Star Trek Online Executive Producer Calls It Quits

Star Trek Online Executive Producer Calls It Quits

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Star Trek Online Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich says he has "the coolest job ever," so it's a little baffling when he follows that up by announcing that he's quitting.

I've always had trouble with letters of resignation that rant and rave about how awesome the soon-to-be-former job is. If you love what you do so much, why are you quitting? Take, for example, Craig Zinkievich, who's been working on Star Trek Online for the past two and a half years. "Getting to work on Star Trek Online has truly been the highlight of my career," he wrote in a message to players. "I still can't believe how lucky I was when it became my responsibility to help make STO a reality. I'm often asked in interviews or online, 'Isn't your job the coolest job ever?' Yes, yes it is."

It sounds like a pretty sweet gig. But the point of Zinkievich's message isn't to let the world know how cool his job is, but to let the world know that he's leaving it. "It's time for me to move on," he wrote. "I've decided to take a break from Cryptic Studios for a bit and focus on other things, like hanging out with my kids over the summer, walking my goat more and taking care of my bees."

Taking over from Zinkievich will be Daniel Stahl, a producer on STO as well as Champions Online. "The Star Trek Online development team is the most amazing, passionate, dedicated and hardest working team that I've ever had the honor of working with," he continued. "With Dan in the Captain's chair, I'm confident that this team will be true to Star Trek's vision and continue to expand STO to its fullest potential."

Given the tepid response to Star Trek Online when it was released in February, I'd say Stahl has his work cut out for him.

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Well, thats a bit confusing, but, all best to him.

Hope he can keep the ball rolling for it

Well, he didn't say his job was more important than his kids... Also, tepid response is right, I recall hearing about Star Trek online in the hype and stuff, did not know it was out. At all, hadn't heard a thing... Does he really have bees and a goat, or was that a joke?

Jumping ship before it sinks perhaps?

I played a trial with my friend a few months back, from what I saw of STO at that point, I was only a bit impressed, didnt seem like it would be able to survive very long at that point, very repetitive, very buggy.

What sane man WOULDN'T choose goat walking over 'the coolest job ever'?

EDIT: double post.

I've heard nothing good about STO. It was a bad idea in the first place, and apparently the execution was awful as well.

I've played Champions Online, also developed by Cryptic, and it was an unbalanced, buggy mess. I have a feeling that STO is going to join Tabula Rasa soon in the MMO afterlife.

It was smart of him to end his career on a high note rather than to go down with the ship.

Well, goats and bees are difficult to take care of, I'm sure. He'll need to devote all his time to milking and harvesting all that delicious honey. Yup.

I really enjoyed STO, which is weird because I never really enjoyed star trek that much, well apart from Voyager but from what i've been told that was a bad one to like and I should like the one with Patrick Stewart in it instead, but I digress.

I found it pretty fun levelling up and getting a new and interesting ship, new weapon slots and more and more abilities, more powerful weapons etc etc, and getting to customise the ship!

Then I hit the endgame.. and it died for me. I went off to borg space thinking about raids and all that and killed 1 badly rendered cube which broke up in a spectacularly bad fashion. I then asked my party if this was endgame, they said yes so I kinda just left the zone. I tried PvP but the problem is klingons got slapped around in PvE with hardly anything to do, so they got buffs in PvP to make up for it, as such they can walk all over any starfleet ship, that ship being me in my little science guy plinking away while they obliterate me.

It had such promise, and it went and screwed it all up by having nothing to do. It's such a shame aswell because since season 2 the engine and the game itself is very good and well rounded, apart from the ground missions but whatever, it's just that there isn't really that much to do!

During my time in the STO community, I was amazed at how enthusiastic he was. It's why the mediocre state of the released game baffled me, he was passionate about Star Trek and the game so I expected STO to reflect that. I think the game was pushed through development to quickly and the year and a half since release have been an uphill struggle. He's not the first to leave though, my twitter is full of former Cryptic employees.

brunothepig:
Does he really have bees and a goat, or was that a joke?

Yes he does. His goat became a recurring theme on the STO forums.

Awww i'm looking forward too STO, I hope this isn't a warning sign that its going to be a bad game >_<

It makes sense to me, jumping a sinking ship aside. Creative people can very easily get burned out. This guy had been working on developing this game for, what, two years? That can be a long time to be doing the same thing, so he just needs some time away from Star Trek to do other things and pursue other projects.

That said, if the poor reviews are any indication, it may be that he's jumping ship or was canned thanks to the poor reception and this it their way to keep it hush-hush. I really can't say. But, it's not that puzzling to me why someone would leave the "coolest job ever." Maybe for him, developing the game was cool, but maintaining it and doing little tweaks and bug fixes is not so cool. That makes perfect sense to me.

