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From the Producer - 24 Oct 2007

- - - - - 2007 24 oct producer

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19 replies to this topic

#1
Adam

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From the Producer


Chris Rabideau
24 Oct 2007 18:00:48


Citizens of Britannia,


I wanted to share with you a significant change that is about to take place with the UO development team. Over the next several months, we'll be moving the team from its current location at EA's headquarters outside of San Francisco, CA to the EA Mythic studios in Fairfax, VA.


So what does this mean to you? This is a big move for the team, but we expect it to have very little impact on the game and community in the short term. Planned development and operations will continue with minimal interruption.


In the long term, we believe this move will be a big win for UO and will allow us to better support the game as we move into its second decade of operation. By having all three MMO teams together here in Virginia, we'll be better able to focus on Ultima Online’s development and ensure a long and lively future for the game.


Moving the UO team into the same studio that currently houses the Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer Online teams has other advantages as well.


We'll be bringing a wealth of MMO experience together under one roof with a clear studio vision and strong leadership. This will benefit all three titles as we'll be able to share resources, experience and technology to continue to improve all of our games.


We know what UO means to you and it is as much a part of our lives as it is yours. For that reason, we are committed to the game's continued development, support and success. Moving the UO team to the EA Mythic studio will provide this most cherished game and its community with the love, attention and resources it needs to continue to grow and thrive.


Thank you,
Chris Rabideau
Producer, Ultima Online
EA Mythic
October 24, 2007


#2
Gyvalor

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Wonder how many of our favorite devs, artist and other folks involved in UO will we loose over this move. We lost some good folks when EA moved the UO Team from Texas to California. I truley hope this to be a good thing for UO.
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#3
Adam

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NewThunder found a good quote from 2006

Mark Jacobs: The UO team will be working under Mythic’s supervision but will remain in Redwood Shores. There are no plans for them to move here as that would be counterproductive. Besides, who wants to leave a really cool campus at Redwood Shores to come to our bare-bones offices in VA?


hehe, oops.

#4
Skrekkugle

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Lol! Well.. dunn what I think about this. Just have to wait and see!


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#5
JCtheBuilder

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It is confirmed that some UO team members were laid off today.

It is rumored only 1 person is confirmed going to Viriginia and only 2 more are considering.
It is rumored that Wilki, Draconi, and Leucrion will not be moving to Virginia.

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#6
Tabbitha

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We know what UO means to you and it is as much a part of our lives as it is yours.



ROFLMAO!

Oh, thats a good one....


~~~~

This is a positive, I think some of DAoC's excellent GM/CS support will rub off on the UO GM/CS team if they are working within close proximity. They need to swap notes. Hopefully.

~~~~

I think we should wait to see, what happens and hear from the devs and staff first before we start yelling the sky is falling. Yes we'll probably lose a few, i truly hope not, but it seems inevitable. But lets be patient shall we.

*slaps head* This is UHall!! Never mind go about the usual!!


~~~~

- At least it sounds like this will be happening at the end of the year during holiday vacation time. I wonder if Bioware/Pandemic will be moving to EA VA as well? I wonder about a lot. Hrmm.

Good luck with all the decision-makings, UO Cali. Team.


~~~~

This explains alot about the silence from our new producer... however, this raises more questions then it answersfor me. When is the move going to happen, when/how will we find out who is and is not going to make the move? I've only been back about 6 months but have grown very fond of certain devs especially one whose sole purpose seems to be programming new ways to BLOW SH*T UP.


~~~~


This is a process that will take a little while, and for most of us it was really just begun today - we won't have all the details settled for several weeks. The timing was also structured to get us through our next major publish with the smallest possible amount of disruption, although of course there will be some.

E. Jeremy Dalberg
UO Community Coordinator
EA Mythic


~~~~

Jeremy,

How many Devs currently work in the VA studio on DAOC and WarHammer?


~~~~

I don't know the exact numbers, but it's in the vicinity of 200 people.

E. Jeremy Dalberg
UO Community Coordinator
EA Mythic


~~~~

They made all those folks relocate to CA and now they have to go and do it again.

~~~~


I never understood that. For the staff...they either had to get huge raises to go from TX to CA, or they ended up in a much worse condition as far as cost of living. CA is insanely more expensive in just about everything than TX is, so at least in terms of personnel that move never made sense to me.

VA is back in the realm of sanity when it comes to expense of living, at least. I would personally jump at the chance to get out of CA if I had been stuck out there.


