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Bill Roper Interview

The Bill Roper Interview on 1Up is a Q&A with the cofounder of Flagship Studios about the developer that is in essence deceased at this point, as well as thoughts on Diablo III and other topics later on. As to the subject of Flagship, they ask about what he can discuss (at one point he makes a pointed reference to Hanbitsoft not honoring their nondisclosure agreements), and he describes efforts at paying off institutions and employees still owed money by Flagship and the attempts to save the company from going under. His comment about losing the Mythos IP, indicates he thinks the new owners got less than they bargained for:

Yeah. But I think part of it is -- the challenge they face is -- it's like if somebody says, "Hey, I made you a loan against your Ferrari, [and] now the loan's due, so I want the Ferrari." And I say, "Great, here's a box of parts, because I didn't actually finish building the car yet." So they have it, but it's not done, and they don't have any of the engineers that were there that know how to build the game or use the tools or use the tech or anything. So yes, you have it, but you have it where it is, which isn't done yet. It's a lot different from a movie. With a film you can say, "Here's all the footage. Get some competent guys with an Avid system, and you could piece something together. Go shoot some more scenes. Release the film." Totally different situation here. There isn't just a quick way you can slap something together. So I think that they're facing a big challenge: How to actually get a shippable title out of this without that team being there anymore. Unfortunately, it isn't something we didn't kind of warn them about. We said, "We want to know what you guys will do." We had transition service agreements that we have done everything we can to fulfill. Flagship at this point is unable to actually provide those transition services. I don't have programmers anymore, or artists to work on the title, but we provided them with all the personal contact information with anyone they wanted. After that the onus is on them as far as whether or not to bring those people in.

19. Re: Comments Aug 19, 2008, 09:40 Wowbagger_TIP
The whole deal's becoming as ridiculous as the Romero-flaming after Daikatana's release. Deserved or not, it amazes me how some of you mental midgets will basically "elect" a focus for your hatred, and blame everything on him. From the interview, and everything else I've read, he seems like a nice guy, who's made some bad decisions coupled with bad luck and perhaps some over-ambition; but is fully aware of it.
I'd hope he'd be aware of it... finally... after the game has bombed and the company is imploding. It's easy to understand why there's all the hate. People saw potential in the game, but also saw that it was going badly off course. Roper's response to their criticisms of its direction was to declare that he and Flagship knew best and the critics were wrong and that we should just wait and we'd see how awesome the game would be. So yeah, he had a lot of it coming for the arrogant responses to people who wanted a good game.

In any case, it's not as if he made EVERY single call at Flagship, but most of you have probably never held on to a job long enough to know how a company works in the real world. Gamestudios aren't, y'know, like, non-profit organizations..
No, but he was the most visible mouthpiece that defended all those bad decisions. The jab about holding down a job is pretty lame. Especially considering that the people you're defending apparently don't know how a company works in the real world either. At least not successfully. Companies that don't listen to their customers are doomed to create products that nobody wants. I get tired of developers who make obviously bad decisions, and then go around belittling those who tell them that they're bad decisions. Then they're surprised when their game flops. Happens too often.

Avatar 9540
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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  2. Aug 19, 03:58 its still wrong space captain
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  47. Aug 19, 20:15 Hey Bill Creston
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  60. Aug 22, 20:00 ... theyarecomingforyou


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