Ex-Producer Joshua Drescher praises original development team, but laments 'real human cost' of the game's failure
Mythic Entertainment MMO Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has been shut down five years since release on PC in 2008.
In a blog post, ex-Warhammer producer Joshua Drescher said most of the staff who worked on the game had already left the studio, and only a handful of the original development team remained.
He claimed that despite leaving, many of the team members had become industry leaders on exciting new MMO projects.
Drescher said however there was a "real human cost" for those that hadn't found a new job in games or had decided to leave the industry due to what he called "the game development lifestyle".
"If you look around the industry today at pretty much any major MMO being developed in the Western market, you will find WAR there. Sometimes, it will be in the games themselves where concepts and ideas that first showed up in WAR have been 'gently borrowed'," he said.
"Mostly, however, it’s in the people making those games. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a major MMORPG team whose leadership doesn’t feature someone who cut their teeth as a developer on WAR. In some cases, HUGE chunks of the WAR team simply set up shop in a new project – old comrades in a new home."
He added: "As a final note, I wanted to touch on the folks whose post-WAR experiences haven’t been entirely rosy. I don’t want to gloss over the real human cost of the project’s failure to become a blockbuster, because that’s a very real part of the story as well. I realise that not everyone was able to transition to new and better things, at least not within our industry.
"There were a large number of people who simply decided they couldn’t put their families through the stress of the game development 'lifestyle' anymore. For those folks, I totally get it and wish them well. But there were also plenty of people who left the team and were never able to find a new industry gig. That, to me, is a tragic waste of talent and experience and potential.
"I hope that everyone who worked on WAR is aware that – for all of the bumps and bruises we endured after it launched – the work they did is held in high regard across our industry."