Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up?
Is Brad McQuaid back? Myself, as well as others tend to think it’s a hoax. Let’s chat about it a bit – it has been a slow gaming “work” week anyway.
The shorter version – Brad McQuaid was the “vision” behind Everquest, the granddaddy of 3D MMO space. A game that managed to be fun, inspiring, and punishing all wrapped into one. He then took that “vision”, and made Vangaurd: Saga of Heroes – effectively losing cash for Microsoft, destroying his own company Sigil in the process, and providing SOE with another bargain bin MMO to wrap into it’s monthly all-in-one package.
Along that slide were alleged heavy opiate use, accusations of the inability to run a company or manage people in any way, shape, or form and his resulting dissappearance from the industry scape. Why poke your head out now?
Even better, why poke your head out in such a crappy blog format, with empty posts and a small following of moderated rah rah posts?
That is why I call shenanigans.
Any leader or person of merit hoping to make a comeback would be ill-advised to do it in the manner that is presented. You sunk a game and the hopes of thousands who followwed it. You should probably address that. Not addressing the opiate accusations? Hey, deny, deny deny (or at least explain). If a person in his standing and past accomplishments truely wanted to resurface and try something new your first post is an apology, with a thorough explanation, filled with candor and honesty. What is presented at the new Brad McQuaid blog is less than fluff.
So it’s probably not him. For his own sake, and the sake of people who still have a shred of belief in him I certainly hope it is a hoax.
What if it isn’t? I am not anymore a big fan of “rockstar designers” than I am of “rockstar CEO’s”. I believe their success is as much entrenched in timing and market conditions than their own personal contributions. Mark Jacobs, of DAOC/WAR fame is a great MMO manager for sure, but doesn’t have any unique or special vision. WAR is proof of that. Lord British had a great hit with UO 15 years ago but has been unable to follow up with any sort of recent success (in gaming – the man did make it into space – kudos). The Diablo team’s follow up had a short life span. Brad? – well, you read the above if you got this far. One success – no matter how successful, does not give you a design pedigree that you can fall back on – solely. Good business managers evolve – they do not rely on past successes and hope it carries them through. Even WoW has changed lead designers multiple times. Is it more important to have someone who knew what they were doing in the past, or someone who you think will know what to do in the future? Seems like a gamble either way.
Well, if it is a hoax I hope it still prods BM to poke his head out and let us know what he is doing, and how he is. I don’t hate the guy by any means and wish him a healthy, happy life. I loved EQ – it was a great game for it’s time. I wouldn’t be interested in any new title of his without a full and clear disclosure of the Vision ™ of course, but who knows.
Will the real Brad McQuaid please stand up?