J., of Shadowbane fame, pointed me over to lover\’e2\’80\’99s quarrel between a developer and an empire.

After reading a fairly recent review of Anarchy Online at, Jason Booth, a developer at Turbine, seemed to take issue with the following paragraph:

With such experimental technology and the genre in its infancy, should these teething problems be expected? I pointed out that Asheron’s Call seemed to launch with few hiccups. “Yes, but with AC, they also removed features to avoid the issue of bugs they hadn’t worked out,” responded tester Daniel Sato. “Did you know when the game first released, they had no secure trading model whatsoever – incredible considering how important trading was in the game’s dynamic.” Microsoft also failed to market AC with any gusto, which might have contributed to the fact that the servers didn’t initially flood with players like the other MMOGs.

Who is Daniel Sato? He would be this guy. He\’e2\’80\’99s apparently sucking on the teat that is Funcom at the moment.

Booth, rather irritated and impatient with this treatment of his baby at the hands of the unholy reviewer/developer alliance, had the following to say:

Why is it that … after being the only MMP to ship with a stable launch, the press and other developers often feel the need to insult the quality of our product to make up for their inabilities? That somehow, what they’re doing is so revolutionary that they’re excused from proper testing? That so many people simply buy into this line of thinking, and gleefully discount the extra months of work we spent making sure we didn’t have those problems? That the market does not reward, and in fact, penalizes, those that prioritize stability over features? . . . time and time again, this industry makes me sigh..

Not quite the thrashing I personally would have preferred, but it will do under the circumstances.

After all, every verbal blowjob given by game \’e2\’80\’9creview\’e2\’80\’9d sites needs criticism from time to time.


The following was posted by Sean Huxter of Turbine in the same thread that Jason Booth made his comments in:

I thought about it for a few moments, and said, “Absolutely.”

I had worked on it for some years, and I knew what we wanted it to do, and what it did when we released, and I had to say, “Absolutely.”

It was true.

It was ready.

Was it finished? Hell no. It’s still not finished. There are going to be additions to the game every month until … hopefully for a very very long time.

But was it ready to ship?

I can tell you, I was biting my nails the day we shipped. I am a natural pessimist. I fear the worst, because usually that’s what you get.

But I watched the numbers climb. I was logged into the world, running my new character around killing drudges and bunnies, and it was all going so… so damned smoothly!

I was thrilled!

We shipped when we were ready, and we shipped stable.

I have never disparaged the competition publicly to make my game look better, even when countless peole decided to look at the gaudy blocky environments in EverQuest and say it looked better than AC. (Like hell it does.)

But if crap like this continues, I may have to break my rule.

I will be writing the authors of that page today asking for a retraction of that comment by tester Daniel Sato, and asking them to forward him my comment.

Not like I expect anyone to respond.