of each game's age. UO is oldest, DoAC is next, WH is newest.

    That way no one would read too much into the order or complain why their favorite MMO wasn't mentioned first etc.
     
  42. Reximus

    Reximus Guest

    FFS, UO owes you people nothing, you pay for a service, and you get the service, don't like the service you're paying for? close your account.

    EA could shut UO down tomorrow, and it's their right, they're a business, and they will continue to run it as long as it's profitable to do so, of course they have fired people, it's what businesses do when times are tough, reduce your expenses and cut the dead weight.

    You only have 2 options, play or don't play, you're not entitled to whinge.
     
  43. Mairut

    Mairut Guest

    CHRISSAY IS GONE???!!!!
    I liked reading her posts. :sad3: A very wonderful person... Say it isn't true...!! :(

    I hope that it is just rumour....! If it isn't I hope she'll be back with us soon :(
     
  44. Theo_GL

    Theo_GL Grand Poobah
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    Both her LinkedIn and Facebook accounts list EA as a former employer. I'm afraid she's gone.

    Good luck Chrissay - we'll miss you!

    Its going to be quiet again on the boards without a community rep.
     
  45. onthefifty

    onthefifty Guest

    so true. here's what leaman's **** fuld had to say as his business was going down the toilet

    quote:
    “The set of decisions announced today will protect our core clients and create a clean balance sheet,” he said on the call.

    unquote

    :gee:
     
  46. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    I've kept mum, mainly because I'm sick *coughs* but after reading pages of comments here and in the other thread one main thought comes to mind.

    It is due to the players of UO that this game still exists. We are a unique motley crew and though many other gamers may put bragging rights on that, this is a community where some have literally grown up with this game and handed it down to their kids and sometimes grand kids like a nostalgic heirloom.

    A good game keeps going. This is a good game. It may not be great according to those who like the new and shinies and it may not be at the top of marketing's list, but look where we are 12yrs later due the dedication of more mature players who have helped shape Sosaria.

    While the suits may not look at this but rather the bottom line, we are giving them that as well with competitive subscription numbers, buying little dollar items from uogamecodes and supporting expansions. We give the developers a hard time when things go awry because we are smart consumers but I speak for myself when I say my accounts are worth it to me. It's a good game with good people behind it which keeps my 3 accounts active.

    I salute those who fell on the sword Monday while working on my game. You will be missed and always appreciated. It is such a loss when those who understood this unique community and why we keep UO going are gone. What they take with them and offer to the gaming industry will benefit other players at least. I hope they use us all as references *smiles*

    Hugs,
     
  47. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    Where is my "like" button? :)
     
  48. onthefifty

    onthefifty Guest

    well aside from my tongue and cheek comment above, this game is after 12 years a steady and if you believe the press slightly increasing revenue flow for ea. Its what's known as a cash cow in management terms.

    The problems ea faces, as is the same with the other game manufacturers lie more on the box games and are a direct result of the current economy.

    so in the end whether ea lives or dies a subscriber base that is north of 100,000 will have value to some company.

    ah,... we will probably end up being owned by disney.... they buy everything else anyway.
     
  49. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    OK... I can see it that way, but for years now UO seemed to only get an honorable mention and not top billing. Looks nice to me! :)
     
  50. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    I sorry, but don't be stupid. You can't possibly hit the same levels with fewer people. Saying you are still committed to providing a good value in your products is one thing, but saying it is 'the same' is just stupid producer BS.