Clumpcy:
Awww i'm looking forward too STO, I hope this isn't a warning sign that its going to be a bad game >_<

What, are you living in 2006 or something?

So he lied about his job being all that cool. Infact he even mentioned goats ... Seems to fit with how cryptic lied about how wonderful STO would be.

In talking about how great the job you're quitting is, you're trying to avoid looking like an asshole. I can't decide if, in doing that, you look more like an asshole or just incompetent.

Hmmm, well I have mixed opinions on the subject.

When I tried the STO Beta I was hardly impressed, however a recent STEAM sale and a couple of bucks I got gifted convinced me to give it another shot. Armed with a digital copy and a fistfull of cryptic points (some left over from Champons Online which I never used) I jumped and again and over the last couple of days I've come to the conclusion that they did indeed tighten it up. What's more there actually seems to be a decent number of players.

To be entirely honest I still wouldn't call this a "good" MMORPG in absolute terms, but it's not terrible either. The Metacritic scores are pretty much right on by saying that it's average. It's big defense is that it's one of the few games that has been ambitious enough to tackle both space play, and ground based play at the same time right from release, and it also uses a Crew/Companion system similar to what Old Republic is promising (I guess) that is fairly functional if simplistic.

What I think kills STO is the general lack of content in any given area, since they basically tried to tackle two seperate game systems and didn't polish either. What's more, they are trying to get people to pay for what content they add to the game. A good example of this is right as Mr. Producer left, Cryptic was adding the games first "Tier 5" ship to the game... for the low-low price of $25 in real cash. What's more it appears that all of the playable races they have added also require you to spend real money (via points), as does getting the character slots to play those races since you only get two of them.

STO is basically one of those games that is charging a subsctiption fee equal to WoW ($15 a month) but on top of that is trying to gouge people for money instead of justifying the subscription fee by adding the minor updates and additions to the game for free. To put things into perspective I've invested (all told) probably about $40 in this game, however to access the end game and get the tier-5 ship to presumably do the tier-5 content I need to pay them over half that again (close to the price of an expansion pack!), and ironically more than I paid for the basic download from STEAM during the sale.

Oh, I'll probably stick with it a bit because of what I already paid, but this definatly isn't a game I'm going to consider a long-term relationship with, because honestly it's badly marketed.

Rather than standardizing prices, I'd say that if STO wants a chance to really pick up it needs to drop this entire "Cryptic Points" thing, especially for some of the content like races and additional ships (not ship costumes). Buying the "special edition" rewards from differant retailers and the costumes (purely cosmetic) on the other hand strike me as being fine as they provide no real in-game advantage (the purchusable races on the other hand certainly seem like they do). What's more given the sub-standard quality of the game in general I think charging $5 or even $10 a month would quite possible draw in players and make people fairly forgiving.

Well, there we go again... a major tangent. The bottom line is that I think this producer realized the game is a mess and jumped ship for that reason. As far as spending more time with his kids and such goes... well, we'll see what happens. Call me a cynic, but I expect we'll hear of him being involved with another project before TOO long and if you trace the time the project was going on back far enough we'll probably find that he jumped ship specifically for that.... a better deal than Cryptic was giving him.

Cryptic have a long history of making good PvE but awful PvP; and then they insist on patching in things that they simply can't do well. Spoiling the effect of all the good things.

It would have been funnier if he was rocking about in his chair when he made the announcement though.

...... He has a pet goat?

Conflicting news. I guess something suddenly turned that job into a true nightmare. It happens. Don't jump the bandwagon folks.

I'd really like to know what this game subscriber numbers are currently in comparison to launch.

Like many others, I too had a certain level of expectation of this game, and it kinda fell short for me. I still subscribe in 3 month increments, but I think the last tiem I played was a month ago.

Some of the larger team based missions are fun, but overall, the majority of the content and missions are indeed repetative, and I still can't shake the feeling I'm basically playing a re-skinned CoH/CoV game...only in a Star Trek setting.

Yeah, I know that was a tangent as well, but when I hear people leaving a dream job, it usually means something else is going on behind the scenes. I think I read similar stories with devs of the original incarnation of Star Wars Galaxies and Matrix Online as well. "It's a great job, my team is passionate, creative, etc...." and before you know it, a few months later the game is about to be buried.

Anyone know the subscription numbers out of curiosity?

Well we don't really know whats going on do we? However you can still enjoy something but understand that you have more important priorities in your life, he said he wanted to have a break and spend some time hanging out with his kids, seems reasonable although there could have been problems in developing the game etc, which is probably more realistic. He can hardly come out and go well im glad its over that was terrible as he would look like a dick.

Did he say... that he needs to walk his goat?

 

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