~~~~

Having spent more years than I care to count in corporate America, here's what I see in this:

UO isn't going anywhere anytime soon. This may mean a year, this may mean 6 months, or this may mean 10 years from now. My reasonings behind this are-

1. Corporations don't make decisions like this at the drop of a hat. The recent acquisition/merger of EA/Mythic is something that has been going on behind closed doors for a minimum of 3-6 months, if not longer. Negotiations for purchase could take at least 3 months alone (I've been through and participated in several myself including a couple in the largest corporation in the world, General Electric).

2. Moving the tangible assets of UO to VA costs money. Money that wouldn't be spent if they had plans to cancel UO in the near future.

3. Relocation of those personnel that have decided to move is going to involve relocation packages, which isn't cheap, and would not be happening if the source of revenue that pays these people's salaries was going anywhere.

4. The KR Focus Group, which is taking up developer time, and thus costs that hit the bottom line, would not have been approved to begin with. This focus group is what? 2-3 weeks or so old? The corporate VP's would have known prior to it's inception if the money spent would have been justified to the organization as a whole, and would not have been approved if plans were to cancel UO.

5. Recent developer time spent on the 10th Anniversary event, the Halloween Trick or Treating, and the Magincia invasion would not have taken place.

6. The most recent KR patch would either not have occurred, or would have included much less than it did. There were a lot of different departments involved in that patch, thus a lot of different employees spending company time working on the project that would have been spent working on something else.

I'm sure I could probably see quite a few more if it wasn't so dang early in the morning, but these reasons alone are pretty much proof positive that UO will continue on it's present course, with the addition of shared resources once everything gets moved to VA. Shared resources means employees will be wearing multiple hats, and will be working on more than just whatever project they happened to be working on prior to the move itself. The merger of EA/Mythic itself should have told people that layoffs were imminent. They always are when 2 large companies merge, and staff becomes redundant. The savings in fixed costs alone from moving UO to VA will cover the expenditures made now to support the move. If anything, I forsee KR, and eventually SA, being pushed hard on the timetable in order to realize the ROI from the previous expenditures made while the offices and employees have remained in CA, and to realize the profits they will see from the rollout of both.

