September 8, 2007

Mark Jacobs: Keep Fighting the Good Fight!

Virtual World News has a transcript from the Austin Game Developers Conference (AGDC) entitled: What Are the Biggest Online Gaming Opportunities?

The panel featured:
John Blakely (VP of Sony Online Entertainment)
Mark Jacobs (VP EA, Studio GM EA Mythic)
Raph Koster (President Areae)
Erik Bethke (CEO GoPets).

Moderated by: Matt Firor.

Mark Jacobs goes on the defensive and offensive about microtransactions, RMT, and garbage games that think they can make a buck. This is why I will forever be a fan of Mark Jacobs. He has always stuck to his guns about RMT and the "how can we make more money" attitudes. Many people may doubt Mark's look on the market, but few can prove him wrong.

When everyone in the world told him he couldn't make Dark Ages of Camelot, he did it. Not only did he do it, but he spurred Mythic to do it in a 24 month timeline. On top of this, DAoC launched nearly flawlessly. Sure some mistakes happened with expansions, but DAoC has held onto a relative strong player base and provided for Mythic to pursue further endeavors.

In this transcript, Mark Jacob spends a lot of time saying no. Raph Koster stays pretty centered with his ideals on Web 2.0 and his plans to capitalize on a non-traditional game. However, both Blakely and Bethke spend an inordinate amount of time demanding that they are right with no proof whatsoever.

The argument seems to be that just because something makes money it is good for the market. Jacobs smartly informs the panel that isn't the case. What's good for the market is good solid games, not developers nickel and diming customers. All the other trash will be swept under the carpet; where it belongs.