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Oh, OK, so … *another* reason Age of Conan failed…

…could be that the “beat your staff with a stick, and if that doesn’t work … beat them harder” style of management was de rigeur for the Norwegian games industry:

AoC, in the words of an (alleged? ex?) employee:

the problem with Age of conan is that the game was in “crunch” for almost 3 years.

…who had *great fun* working for a company called Funcom:

then i was sick for a week, after having worked so intensely. i’ve never been that sick before, says “theodor”.

after having researched if the workers rights are after the work environment laws, and talked to his colleagues about this, he was asked in by the management. there he got a lucrative quitter-package if he stopped working the same day, which he agreed to.

…and Anarchy Online:

Keskin tells that he chose to leave Funcom because he was treated very badly by person in management. as he was being laid off, he claims that lies were spread about him from the management to his earlier co-workers.

i worked on anarchy online, and played that game for several years. it was a joy to work on the game, but if you ask questions, either about what they say to the public, or about something ethical– there’s a lot of strange things going on there– they turn around very quickly.
even if the whole thing is about if you want to do improve projects you’re working on, keskin says.

Of course, it could all be a big misunderstanding (mistranslation), since I don’t speak Norwegian, and I have no idea where any of my Norwegian friends are these days to ask for a second opinion on the translation (PS: Bjorn, if you ever read this blog, get in touch :)).

1 reply on “Oh, OK, so … *another* reason Age of Conan failed…”

“The beatings shall continue until morale improves.”

But in all honesty, look at it from management’s perspective: if they ship a game on time and/or on budget, that looks great for the company, not to mention their own personal resume. Even if the game sucks, because after all, that’s the fault of the development team…

And before you ask, yes, the previous paragraph is chock full of bitter game developer sarcasm (or is that called “experience”?). Sadly, it is likely to be gospel to the incompetent “leaders” cracking the whip.

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