Just my take on things, from a corporate perspective. Not necessarily true, but not necessarily false either. More of an educated guess, I guess...


~~~~

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#7
Solidchrome

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From the Producer

Chris Rabideau
24 Oct 2007 18:00:48

In the long term, we believe this move will be a big win for UO and will allow us to better support the game as we move into its second decade of operation. By having all three MMO teams together here in Virginia, we'll be better able to focus on Ultima Online’s development and ensure a long and lively future for the game.

We know what UO means to you and it is as much a part of our lives as it is yours. For that reason, we are committed to the game's continued development, support and success. Moving the UO team to the EA Mythic studio will provide this most cherished game and its community with the love, attention and resources it needs to continue to grow and thrive.

Thank you,
Chris Rabideau
Producer, Ultima Online
EA Mythic
October 24, 2007


Thank YOU Chris- but I dont believe a word of it :angry5:

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#8
Adri

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I have a mental image of the UO team getting a set of tiny cubicles stuck in the basement somewhere, while the other games have huge offices with a view.

#9
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I have a mental image of the UO team getting a set of tiny cubicles stuck in the basement somewhere, while the other games have huge offices with a view.


So I am not the only one... this isn't goo you know?

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#10
Tabbitha

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Thank YOU Chris- but I dont believe a word of it :angry5:


Neither do I ........:(

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#11
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I am not overly surprised, nor shocked. A bit sad over it all, as it does smell like the end of UO, (at least as I know it, starting with 3rd Dawn and this KR client).

I suppose we'll wait to see what pans out today and over the weekend.

I doubt many of those folks will make the move, this area is expensive and a very high cost of living. Housing & Commute is a real beeyach, and on their pay too, will not be wise.

I used to work in Fairfax, know the area. Always suppose once the dust settles, I'll go scout out their building and say hello to any new transplants. =\

My gut feeling tells me future momentum on UO as a whole will slow to a crawl. KR and all other expansions will go the way of UOX and the rest. 2D will gimp along, with no new content. Not that I'm hoping that, just a gut feeling.

UO was about content, about community, and about all the different things you could do.

Time will tell........

#12
Tabbitha

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Im inclined to agree F'Nor.

I dont think KR has/will be the outstanding success it was hoped for.It was the prelude to SA,which I cant see happening this year now [ if ever] .

Very sad day

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#13
kingtony

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Kr Would Have Been That Diamond In The Sky For Them If They Only Kept A Decent Team Working On It And Not Having Most Of The Imput Coming From Gamers , And Dont Get Me Wrong The Team That Worked Ion It Was Good But Not Nearly Enough People
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#14
Tabbitha

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I started to hear alarm bells when some of the 'old' team left for new pastures earlier this year,tbh,but persuaded myself U was just being pessimistic

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#15
Silverfoot

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Microelf wrote it on Stratics better than I could. And I agree with the corporate aspect presented in another post quoted in a post above.

my worthless thoughts...

It has been stated BY EA that UO has paid for itself over and over.. its cheap to operate.....

The developers that have worked on UO have come and gone many times over thru the years, the vision has been different with practically every producer that has held the UO reins....

UO has not been a priority for a good number of years in the EA stable of properties..

What does this news mean to me? It means there will be developers and designers and coders and such being cross trained in the different games

The what ifs are present or rather the what are they going to do... seems a number here wish to see the end coming... yet again to point out we here do not equal any way the largest number of players of UO...nothing official has been said... sources within a company are just as likely from someone that is pissy in what is being done and presents information biased .. they may have provided sound information in the past but that does not preclude them from tainting later information slipped out

UO very well may finally get on a track and stay on it instead of switching every mile or so to a different track...

Those that do move to VA (in my view) will be the ones that are dedicated to UO, UO is not just a job to those

Id rather have a small team that has a passion than a huge one that sees it just as a job... Id rather a small server network filled with players with a passion than a huge one filled with its just a game players.

Until the pronouncement of death appears from EA on UO Im not going to worry or give it a thought and will keep enjoying the world my toons live in....death is one of the givens in the world... its not IF but when.....we all die sooner or later


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#16
Shady Dealer

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Agreed

I doubt many of those folks will make the move, this area is expensive and a very high cost of living.


When the cost of living is higher in Virgina then Cali, the world is coming to an end...
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#17
Silverfoot

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Just playing with CNN Money cost of living comparison tool

Salary in San Francisco CA:
$75,000
Comparable salary in Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA:
$61,933.84

If you move from San Francisco CA to Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA...

Groceries will cost: 23.29% less
Housing will cost: 21.785% less
Utilities will cost: 33.185% more
Transportation will cost: 5.251% less
Healthcare will cost: 10.453% less


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#18
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I have a mental image of the UO team getting a set of tiny cubicles stuck in the basement somewhere, while the other games have huge offices with a view.

My company just did a partial reconfigure of some of their cubes and we have more work upcoming. I will have to check the drawings out. What i did see was some pretty swank offices though.

Well rub butter on my beautiful butt and call me a croissant!


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#19
Cerwin Vega

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Whats next outsourcing to china.

#20
kingtony

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adri said it right about the small cubicals for our uo team

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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.





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