Laid off

I’ve come to the conclusion that it sucks.

So now after two years of being on the other side of the gaming fence (that is, working at a developer of one of the most infamous massively multiplayer games in history) was kinda looking at getting back into the freelance writing/editing market, though it’s probably a lot tougher these days. Maybe something else, I dunno.

Actively looking for work in this field sucks too.

— Alan

Condolences. Seriously.

My wife works for American Airlines, and while her department is more secure than most (and she won’t be affected in the round of layoffs that AA just announced), she still lives in constant fear of being laid off when times are bad.

I work for Sabre – the Computer Reservation System that power Travelocity, and about 3/5 of the travel agents, etc. worldwide – and we’re starting to sweat around here, too. Nothing’s been announced, but we worry.

It seems like every company is – or is thinking about – laying people off these days. Sorry you got hit, man. :(

Yeah, the freelance market’s a bit jammed. I’d consider it as a viable source of extra income but a poor source for a primary one – unless you can branch out and do non-gaming stuff and are aggressive about pursuing work. Maybe you can make a go of it then, though it will likely take a while to build up a solid client list.

Everyone wants to be a writer, though, so that’s what your competing against for work.

And yes, it all sucks.

First, I will get shit on for saying so let me first say - at a personal level I feel bad for anyone laid off or having to look for work in this economy.

But to be honest? A company going in the crapper - couldn’t have happened to a better company. I am happy to see people voted with their pocketbook. That people aren’t so blind happy loving of crap shoveled out under the guise of a complete game that they told you, in no uncertain terms to go to hell. I hope everyone involved with that piece of shit gets punched in the arm everytime they go into eb. Every single aspect of that game was crap and the release of that game was the biggest joke I have ever seen in this industry. DNF can get released next century, and it will be less of a joke.

Too many times companies have screwed the buyer, glad to see that karma finally came back to bite. That it wasn’t another activision or ea game that could be swept under the rug of a few other hits.

I am only sorry the entire company is not bankrupt. Even my arch rival Roberta Williams finished her pieces of crap, you guys took a half finished turd and tried to ram it down the consumers throat. You will truly not get what you deserve until everyone involved in the project is gone, and anyone who had anything directly to do with the release, gone from the industry.

And to anyone who cries for a small developer closing shop. Do you cry for the small scam artist who gets caught stealing from the elderly? This entire company was a travesty from the start and to its hopeful near end. I give John Romero credit for however misguided, for trying. I give a big fuck you to anyone involved in WW2 Online.


Don’t hold back, there, Chet…Tell us how you really feel. :)

A lot of people loved WW2OL, so they must have done something right.

Gee Chet, thanks for your comments.

— Alan

Yeah, Alan, isn’t it nice to know you can always come here for support?

You worked on a game that might as well shipped your doodie in the box, rather than the CD - and I should feel bad that company has financial troubles? Do you feel bad for the $48.14 you stole from me? From other gamers? Should I read the back of the box to you and then we compare it to what was actually in the box?

As I said, on a personal level I feel bad for anyone who has to look for work now, but as a corporate entity, I should shed a tear? Give me a break. Your company knew what it was doing. It did what it did. Spare me the publisher wah wah wah wah crap. That doesn’t give me back my $48.14. And as far as I am concerned, that was no prizy team that came up with that awful interface.

I do have to thank you guys for the “reader choice award edition”. That breaks past any level of pathetic a game company has ever sunk to. Maybe you should have called it the - “Kinda closer to what was originally advertised to be in the original game edition” with a subtitle, still not there.

I cannot think of one time that I was even slightly happy to hear a game company was having financial troubles. Not even ion storm. I am happy about this. Game companies really need to learn a lesson, and if some people get hurt during the learning process, sorry, but thats the way it goes.


And murph, yes some people loved WW2OL, I wouldn’t call it lots, but some. And those people make little baby Jesus cry.

Chet wrote:

“That doesn’t give me back my $48.14.”

Gimme a fucking break, crybaby.

You voluntarily spent $48 on a game you didn’t like. This guy lost his entire means of financial support due to forces beyond his control. Get some perspective, get some empathy, and grow up.

Dig it. Just because you have a valid point doesn’t mean you should act like a crumb.

Uh, that was me. I am using a different name since my real one was eaten by the board.

Heh, I am tempted to believe that all my troubles with the board are happening because I am criticizing Chet. Oh, wait. I lost my name before I criticized. No matter. It is still Chet’s fault.

Tim Elhajj

I didn’t take your money. I happened to work at a company in which one of the things it did was happen to produce WWII Online. Other than that, you have no idea what I did.

