Friday, April 06, 2007

Virgin Worlds above the fray

The tubes are still a hoppin with commentary over Brad's recent comments on the current state of Vanguard. As of yesterday, I think almost everyone that I read posted something on what he had to say....except for one person. I was asking myself this very question yesterday, "Gee wiz...I wonder when Brent will comment on this." No, I didn't actually say "Gee wiz..", but I did imagine Brent somewhere in a dark basement with his collection of voodoo dolls thinking something up. I'm positive that just before he was about to poke my voodoo doll in the right eye, he delivered.

When I was reading the blogosphere about this, mine included, we were all hitting the target of the issue, but Brent hit the bullseye...especially with the point of a CEO making that many comments on a public forum regarding a product. Brent is right, there is no filter between Brad and the community...and there should be, especially in this industry where emotion usually trumps logic and facts. Brent illustrated this point best when he wrote:

"Everyone, including me, has criticized Blizzard for its (apparent) disdain for its players and the gaming press. They do not talk much, and when they do, the statements are precise,sterile and unwavering. Just the facts. No explanation. No whimpering. I call this "acting as if" and it is one of the most powerful business tools. Brad needs to "act as if" Vanguard is exactly what he wanted. He needs to show no sign of weakness. He needs a crazy militant PR manager to keep him buckled down. Admitting weakness to the trolls of the web is a surefire way to expose your own underbelly to some prodding."

To my knowledge, and correct me if I wrong, there is no community manager for Vanguard. If that is the case, they need to get one and quick so that there is a filter/buffer between the team at Sigil and the community. Don't get me wrong, it's really nice to have an open channel to the CEO, but I think that time has come and gone. I don't want to see Vanguard fail from a slow bleed caused by underbelly wounds.

However, despite what Brent wrote, I still think we should leave Brad alone now. Oh yeah, and Brad should "hush up and hire a new art team". OK...I changed my opinion a bit :)

D out.

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