Green monster games

Green Monster Games, LLC is preparing to burst onto the online gaming scene in epic and remarkable fashion. A company founded on character and integrity, GMG will turn the industry on its ear with a product release and business model never before seen. Todd McFarlane (yes, the Todd McFarlane of www.spawn.com fame) is serving as GMG’s Art Director. R.A. Salvatore (yes, the R.A. Salvatore who created the world’s most famous dark elf found at www.rasalvatore.com), is GMG’s Creative Director. Collaborating with GMG President Curt Schilling (he of the 2004 curse-breaking Red Sox and avid hardcore MMOer), this trio is assembling the world’s most creative talent to produce what will be seen as the most epic, industry-changing game in the history of online gaming.

has anyone heard anything about this?

A comics artist, a writer of D&D novels, and some baseball guy making an MMO. Yeah, that’ll be great. Do they have any actual game people calling the shots?

Schilling is also very hardcore (the guy drags a laptop around with him to raid during baseball season).

We may get the ultra-hardcore came people have allegedly been clamoring for.

I can’t WAIT to play that business model!

They’re still hiring for a lead programmer.

The newbie quests will be given by a fearsome dark elven outfielder wearing an enchanted leather thong.

A couple coworkers of mine just left to go work there. It’s a really small team right now. They are located in Boston. I have no idea what they are making and I’m not sure they even know. It’s basically a really well funded start-up.

Schilling’s rented 30,000 sq. ft. of space up in Maynard–I think up in the same complex that Iron Lore is in.

Both Moorgard and Schwayder just left the EQ2 team, so maybe they are headed up there.

I wouldn’t discount this game just because no one big-names from the industry are involved yet. With how much cash Schilling has, this is not going to be a low-budget indie release. Plus, Schill is an endorser of SOE and gets along with their PR head quite well. Expect this to be published by SOE.

I actually heard about this at the Dark Age of Camelot Las Vegas roundtable where R.A Salvatore was the keynote speaker.

I think it’s going to depend a ton on what type of experience they can draw in. They’ll need someone who understands what’s hard about MMOs from the inside to guide their programmers, and all empirical evidence tends to indicate that there’s probably not enough of these people to cover the already existing high profile games out there (judging by how often some of them encounter the problems that would be linked to this type of stuff).

I “predict” it will fall apart within one year, maybe two.

But you are allowed to believe.

Yes. But Schilling’s got the money to attract them. He’s not some guy hoping to get venture capital. He’s got the cash to fund this himself, and he’s retiring in a year. Even IF he’s going after venture capital, he’s got the personal funds to back it up.

I’m expecting they are going to try and make this a big spash, mostly because Schilling doesn’t strike me as the type to do things small.

Stop looking at this like a baseball guy and no one who knows what they are doing starting a game company. Instead, it’s an MMO fan with a shitload of money; a well-respected, highly-talented author; and a talented visual artist making a game. Those resumes alone are worth serious talent lining up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s poaching heavilly from SOE the same way Sigil was. Schill’s been involved with SOE for a long time, so he knows the people there real well.

Wow, just imagine if it had been Rob Liefield instead. What kind of an MMO world would he make?

I think it’s possible for a well funded, well designed MMO to take a big bite out of WoW.

… in 5 years. :)

Schilling spoke at a roundtable at MIT a couple of weeks ago, and he gave a pretty bland talk. He went on and on about his love for the industry, and how he wanted to do things “differently” to challenge the status quo. He also mentioned that he was looking for people with “passion”, who would stop at nothing to be the best of the best.

Disappointingly, he didn’t really provide any real information about his company, or what he planned to do. When pressed by a Boston Globe reporter, he just said “I can’t tell you, but it’ll be cool”. Talking with other folks there, all we could really conclude is that it’ll be a high-pressure, extended work-day slog trying to meet ill-defined goals that are changed on a whim by owners with good intentions.

One thing that sounded really interesting was his plan of 50/50 profit sharing with the employees. As skeptical as I am, even I had a Scrooge McDuck moment, where my eyes spun like slot machines, and came up dollar signs. Assuming that they aren’t going to play games with what constitutes profit ( like the recording industry does ), it could be a pretty compelling reason to work there.

Overall, I really hope it works out, because more major players aren’t necessarily a bad thing. There are already a ton of companies in the market, so what’s one more? If anything, good games expand the market and open more total revenue for games to fight over.

But that being said, there’s no sort of master plan which is apparent yet. And as such, it’s hard not to be more than a little skeptical about an industry outsider who wants to shake things up, learn from the past, but can’t provide any details as to how he’s going to do it. I wish him the best of luck (hey, I may end up working there someday), but he (and his partners) have a lot of work to do.

One where you get lost more easily than usual, but never lack storage space
in your numerous belt pouches.

Yeah, and look at the results.

How much money do you suppose a guy like Schilling has saved up? Because the fastest way to eat through $30 million or so would be to start an MMO developer from scratch.

Come to think of it, maybe this is some sort of weird Brewster’s Millions thing?

It doesn’t count unless you put it in your blog.

80% chance the company vanishes without a trace, 15% chance they produce something bland and uninspiring, 4.9% chance they make a profit, 0.1% chance anything they do is any good.

Wait. Todd McFarlane. Add a few 0s to that last 0.1%.