And yes, if you felt ripped off, you probably shoulda returned it to the store, or the publisher, Strategy First, after you bought it.

— Alan

Not quite on topic, but it’s my firm belief that a poorly run company cannot produce a good game. Granted, a poor game is not automatically the sign of a poorly run company, but it should come as no surprise.

For example, there was no way that Daikatana was going to be a good game, there was little chance of Pool of Radiance 2 being a good game, and I predict that Duke Nukem Forever will not be a good game.


  • Alan


Deus Ex DID comes from Ion Storm (sorta). And I really liked Anachronox despite the fact that it was clearly unfinished.

And as much as PoR2 sucked, Stormfront has done some pretty solid stuff in the past. And their Lord of the Rings game for PS2 looks like a stunner.

The Ion Storm Austin division (which produced Deus Ex) is actually very well run, as opposed to the Dallas division.

As for Stormfront, they had a lot of turnover on the PoR2 project, in addition to having to change the design halfway through the development cycle. I don’t know if there were contractual reasons for the redesign, but that just smacks of poor procedure. I hate to be hard on Stormfront, but Don Daglow is one guy who really ought to know better. Unfortunately, the gamers are the ones who suffered for it.

  • Alan

POR2 sold fairly well. If they had done a good job with it, I think it would have sold really well. I know I’d enjoy a good turn-based D&D RPG.

Is 3drealms a poorly run company? Sure they’ve had their fill of delayed or cancelled products (Max Payne and Prey respectively) but I dunno if that’s a sign DNF will be bad. Still kinda looking forward to it.

I think generally however you are correct; companies that are poorly run or managed will generally have an adverse effect on the products it produces, especially game developers.

— Alan

So Strategy First has started their next round of layoffs ? Unfortunately I am not surprised.

Who is actually the head guy at Strategy First ? What sort of person is he/she ?

My point was not on liking or not liking the game. My point was the cd contained inside the box had nothing to do with the product advertised on the box - besides the name. I purchased the game from a store that does not allow the returning of a game.

While you can be a fan boy and wildly keep throwing money at companies that release such crap, I am personally glad to see the company suffer. I can understand bad games, I can understand games that don’t work on some systems, but I cannot understand releasing a game that doesn’t come close to what is even advertised on the box. They might as well have put a sticker on the box that said “this box contains a million dollars”.

The you, was meant as the corporate entity. But since you said it, while it is fun to never take any responsibility for anything bad, I find it a weak excuse. If someone was part of a gang that robbed my house, I wouldn’t care if the individual drove the getaway car or is the guy who grabbed my TV. And the scale of cornered rats deception was much larger than that of house robbery. I think the company was only slightly forgiven because people wanted to like the game so bad, they wanted the game that was suppoed to be there.

It is fun to pass the blame, but when it comes down to it, the only person who cannot avoid the punishment is the person who was misled and purchased the game. The only hope for the enduser is that companies that practice such deceptive practices either learn or are driven from the industry as the game buying public will never learn. Everyone always hopes that the game they are getting excited about while looking at it in the store is that good when they bring it home. Companies that prey on that without delivering should suffer.

In the music industry i can read threads of people hoping so and so never makes another album, that brittney spears stops singing etc - all I am saying is I wish the same for a company that just didn’t produce a bad game, but was deceptive in their marketing of the game. Again, I am not even getting into if the game was poorly designed or not, I am just saying it was not near what was promised by the box.

Enough on that.

On bad companies and good games, it seems hard to do. Hard for many reasons but a main one seems to be keeping a good team together. The industry is competitive enough that the talented designers,programmers and artists can find work elsewhere and don’t suffer poorly run companies well unless they have a piece of the action. Look at the turnover at ION and 3Drealms. I think the DNF team has turned over 2 or 3 times now. How can any vision or cohesive design be brought to the game when you only have the producer the same between the revolving door teams?


My point was not on liking or not liking the game. My point was the cd contained inside the box had nothing to do with the product advertised on the box - besides the name. I purchased the game from a store that does not allow the returning of a game.

I’m not defending the release of a broken game, but why didn’t you wait for a demo or some reviews? Was someone holding an M1 carbine to your head and forcing you to buy the game on the day of release?

I expect games to suck until I’ve heard otherwise. Particularly games this ambitious from an unknown developer. And online only no less! Your little “I’m just an average joe who plopped down my cash and expected a solid gaming experience out of the box” shtick isn’t exactly believable, Chet. I don’t know, maybe you are that stupid. Plead your case.