Warhammer Online Studio Mythic Entertainment Shuttered By EA

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Warhammer Online Studio Mythic Entertainment Shuttered By EA

Dark Age of Camelot

Another one bites the dust.

EA has built up a little bit of a reputation of acquiring studios and then giving them the ax, and it looks like Mythic Entertainment, most famous for its medieval fantasy MMO Dark Age of Camelot, is the latest victim of the chopping block. In an message sent to Kotaku, EA confirmed that Mythic's studio in Fairfax, Virginia has been closed, as the company aims to "concentrate mobile development in our other studio locations."

"We are closing the EA Mythic location in Fairfax, Virginia, as we concentrate mobile development in our other studio locations. We are working with all impacted employees to provide assistance in finding new opportunities, either within EA or with other companies via an upcoming job fair. "

Mythic, which after building a name for itself with DaoC, went on to make Warhammer Online, an MMO staring Game's Workshops fantasy world, which was unfortunately closed down in 2013. They've also produced a number of other online games including the popular MUD Dragon's Gate.

Most recently though, Mythic made that horrible Dungeon Keeper mobile reboot, which was received poorly by just about everyone. What a terrible note to go out on.

Source: Kotaku

Permalink

Someone get the EA assassination meme, we've got another one for the body pile.

This is sad DAoC is still bringing profit from what I've gathered and EA mythic team members were the ones who supposedly salvaged The Old Republic back in a day when BW couldn't finish it :/

Soviet Heavy:
Someone get the EA assassination meme, we've got another one for the body pile.

I'd get it but after that Snowden interview, I'm pretty sure googling "assassination" gets me automatically marked for review by the NSA. So instead, here's EA Locutus.
image
I never played DAOC - think I was into Vanguard when that game gained popularity. Still sucks to see a studio get folded. I was guilded with the lead dev at Mythic for a time. He'd bounce ideas off us for upcoming projects, nice guy. I wish him the best of luck.

Another joins the Westwood/Bullfrog corpse pile, it will just keep getting bigger regardless of how much you complain about the stench.

Ah, it's finally been sucked dry of all it's talent and ideas, and the empty shell has been chucked away. Another victim to the EA beast. Bets on who's next? I've got 20 on BioWare.

-If- Dragon Age 3 is awesome, they'll probably be ok, but if not, I expect an EA exec to call them into a meeting where they're petting a white cat and having a "You have failed me for the last time" situation happening.

Or they force choke everyone. One of the two.

Man, I thought these guys were dead back when Warhammer Online got pulled down.

Still, a sad reminder that it's gone. I had a lot of fun with that game.

UberPubert:
Man, I thought these guys were dead back when Warhammer Online got pulled down.

Still, a sad reminder that it's gone. I had a lot of fun with that game.

I was under the impression most of those guys got absorbed into Bioware to help with SWTOR. So the MMO arm of Bioware became Bioware Mythic.

It's a shame too, when all was said and done, W:AOR was a fantastic game, it needed a lot of fine tuning, but if EA had give them just 6 months more... and not let GOA handle European servers, it could have been brilliant.

Conspiracy theory: EA bought the ET-Atari dump after they got the games out of it, so they can start burying their very own collection of companies they have killed. R.I.P Bullfrog, Westwood, Mythic, Maxis, Bioware.

Soviet Heavy:
Someone get the EA assassination meme, we've got another one for the body pile.

The fine folks at KnowYourMeme have added the updated roster:

image

May those brave warrior souls rest easy in Valhalla...

That sucks, I actually remember visiting their studio a couple of times. They gave me the special boxed edition of their Warhammer MMO which came with some exclusive items. I never used them, but they were a nice group.

Rellik San:
I was under the impression most of those guys got absorbed into Bioware to help with SWTOR. So the MMO arm of Bioware became Bioware Mythic.

Though, from what I've heard, that's a fate worse then death.

Rellik San:
It's a shame too, when all was said and done, W:AOR was a fantastic game, it needed a lot of fine tuning, but if EA had give them just 6 months more... and not let GOA handle European servers, it could have been brilliant.

Yeah, I came to age of reckoning because I like the Warhammer Fantasy universe, I stayed because of the top-to-bottom RvR (and my warrior priest was so cool!).

