I’m getting more interested in what is going on over at 38 Studios. I’m still maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism, as you would expect from me. All the same, there are subtle signs that things are going OK over at 38. I’m hoping to find out more background when I do an interview with some of the principals over there for 38fans.com (I’m going to be doing a little writing for them as well. Trying to make sure that I spread myself as thin as possible.) More on that later.
Here are the things that encourage me right at the moment…
Development is ongoing and Curt Schilling is immersed in the business. I know there have been trips out west for VC, and I know they made a big impact at CES. The important thing is that Curt is keeping his word that this isn’t just something he’s dabbling in, but is a passion of his that he is pursuing. This isn’t a rich guy finding a new outlet for his energy and a possible new revenue stream. This is a rich guy following a dream that hopefully is a new outlet for his energy and a possible new revenue stream. I don’t think he’s going to peter out and go away. If Schilling has demonstrated anything during his public life up to now, it’s a tenacity and willingness to speak his mind (that has to scare the shit out of the marketing people.. lol) to match his competitiveness. I really believe he’s in this for the long haul.
Shwayder and Danuser (Blackguard and Moorgard) are in a good mood. I’ve been watching their posts and comments on blogs, and there is a definite optomism there. I know this isn’t much of an indicator, but it at least indicates a healthy work environment. We have seen that demonstrated in the negative with a few companies recently to their detrement. Seeing it demonstrated in the positive helps me believe they are on the right track. On top of that, Shwayder’s “MMO Development Lesson” series really resonates with me and the mentality of many of the gamers I know. To me, that shows that someone at a key position is aligned with the customer service, design, and communication ethics that are important to the maturing MMO crowd.
Schilling is too busy for an interview with me. Normally, this wouldn’t be news. But after I mentioned on 38fans.com that I would like to do an interview with him, he reached out to me. Since then, his people and I have been trading emails and trying to get a time to do it and he has been straight up too busy to do so. Venture capital, CES, traditional press, he’s been out there doing what he needs to do. That encourages me. I’m assured that he still wants to do the fan site interview, and that is encouraging as well. That would be one more interview with the lead guy than I got at my last gig.
Last, the genre is ready for something new and maybe a little different. I know I am. While I am really enjoying EQ2 and WOW, they aren’t quite what I’m looking for. Maybe Copernicus (the code name for the game 38 is working on) will be.
I don’t want to get wrapped up in the hype, but I’m holding out hope that this could be a really cool game. If nothing else, it looks like it could get the title of “the game for gamers by gamers.”
As always, stay tuned.