A Note From Garwulf In Support of John Smedley

A Note From Garwulf In Support of John Smedley

The news has broken that John Smedley has stepped down as CEO of the Daybreak Game Company following a sustained campaign of harassment. This is bad. Here's why.

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While Smed has arguably done some good, and the harassment from Lizard Squad being an utterly horrible thing to happen to (almost) anyone, I cant help but feel that SOE/DBG has been long overdue for a change in management.

Not two months ago, he personally announced on Reddit the forthcoming features for Planetside 2 this year, and not a month a month after that we hear that development has been put on hiatus again so they can port PS2 to XB1. A questionable decision considering the PS4 version took far too long and was dead on arrival.

Also, despite his famous anti-hacker stance, until recently PS2 and H1Z1 have been crawling with hackers. This only changed when they gave up trying to counter the hacks directly and introduced a system that gives out autobans to new accounts based on performance statistics.

And because i know someone else will bring this up if i dont, he presided over the infamous NGE update for Star Wars: Galaxies.

I have to say I'm glad to hear there will be a change of management. Even though I have heard some (few) good things about his leadership, I really believe his guidance has caused SOE to missed massive opportunities to develop successful games and push the frontiers of gaming forward.

For one, the original Planetside 1 was starved to a skeleton of its former self under his guidance as he focused marketing and developer support on EQ1 and tossed the leftovers to PS1. It took several more years after it was reduced to barely-functional levels for the potential of an MMOFPS to be seen by SOE, and that only after the COD / other FPS franchises had already cashed in bigtime. PS1 was groundbreaking, engaging, had a LOT of support from independent gaming guilds and set a new standard for what could be done in an MMO. It literally had the opportunity to try to take over the entire multiplayer FPS market, and the opportunity was wasted.

For another, EQ1 turned away from its original potential to be a place where players met to have memorable adventures into a competitor for WoW's level-grind trophy. Which made it a) boring to people who were trying to have an adventure, and b) nothing more than a far more resource-intensive version of WoW, meaning WoW could always offer a bigger user base and less investment by comparison.

I can't speak to his stewardship of other games, but the news on those fronts speaks for itself. It seems he never understood / was able to impress on the product managers that these games are supposed to be adventure experiences to be had in a community environment.

So good luck to him whereever he goes, but I think this is an opportunity for Daybreak to open up a new wave of progress in online gaming. Best of luck to them on that!

gigastar:
And because i know someone else will bring this up if i dont, he presided over the infamous NGE update for Star Wars: Galaxies.

That in itself is enough to make me believe that the change in management is good. The Combat Upgrade before NGE was awesome. It rewarded players for putting all their skillpoints into combat and punished them for multi-jobbing, so that someone who specialized in combat was objectively more powerful than someone who was half combat, half furniture manufacturer. In the old game a half manufacturer, half rifleman was objectively more powerful than pistoleer/bounty hunter/rogue pure combat class.

And then the NGE came along and ruined everything. Just preset classes. No customization or true roleplay at all. It still makes me bitter thinking about it.

gigastar:

And because i know someone else will bring this up if i dont, he presided over the infamous NGE update for Star Wars: Galaxies.

I've always been caught up by this.
Love for him for the pre NGE stuff (except killing crafting with the end of durability limit degradation)
Disappointment for the implementation of the NGE.

All the same, I'm in agreement with the article.
I hope he lands on his feet and finds fulfilling work in the industry again.

Don't really want to get into performing an autopsy of his career in mmos when I'm still hoping it's not over, partly to spite the lizard squad.

 

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