Vanguard: Saga of Heroes finds a new home ... with SOE

Source: http://eqiiforums.station.sony.com/eq2/board/message?board.id=news_announcements&message.id=236

VANGUARD: SAGA OF HEROES FINDS A NEW HOME

  • Sigil Games Online and Sony Online Entertainment In Talks To Co-Publish Sigil’s Ground-Breaking New Game -

May 5, 2006 – Carlsbad & San Diego, CA – Sigil Games Online and Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a global leader in the online games industry, today announced that Sigil is working with Microsoft Game Studios on an arrangement to acquire the rights to its highly anticipated massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. These efforts have resulted in a tentative agreement for Vanguard to be co-published by both Sigil Games Online and SOE. All three companies will be showing the game at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) as they work closely together for a successful transition. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is scheduled to launch this winter.

“As the development process is ongoing and constantly shifting, it became clear that MGS and Sigil had varying visions and direction for the title’s development,” said Brad McQuaid, CEO of Sigil Games Online. “In the best interest of Vanguard, it was decided that we would buy back the publishing rights from Microsoft.”

As co-publisher of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Sigil assumes greater control of marketing and PR, while maintaining responsibility for game development, community relations, media relations, customer support, and quality assurance. Under the terms of the agreement, SOE will provide distribution, marketing, hosting and back-end support – including billing and technical support – for the game. Additionally, SOE is tentatively planning on adding Vanguard, upon its release,to SOE’s Station Access™ subscription plan. Station Access allows players to enjoy all of SOE’s MMO titles for one low monthly price.

“We are very excited to be working with so many old friends at Sigil,” said John Smedley, president, Sony Online Entertainment. “Vanguard looks beautiful and has an incredibly rich game world. It’s the type of game that will appeal directly to SOE’s hundreds of thousands of players and should fit in perfectly with the current line-up of games available in Station Access.”

”This decision was made mutually by Sigil and Microsoft, in the best interest of the long-term goals for the title,” said Phil Spencer, General Manager at Microsoft Game Studios. “As a key Windows development partner, we will continue to work with Sigil to ensure Vanguard’s ongoing success.”

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is the next generation of massively multiplayer online games. The journey takes place in the fantasy setting of Telon, a vast and ancient world of magic, intrigue and adventure. Facing the challenges of a war torn world, the diverse people here struggle to rebuild their once great civilizations. A fragile alliance has been struck, with the lands set upon by invading forces, the races must band together to survive.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is currently in a closed beta phase. The game will remain available via Fileplanet for existing beta testers during the transition to SOE. New information will be sent out to testers as the changeover occurs.

For more information about Vanguard: Saga of Heroes please visit www.vanguardsoh.com.

About Sigil Games Online
Based in Carlsbad, California, Sigil Games Online is a studio dedicated to creating massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. Founded in 2002 by Brad McQuaid and Jeff Butler, key figures in the development of award-winning EverQuest, the company plans to be a driving force in the continued evolution of this unique genre. Sigil Games Online is comprised of an all-star team of experienced developers with an impressive pedigree of commercially successful and critically acclaimed online games. For more information, visit www.sigilgames.com.

About Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends™, and PlanetSide®,as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies™, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX, Seattle, WA, and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in development. SOE is owned by Sony Pictures Digital and Sony Computer Entertainment America.

SOE, the SOE logo, EverQuest and PlanetSide are registered trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. Untold Legends is a trademark of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and Sigil Games Online are trademarks of Sigil Games Online, Inc. (registration pending). All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

Ryan “Blackguard” Shwayder

You know that dude from the simpsons that just says shit like HAHA!

Well thats me right now

HAHA fuckers. Thats the end of that game.

I think it shows some courage to buy back the rights. That said, I don’t anticipate playing. Brad likes very, er, challenging games. Been there, done that.

But I’m kind of burnt out on MMOGs anyhow.

I thought Vanguard was a SOE game all along.
I’m sure it will play like one…

wtf?!

DIDN’T PREDICT THAT ONE, DID YA!?

Wasn’t this game sort of an Everquest clone in the first place? I thought it was originally slated to be direct competition for Everquest 2.

Uhh, yeah. I can’t see EQ2 lasting very long after this one shows. I’m no expert, but man…I hated EQ2 something fierce. There’s only so much dullness a guy can stand in a genre thats dull to begin with…

But naturally, that’s assuming SoE doesn’t **** it up somehow…like every other online game under their belt.

That’s an amazing move. Thought EQII and Vanguard were very (to) much alike. IMO They’ll be stealing eachothers subscribers, not winning over WoW ones.

