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Roper on Flagship

Bill Roper interview on Gamasutra talks with the former Blizzard, Flagship, and Cryptic Studios developer about what he's up to these days and his plans for the future. They highlight the juicier portions of the conversation in a separate article called Bill Roper On How Flagship, Hellgate Spiraled Out Of Control on the failure of Hellgate: London, and how it dragged Flagship Studios under with it. He describes a project where the scope outgrew the studio's ability to succeed, noting the difference between how a startup was able to deal with issues compared with an established company like Blizzard. "The biggest failure with Hellgate is we just tried to do too much," Roper explained. "We were a single-player game, or you could go online and play for free. And there was also this hybrid subscription model that you could get into, and the game was coming out on the new Windows platform, and we were part of the Games for Windows program." He contrasts how this worked at Flagship to how it would have worked at Blizzard. "A couple benefits we had there [at Blizzard,] we really didn't have at Flagship -- I mean, even Blizzard now, but at Blizzard 10 years ago -- one, there was always support from Blizzard from the top-down, from the publishing-down. We'd go in there and say, 'We need to take six more months. This is why. This is the benefit you will see from it,'" recalled Roper. "And you always had to justify it," he told them. "There was always the support [at Blizzard] to say, 'You know what? If that's what you need to make this game great, then that's what we'll get for you. We'll figure it out'."

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12. Re: Roper on Flagship Feb 8, 2011, 07:58 peteham
Talisorn wrote on Feb 7, 2011, 22:07:
If they just left HGL a FPS Diablo Clone (with simple small group LAM/Multiplayer support) it would have been fine as their startup game. Making it a subscription based MMO ( at which it failed miserably) was simply insane.
Agreed about the Diablo Clone bit.

What I will never get, is why people raged so much about the subscription model. You could play through the game just fine without paying a cent beyond the initial purchase.. Surely that's a step better than a pure subscription model in which you'd NEED a subscription to play at all?

Every single person who subscribed knew full well that they'd basically be paying extra for nothing. It's not as if the subscriber "benefits" were secret or anything. And as for lifetime subbers, I won't even bother commenting on the stupidity of hopping on-board based on nothing but promises

This comment was edited on Feb 8, 2011, 08:10.
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