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February 8th, 2011, 23:14
Gamasutra has interviewed Bill Roper at GDC China about the failure of Flagship and his own future plans. A snip:
It was complicated, and it sounds like the ambition spiraled out of control.
BR: Yeah. I think that was where our "growing up Blizzard" hurt us, right? [laughs] Because at Blizzard you just go for it. Every time you swing, you swing for the fences. A couple benefits we had there that we really didn't have at Flagship -- I mean, even Blizzard now, but 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." And you always had to justify it.
There was always the support there 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." It's obviously very different when you are an independent company, right, and not owned by somebody.
It still eventually comes down to dollars and cents and time. I mean, I think when Hellgate: London came out… we knew it needed another four to six months. The publishers knew it needed another four to six months. Everybody was all in. That was kind of the mindset.
I mean, we didn't have any more money to put into it personally. The publishers were like, "Hey, we're invested. We're in. We're as in as we're going to get." So, the game's got to come out, right? You get to the point. Again, because it is a third-party game. When you're owned by the publisher, if you're the developer, they're much more vested in that happening.
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February 8th, 2011, 23:14
I haven't played this game in years. It had so much potential but was butchered and you had to pay just for patches and extra content.
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February 9th, 2011, 08:45
pity they went in and said they wanted loads of retarded subscription options rather than LAN play.
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February 9th, 2011, 09:32
Roper acts surprised that people didn't like the pay to play model. I call bullshit. He had months and months of people warning him they thought the idea was crap, from the beta testers to the forum comments. They just thought that they knew best.
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February 9th, 2011, 09:40
Loved Hellgate - or at least the potential. Towards the end, it came pretty close to being fully great, but then it went and died on us.

I'm looking forward to the relaunch with Hellgate: Tokyo - but I'm not sure the asian design philosophy is good for the game. They tend to really enjoy grindy gameplay - and if that's the kind of changes we're going to see, I think I'll pass.

But the core was truly fantastic, and a real step forward for the genre.

About Roper, I've never really been able to understand the level of hatred people have for the guy. Obviously, he made some poor decisions - seen in hindsight - but I have no reason to believe he wanted to cheat people. What they offered would have been more than worth the money, if only it had worked. They kept adjusting their model, because they really weren't sure about anything - and were treading new ground.

The basic idea was to give people significant content relatively often, as opposed to waiting a year between each expansion. It was one of the primary things people wanted changed from Diablo 2 - which they loved so much.

As I see it, they just tried to give us what we wanted in a way that was financially feasible.

Even if Roper is a bit of a PR mouthpiece - the rest of the team was very talented. I remember watching an interview with one of the key design people - and he FULLY understood the appeal of Diablo and how to take it further. They actually succeeded, but released the game way before it was ready. The typical sad scenario - and they certainly paid the price for it.




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February 9th, 2011, 10:17
Imagine Diablo , roguelike game. But set in 3rd person view. With action controlls. And even FPS like shooting. But not set into fantasy world. Instead its mix of future technology and fantasy. Lasers and Swords. Paladins and sharpshooters. Now imagine all this developed by some of the Blizzard veterans.

This would be a pitch for Hellgate.

And that above is a game that can not fail.

Yet Bill Roper managed to sink unsinkable ship.
And he managed to sink it so badly that they even lost all rights to the game, and even other games they worked on.

And than he went on to Champions and sink that too.

With all do respect mr.Roper

Its time to change the proffesion
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February 9th, 2011, 20:36
@DArt I believe Tokyo was Flagship's WIP expansion to HGL how much the design has changed with it in new developers hands I have no idea, but you cannot play Tokyo until you have completed the original game.
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February 10th, 2011, 10:57
Originally Posted by woges View Post
@DArt I believe Tokyo was Flagship's WIP expansion to HGL how much the design has changed with it in new developers hands I have no idea, but you cannot play Tokyo until you have completed the original game.
AFAIK, it's the new name for the F2P Hellgate coming from Asia. It's in open beta right now - but I could be wrong about the name. Some people are calling it Hellgate: Resurrection.

I tried getting into the beta, but it was too much work, since it requires a Japanese IP and what not.

I'm certainly looking forward to trying it out.




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February 10th, 2011, 17:17
Hellgate: Resurrection is what it'll be called in the US/Euro. From what I've seen on the net they've fixed some bugs, buffed some skills, made the enemies hit harder, added a shop. There are a few interviews around about it.

They took out the short RTS section in the original game and just put the player in the action for that section. That sort of thing.
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