Steven Bogos:
Most recently though, Mythic made that horrible Dungeon Keeper mobile reboot, which was received poorly by just about everyone. What a terrible note to go out on.

Well, let's be honest about one thing. It's wasn't really Mythic that made mobile Dungeon Keeper. It was a shambling, money-grubbing, undead corpse called Mythic that made that one.

The real Mythic did die out on a high note with Warhammer Online.

Also, I had no idea they made Tempest. That's cool.

vallorn:

Soviet Heavy:
Someone get the EA assassination meme, we've got another one for the body pile.

The fine folks at KnowYourMeme have added the updated roster:

image

May those brave warrior souls rest easy in Valhalla...

I see a massive, gaping void where Pandemic should be on that list.

vallorn:

image

No love for Magic Carpet? ;_;

As always i feel for the staff over there they have only done what they where told, still i think its good to finally put them out of there misery.

And also F**K YOU EA stop buying amazing studios to get there IP then forcing them to make crap like Dungeon Keeper mobile and then closing them down it makes you look like even more of a d**k.

I used play Dark Age of Camelot with a bunch of friends which I was the guild leader for a bit. While I stopped playing probably like a decade ago, as my tastes evolved, it definitely had some good ideas, and I think people should use them in the future. Particularly I loved the PvP of the different realms in the game. It made interesting always having the X factor of what 3rd realm might do during a battle. Some times they team up with yours, they might kill the winner. Anything could happen.

Well another one bites the dust.

Soviet Heavy:
I see a massive, gaping void where Pandemic should be on that list.

Boris Goodenough:
No love for Magic Carpet? ;_;

My apologies I just found what I could. We should probably expand the image vertically to add those two studios, and yes Pandemic definatly deserve a headstone... God I miss their Battlefront games... If there was one thing you could say about a Pandemic game it was that it was ambitious and had heart to it.

As to Magic Carpet. While important to Bulfrog's demise with the Magic Carpet 2 debacle from EA management I think that Dungeon Keep, Populous and the like were more well known games to people.

It's just a good thing that DaoC lives on in Camelot Unchained. That project needs more love.

and with their last game, Dungeon Keeper Mobile, they also killed what was once a beloved franchise, good job EA, you killed 2 birds with one stone

vallorn:

Soviet Heavy:
Someone get the EA assassination meme, we've got another one for the body pile.

The fine folks at KnowYourMeme have added the updated roster:

image

May those brave warrior souls rest easy in Valhalla...

no Pandemic? they made the original Battlefront games and Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, one of the best open world games around

come on dude, if theres one thing worse than being killed by EA is having your good name fade into obscurity

vallorn:

Soviet Heavy:
Someone get the EA assassination meme, we've got another one for the body pile.

The fine folks at KnowYourMeme have added the updated roster:

image

May those brave warrior souls rest easy in Valhalla...

Everyone always forgets about Kesmai. I miss Air Warrior.

For those wondering.
Dark Age of Camelot WILL NOT get closed, it is now running under a new studio founded by Mythic co-founder Rob Denton.

No doubt EA told them that this would happen a few months ago allowing them to do this.

I wonder if developers see being forced to make mobile games as a director of film might see being forced to make car commercials or music videos for Lil Wayne and his shitty ilk.

Steven Bogos:
"concentrate mobile development in our other studio locations."

Most recently though, Mythic made that horrible Dungeon Keeper mobile reboot, which was received poorly by just about everyone. What a terrible note to go out on.

I just don't get EA. Why would you buy a dedicated MMO developer in order to make shitty mobile games? I know some people think EA gets more hate than they deserve and that claims they're evil are way overblown, but how else can you describe this kind of systematic butchery and pissing on the graves of developers for absolutely no reason? I might not like a company that makes business decisions I don't like, but usually it's at least possible to understand why they make them. But EA seems to delight in ripping studios to pieces for absolutely no reason.

Case in point:

EA has built up a little bit of a reputation of acquiring studios and then giving them the ax

From the article linked there:

But it's thankfully looking up where the publisher's studio-swallowing habits are concerned, with CEO John Riccitiello recently admitting that the company "blew it" when it decided to absorb (and later close) stellar PC developers Bullfrog and Westwood.

Fortunately, the boss promises the same fate won't become of recently acquired BioWare and Pandemic, who he says EA is doing its best to preserve the company culture. "It seems to be working," Riccitiello added. "I think we are on a good track."

