I am still not sure if I am worthy of being interviewed, sure I am in the games industry but I haven’t exactly been a part of anything wildly successful yet (not that I haven’t been trying). However, I got to talking with the author of MMOFallout after he picked up my post about the calamitous end of the Net Devil Studio. Here is a link to the published interview.
We initially got talking because I felt there was a misunderstanding about my feelings surronding the media frenzy ensuing after the layoffs (MMOFallout also reported on it). I do find it unfortunate that there is such sensationalism and twisting of statements performed to grab people’s attention. It is so easy for someone to morph a statement taken out of context.
Take someone like massively, they posted a link to the interview with an honest blurb about its contents. It also looks like it got a mention on the LEGO fan community boards where they seem more than eager for any inside knowledge about LEGO Universe.
Then contrast those with The Westword’s (a Denver Newspaper) online article. First, they didn’t even get my name right. Second they juxtaposed the past and present snippets of the original interview to reflect negatively on the current conditions of the LEGO Universe project. There is no mention of the project switching companies. You miss out on the information that most of the strife was caused by handling of the studio and team by Gazillion, not the current owners of the project. LEGO is an awesome company and a fantastic employer. They treated us very well in my tenure, and I hear nothing but good things about them from my friends still working on the project. Another website Videogamer.com extracted every negative statement that they could in their post about the interview (and also misspelled my name).
When I originally talked to MMOfallout I shared that my issue with media is this particularly affinity to take the most negative viewpoint they can. When the news originally landed about the layoffs there was no post like “Future Development of LEGO Universe comes with a price: LEGO acquisition of the project met with layoffs”. While many of us were negatively affected by that event, it was also the moment when you knew LEGO Universe was going to have a solid future and continued support. It is a win any time that a project survives cancellation and passionate people endure to create more of what our fans desire.
I was really happy with the conversation and interview, there was a clear and respected understanding that I cannot just share everything and some secrets have to be maintained. Our entire dialogue was posted word for word, a paradigm of journalistic integrity. Admittedly, I felt a bit dumb when I actually had no idea about some of Gazillion’s other projects and studios. For example, I have no knowledge about the Slipgate Studio and the status of John Romero’s MMO project, all I could do was point to the article already published about Romero leaving. Similarly, the state of Jumpgate Evolution is a sensitive topic; all I can do is direct you to the last interview with David Brevik.
LEGO Universe has just released part of the game as free to play. If you haven’t played it yet, or maybe been thinking about returning, I hope you check it out and enjoy the world we created. Free to play support was one of the last things I remember working on, also check out the new trailer: