Now with MJ, has he been asked to leave after the apparent failure of Warhammer or was it part of the deal when EA bought Mythic, that MJ would stay on for x years or until Warhammer Online was rolled out. Maybe it’s because he wasn’t as good at company politics as the new head of the EA MMO/RPG Division Dr Ray Muzyka (Co head of Bioware). I have to be honest, as much as I respect Biowares RPG output, it’s not MMO related and they are certainly different beasts, so to say I have a some concerns, would be an understatement. Rob Denton will stay on to head up the Warhammer Online world, but you get leads from the man at the top and Dr Ray is that man.
Without a doubt MJ has been pretty quiet these last few months and todays announcement is a pretty good indicator why. I have always had a good amount of time for MJ, since he has always been a lead from the front guy. You may not have always agreed with what he had to say, or the slant he put on it, but he wasn’t a faceless entity, which some of the other MMO companies come across as.
Some would say, this is once again the heavy hand of EA at work again, whom seem to have a trully awful record of buying gaming studio’s and ruining them. Trust me the list is endless. They seem to take successful companies and go in with the heavy clod hoppers. Post in the comments any of suggestions for ruined studios, I will start off with Westwood (Makers of Command & Conquer).
Is this the price he paid for getting EA in, to help finance all the equipment that was required for the launch of Warhammer Online. Yeah you got the money, but you also got the interference, regardless of the many statements to the contary. Lets be honest, who would have launched Warhammer in the state it was in, last September 2008. Hands had to have been forced. Neitherthe less it could have be MJs own decision and this is payback time for a bad call. But there does seem to have been some power-plays in the EA corporate power tree, if the two separate companies (Bioware/Mythic) are being merged.
We will probably never know, unless a book is forthcoming, since any payoffs will have confidentialilty clauses built in.
I hope that he handles the new phase of his life with more success that Richard Garriott has and stays out of the MMO arena. It’s very hard to replicate the early career success’s he had. Man it must be tough leaving the company you created.
Also we have the other massive news, that Id Software is no longer an independent company. It’s time as a lone gunman has come to an end. Though I imagine it was a very sweat deal. There aren’t many independent AAA studios around anymore. Anyways Ian Carmack has this to say on the subject.