Just a year later, Pandemic was gone.

Rellik San:
I was under the impression most of those guys got absorbed into Bioware to help with SWTOR. So the MMO arm of Bioware became Bioware Mythic.

Not quite. Mythic was renamed Bioware Mythic as part of a restructuring that put both Bioware and Mythic in new RPG/MMO division, but they didn't actually become part of Bioware. They were later separated back out and renamed back to just Mythic Entertainment again. So it's not that they moved all the people over to Bioware and then closed what was left over, this closure includes all the people who were associated with the Bioware Mythic name as well.

This is exhaustingly saddening, stupid EA being stupid again.

Aww, that's sad to hear.
I really liked WARHAMMER Age of Reckoning,

Just another victim of the serial killer known as EA.

Dont know why people remind warhammer online so fondly.. it was a quivering mess of bugs ,unfinished code, cut content and horrid class balancing. Not to mention Paul Barnett....

The writing was on the wall thought when they kicked out the former head staff of mythic when warhammer was tanking only 6 months after release and reduced staff to a skeleton crew, putting warhammer online on maintanance mode.. loosing over 500k subscribers in its first months kinda does that.

The game was unsalvagable too.. the PVE was crap the PvP highly depended on zerging or who had the most Firemages/Dark elf mages, War priests/Blood acolytes... and usually order would get the shit kicked out of them in world RvR cause everyone was rolling the far more cooler looking destruction chars. The intiial RvR was so bugged that when the first time destruction pushed back order to their capital... the entire server crashed and only resetting the RvR solved the problem. Then they had to cut out the final fortresses before the city siege and never put them back in.

The art style thought was a perfect match of the warhammer table top game and if they hadnt chopped up the world like they did and made it more of a traditional one it could have been even more awesome.

Also EA Mythic brought us that hilarious blog of EA spouse if i remember correctly that painted a rather bad picture about managment at their studio.

Kahani:

I just don't get EA. Why would you buy a dedicated MMO developer in order to make shitty mobile games? I know some people think EA gets more hate than they deserve and that claims they're evil are way overblown, but how else can you describe this kind of systematic butchery and pissing on the graves of developers for absolutely no reason? I might not like a company that makes business decisions I don't like, but usually it's at least possible to understand why they make them. But EA seems to delight in ripping studios to pieces for absolutely no reason.

I think it makes more sense than first look.
Mythic remained an dedicated MMO company EA for about six years, it was really only the last two years in which they've been made into an mobile developer.

I think the reason was that they lost of staff over time and with EA losing the licence to Warhammer (and thus the closure of "Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning" and the canceling of the MOBA "Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes" they weren't left with a lot.

Dark Age of Camelot and Ultima Online while profitable, I don't think they're profitable enough to sustain Mythic.

EA was left with four options.

A. Develop another MMO.
B. Keep Mythic only as a means to keep two old MMOs.
C. Close the studio.
D. Restructure the studio.

Option A was never going to happen.
After the lackluster response to "Star Wars: The Old Republic" and overall underwhelming life of "Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning", there was no way EA was going to spend millions in creating a new MMO.

Option B seems like a waste of time and now is happening anyway under a new company which isn't EA, but EA is working with in order to make it happen.

Option C would have been an easy one for EA considering their history, but they didn't.

Option D was the most logical choice, they have a studio and developers, instead of wasting them, why not get them to work on new games? Mobile two years ago seemed a lot more profitable than it is now.
And to be fair, while Dungeon Keeper is pretty horrid, their other mobile game "Ultima Forever" is a pretty damn good game.

It seems that EA did try, they tried to make it work.
Besides, it seems quite a few of the employees will transfer to other EA studios or to Broadsword.

Well, I'm sure a lot of Mythic's talent will find employment elsewhere. To be honest looking at the last "Dungeon Keeper" game I can't say I'm sorry to see them go, I mean sure, EA was largely to blame for that, but that product kind of showed they had turned into "anything for another day of employment" developer and had lost it's soul since they were basically throwing their name and reputation behind a ridiculously money gouging product that was intended to exploit good will and nostalgia. It's sad that EA killed them, but they really did need to be taken out behind the shed after that, and while lacking financial security for the moment I'd imagine a lot of the workers will probably be happier, and develop a better product wherever they wind up.