From Vanguards FAQ:

To lead the next generation of massively multiplayer RPGs by using Sigil’s unparalleled expertise and experience in the field. Our team consists of original EverQuest team members, EverQuest expansion team members, as well as team members from EverQuest 2 and EverQuest Online Adventures (PS/2), and other MMOGs.

Everquest 2.5 here we come?

I bet they all held hands and sang “Reunited” during the deal signing. /snicker

I don’t see this as being purely competition with EQII so much --which SOE is clearly moving full steam ahead on, with an adventure pack and another massive expansion on the way–as being a replacement for the original EverQuest, perhaps. Though I am a bit baffled about adding Vanguard to the mix, as it’s an untried product in a very similar mode to SOE’s two other fantasy MMOs.

IMO They’ll be stealing eachothers subscribers, not winning over WoW ones.

You’d be wrong. Very wrong.

The EQ2 fanbase is not huge, but it is rock solid. It is a very well made game, all things considered, and the average EQ2 player is more loyal to it than the average WoW player it seems.

The Vanguard population will most definitely be taken out of WoW. All those huge WoW end game guilds that want to do nothing but raid pve? Assuming Vanguard doesn’t flop (which IS a big assumption mind you), these guilds will probably want to get in on Vanguards supposed great end game.

Now, Vanguard will fail horribly (my prediction!) if they are not solo-friendly to max level. If they are, it will make a decent dent in WoWs numbers and be successful. If they are not solo friendly, they better have an enormous, wonderful end-game AT RELEASE. If not, they will fail. I predict no significant drop in EQ2 subs, but a probable dip in EQ1.

If Vanguard follows the EQ recipe, it will never beat WOW.

Most people want to have fun playing a game and not feel the grind hit them like a 500 tonne brick at level 24…

To this day, WOW is the only game where I have reached the end game without burning out from the game…

The only reason I also play EQ2 is because there are so many quests to do… and I like doing quests, although they are starting to become too hard to solo, and I do not like the concept of forced grouping just to get any progress.

The concept of XP Debth on death sucks as well.

Hopefully there will be a Vanguard beta to try it out soon, maybe it will be grand.

Anyone urgently want to join the Vanguard beta test? CGM sent me a participation code but I couldn’t care less about MMORPGs so if you want to join just drop me an e-mail or PM.

EDIT: Okay, instant0 got his code and can tell us if he got in.

I don’t know how long it is since you plaued EQ2, I only started a couple of months ago and it didn’t seem to get any grindier at level 24. Looking through the patch notes it seems that they realised that WoW was beating them at soloability and added a lot of solo content, got rid of access quests and so forth. It’s getting a bit grindy now my ranger is level 38, but WoW starts to get grindy around then and at least I’m not waiting for the magic 40 to buy a mount.

Still your general point is right. Every MMO designer should realise that most people want to solo at least some of the time and that casual gamers in particular don’t want to pay to spend two hours sitting around wih nothing to do while they try to find a decent group.

I doubt Sigil, or any MMO developer, expects to beat WoW in the next two years. It’s just too big. I still believe that Vanguard, assuming a fairly stable launch, will get a small but dedicated following of diehards who believe many other MMOs are too easy, and enjoy severe penalties for mistakes in a recreational activity. As long as the financial types are realistic about the number of subscribers, it could be profitable.

My bet is that this pool will come primarily from existing FFXI players, since that’s probably the least forgiving game out there right now. I guess some EQ1 players could be drawn to Vanguard as well, seeing it as the true heir to the Vision.

EQ1 & EQ2 are substantially different in gameplay; the major similarities are geographic regions and names of races. The EQ2 boards have a few gripers who believe the developers watered down gameplay too much to appeal to the common plebes who like WoW; they’ll check out Sigil. But I don’t think Vanguard will be attractive to most EQ2 players, since we like that it is possible to solo, the convenience of not requiring corpse runs, and the minimal xp debt incurred by death.

And all that code does is put you in line to get into the Beta when it starts, which it has not or I am far back in line.

Oh?

That seems kind of misleading from what I saw in the advertisement - Subscribe now and you get into Vanguard Beta.

Friend of mine has been in the beta/alpha for a long time, so it has started.

It’s a good move for Sigil. Microsoft has traditionally not done well marketing MMOs. Now that it’s been dropped for 360, I can see MS getting rid of it.

It’ll do well as part of the all-access pass. Perhaps better than it would have on its own.

Wasn’t Sigil formed from ex Soe employees?

Yeah, I think the lead designer on Everquest 2 is part of it (I could be wrong)

…I’m in the beta queue. I don’t expect I’ll be there for too long, or this ‘promotion’ would just annoy people. But we’ll see.