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Comic for: March 24th, 2006
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Gaming News: "To do what I want..."
Posted: Friday March 24th, 2006 by

SOE confirmed yesterday that, after six years with the company, chief creative officer Raph Koster has left the company to "pursue development interests outside the company.
Source: Gamespot [ more info ]

Now, the question is... should I feel bad for having poked fun at Raph last month? Nah!

Raph worked on UO before coming SOE to work on Star Wars Galaxies. And the game he came up with at SOE was basically an empty sandbox where the players would pretty much be responsible for creating their own universe behind a fixed set of parameters. If you recall, I've commented on THAT aspect of the game as well. [see comic]

I guess I've never really been that kind to SWG. And with the huge community stink over the combat upgrade, then the absolute debacle that is the NGE, my desire to even give the game "another shot", as I often do when I feel like I've slighted a game, is pretty much nil.

Now, I'm not saying Raph is directly responsible for all of that because I don't really believe that at all. I mean, people are STILL, unbelievably, playing UO right? Obviously he got something right in the game design. I'm just wondering what he will do when he moves to the next project realizing his dream, a completely open MMO where the players are resposible for creating and maintaining their world, has completely failed.

Maybe I'm misinterpretting the situation. Maybe he wasn't THAT responsible for the direction of SWG. Maybe his having been moved away from from SWG specifically wasn't just SOE removing the roadblock that was Koster's idealism. And maybe his departure isn't his search for a project where he's not being stifled. It WAS only an outsider's pure speculation after all.

But, that is why the comic is nearly a carbon copy of Shadowbane's recent escape from the Zapper. It's a move away from the thing whose sole purpose seems to be "to destroy you". Please refer to above stated speculations to see why that particular comment seems to fit. But, again, remember that it's pure speculation.

Anywho, despite not exactly being a fan of Raph's work thus far, I do still feel compelled to say "best of luck". I promise to put UO and SWG behind me before making any determinations on his future projects. No point holding any kind of pointless gamer "grudges", right?

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