As far as Mythic helping Bioware out, to be honest I've kind of wondered if they were responsible for some of the problems and balance issues that got into the game and stayed even long after the launch of "The Old Republic Online". "Warhammer Online" was a mess right from day #1, and as much as I loved the world I didn't stick with it very long because I found it kind of painful after a while. The way they tried to "mirror" the classes in "Old Republic" seemed a lot like what they tried to do with WAR, and it had the same kind of balance issues for example, and I wondered for a while if Mythic had a hand in that in rushing to get them finished up.

Overall while DAOC was apparently something special, they had that one success, and then one big failure in terms of WAR. That makes their batting average 50-50, with their influence on TOR being questionable since you don't know what they did/finished. If I was EA I probably wouldn't be trusting them with another MMO property, and after the failure with their mobile game, it seems like their demise is a matter of common sense.

As far as Bioware hitting the corpse pile, I think they have a lot of life in them yet. Bioware is a developer famous for focusing on one project at a time, and polishing it to a high shine. Their failures largely came about due to EA forcing them to juggle multiple projects it seems. Bioware has a chance if it can focus on one project at a time (like they are apparently doing with DA3) and turn it into a major success. If they pull that off, and can convince EA to let it remain fairly focused, they can probably stay off the chopping block until they score more failures. Of course working against them is the bad blood they have engendered. After "Dragon Age 2" and "Mass Effect 3" I'm not likely to rush right out for "Dragon Age 3" and I imagine a lot of other people won't be either. This means that even if DA3 turns out to be great, it might not be a huge day #1 success.

Relatedly, stories like this one always remind me of the article that first brought me to the Escapist.

I sit and wonder if this new company, risen from the ashes of Mythic, will ever create a DAOC 2 or something similar. As far as I'm concerned, and despite its flaws, DAOC was the best MMO ever made (and I've tried A LOT of them.) Losing Mythic feels like losing a good friend, but maybe this spin-off company will have now have the freedom to go back to doing what it does best. WAR was a failure of course, but I never felt it was a failure in quality. It was a failure in its approach and its timing (new WOW expansion launched at nearly the same time) but was very well put together and had a ton of great ideas. I've just got to hope they can bring back the magic.

I don't get why they didn't make Warhammer hybrid F2P like many other games. It held out far longer with a sub than most.

The whole RvR deal was also pretty fun, though deeply flawed at the same time.

Mirrorknight:
Ah, it's finally been sucked dry of all it's talent and ideas, and the empty shell has been chucked away. Another victim to the EA beast. Bets on who's next? I've got 20 on BioWare.

-If- Dragon Age 3 is awesome, they'll probably be ok, but if not, I expect an EA exec to call them into a meeting where they're petting a white cat and having a "You have failed me for the last time" situation happening.

Or they force choke everyone. One of the two.

I tend to agree but it's not DAI that will decide their fate, it'll be the next ME. And they already took a big hit with Swtor, almost 800 people worked on the game, they're less than 20 now (the last expansion was made by 4...). So they're no closing but not really far to. In fact it's almost the case.

IMO one of the reason that push EA to let Bioware live is two simple fact: first closing them will destroy their rep (what is left of course) and they can't justify this closure to their shareholders after putting more than one billion of dollars in the studio (860 millions for buying them and 300 or more in Swtor).
ME will decide their fate because DAI have almost no marketing budget and too much competitors at launch (Arkham Knight, Borderlands or the Sims 4 for examples).

DAOC isn't relevant anymore, and Warhammer Online was a dying game for years - that new Dungeon Keeper tripe isn't even worth mentioning really. People bitch and moan about "EA killing studios", when Mythic hasn't made anything worthwhile in years. Should one keep studios around simply on the merit of their name? Seems like a really brilliant way to make money.

Fdzzaigl:
I don't get why they didn't make Warhammer hybrid F2P like many other games. It held out far longer with a sub than most.

The whole RvR deal was also pretty fun, though deeply flawed at the same time.

GamesWorkshop probably was part of the problem with them going F2P and not having any kind of system that might translate well into a F2P system would mean it would either becoming feeling mandatory or a tacked on money grab. When the game finally did close it wasn't because of EA closing the severs, but GamesWorkshop not renewing the licensing agreement (or pulling the license).

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