The ever-enjoyable Gamers with Jobs has up a fascinating look at the recently released MMOG Vanguard
. The article's author, Elysium, takes pains to point out that it's not a review. He didn't play the title long enough to get a firm grasp of the game; he just didn't care enough to spend the time. He outlines what makes Vanguard a bad game, and then points out that the game's creator Brad McQuaid himself has as much as admitted it was released too early. Sony Online Entertainment saved the game from bankruptcy, and released it when the schedule said to and not a moment later. In Elysium's mind, this sets up a really, really bad precedent: "Now that the game has released in its incomplete state, in a state that McQuaid himself describes as requiring patches, bug fixes and new feature implementation on par with a beta product, Sigil essentially comes to the consumer as the third investor in the process of the development cycle, and that is not just a terrible way of doing business, but an irresponsible step in the wrong direction for complicit consumers. Let me put it bluntly, if a game is not ready for retail when the money runs out find another investor or shut the doors. We are customers, and the retail end of the industry is bad enough about not supporting incomplete or inoperable products without developers and publishers assuming we are investors in the development process. Your job as the industry is to create product, and then, and only then, we buy it."