SOE Acquires Sigil Games

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

In an announcement that shocked no one, we find out that SOE has acquired what they call ‘key assets’ of Sigil Games Online. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past year or so, Sigil is the developer of the recently released MMO, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Brad McQuaid, co-founder of Sigil, is now a consultant for SOE, with the title of Vanguard Creative Advisor.

Previously, SOE was co-publishing Vanguard with Sigil, but now SOE owns the title outright. Most of the Sigil staff has joined SOE and is being integrated into its studios. SOE President John Smedley said, “We look forward to continuing the vision for Vanguard and to continue to deliver some ground breaking game play.”

Personally, I think that delivering some unbroken gameplay would be a big step forward.

However, former employees are now speaking out on the situation at Sigil, and it was apparently pretty bleak. While the interview is long, here’s something that caught my eye. “I don’t believe Brad is a bad guy like some people are painting him on the various forums right now. I DO think however, that he believed people wanted to play a game that HE liked, regardless of the masses of people telling him they didn’t like his ideas.” You can also read how Sigil’s team worked with substandard or no tools for the job at hand, how their removal from Sigil was announced in the parking lot behind the office, and how Brad McQuaid literally disappeared for most of a six month period during development.

So, will Sony manage to change anything here?

SOE claims in a post on the Official Vanguard Forums that the Galaxies debacle won’t repeat itself here. “We do not plan on making any major changes to Vanguard. Any changes are going to come from the team itself. We aren’t mandating any big changes to the game. We’ve learned a thing or two with our experiences with the NGE and don’t plan on repeating mistakes from the past and not listening to the players.”

While this is certainly encouraging, it’s not the first promise we’ve heard from Sony in connection with an MMO title. At this point, it’s a wait and see game, and I personally will be doing lots of waiting before I decide to give Vanguard another chance.

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