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Pirates of the Burning Sea Signs With SOE For Publishing 79

Posted by Zonk
from the arr-me-hearties-controversy-off-the-port-bow dept.
Flying Lab Software has been keeping its upcoming piratical Massively Multiplayer Game, Pirates of the Burning Sea, somewhat close to the chest. There's a Beta running, but outside of the forums and official website information has been thin on the ground. That changed last week with a flurry of posting to the Flying Lab Software site about a number of topics. This week there is big news: the game finally has a publisher. Flying Labs has partnered with SOE's Platform Publishing brand to put out Pirates of the Burning Sea. To clarify, if you're unfamiliar with Platform Publishing, Sony Online Entertainment will only be publishing the game; they will have nothing to do with development. "We had two other paths to launching this fall: going it alone and working with another independent outfit we've been spending time with. Both of these were good options in general (especially the partnership approach, as we really like those guys). But for either of those approaches to work for a fall launch, everything would have to go right the first time and we'd still need some luck. By working with SOE we know it'll just happen."
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Pirates of the Burning Sea Signs With SOE For Publishing

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    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Want to quickly head off some of the more reactionary comments that are sure to appear here.

      First, Flying Labs (the devs) maintain complete creative control. SOE is literally just publishing it. This won't be a SW:G repeat.

      Second, Flying Labs is self financed. They have plenty of cash and aren't going to have the problems Vanguard did.

      SOE has a really bad -- and justly earned -- reputation these days, but it seems like Flying Labs got the deal they needed from them, so I'm thrilled. I've been following this
      • This exactly what McQuaid said about the SOE-Vanguard deal. We all know where that went - there's no explanation necessary. Personally, I'll give this one a chance and hope that SOE doesn't screw Flying Labs but I'm extremely skeptical.
      • by Suzumushi (907838)
        Second, Flying Labs is self financed. They have plenty of cash and aren't going to have the problems Vanguard did.

        Not enough cash apparently, otherwise why involve Sony at all?

        Nothing Sony will ever touch my computer. Sony, in any form, has a terrible track record. Whether it is rootkits, proprietary formats that die from their own strangling DRM requirements, overpriced electronics, boffed publishing, or holier-than-thou decisions on what PS games are permitted to be published stateside; they are bad n

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          "Not enough cash apparently, otherwise why involve Sony at all?"

          Because they already have the marketing, billing, and distribution services in place for us, so we don't have to do those things. We're good at making games. We don't really want to find out if we're good at marketing or not. With this deal, we don't have to.

          Of course, that was in the FA, so I'm sure you already know that and are just ranting. Don't let my facts get in the way of you raging against the machine.

          -isildur (PotBS Lead Designer)
          • by Suzumushi (907838)
            Wow, with hostility like this coming from the lead designer, then I suppose it is in fact a good thing that you have nothing to do with the marketing and billing. :-P

            Good luck with that.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ThePiMan2003 (676665)
          I am not sure why Sony gets all this bad publicity in the MMO area. Face it SWG sucked before NGE, NGE made it actually FUN for some people. Vanguard is a mess, but it would not exist without Sony, you have Brad to lay that failure at. In fact to me it seems like going with Sony is a great idea. The people in Sony Online Entertainment are not the same people who put root kits on CD's they probably have never even met; nor are they the people who made the PS3, in fact I bet they have not talked a whole h
      • by EtoilePB (1087031)
        Indeed, anyone who's read the interviews and articles about the last few months of Sigil should understand damn well that the big problems with Vanguard had nothing to do with being distributed by SOE and everything to do with being developed by apparently one of the worst-run companies ever.

        There's all this irrational hatred out there of SOE as distributor. Now, I totally understand why all the people who used to play Galaxies are gun-shy with the company, but that's apples and oranges to this. This is
        • by toolie (22684)
          Now, I totally understand why all the people who used to play Galaxies are gun-shy with the company, but that's apples and oranges to this. This is more like HBO or PBS airing an independently-made documentary than it is like Fox studios financing and releasing Star Wars.

          Except it wasn't SOE calling the shots on SWG, it was LucasArts. Nobody cares about that though, just like they don't care that it was Sigil that fucked Vanguard up.
      • by mxmissile (569819)
        Deja-Vu anyone?
      • Now when a concept of a game is announced, before any code is even written, SOE will release it. No more putting out release candidates, or betas or even alphas before they're finished. They will release the game on the same day it's conceived!
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by Mike Buddha (10734)
        This is totatlly going to be another Vanguard/SWG/Everquest-get-it-out-asap-without-it- being-finished deal. Screw SOE. They ruin everything they touch. It might be ready a year or two after release.
  • Pretty much like Sigil, SOE and Vanguard...

    ok, bad example.

    2 Years later: Welcome to Everquest at Sea.
    • Re:Vanguard (Score:4, Informative)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @02:05PM (#19652669) Journal
      Nah. They're not selling their IP, they're just contracting with SOE for distribution and hosting.

      Sounds like a good deal for all involved; Flying Labs keeps absolute creative control, and assumes the bulk of the financial risks. SOE makes money on the front end, and skims some off the top for hosting...If it flops, they've got very little stake in it, and if it doesn't they'll get a nice bit of cash, as well as positioning themselves as a friend to the independent MMO developer.
      • by jesdynf (42915)
      • Nah. They're not selling their IP, they're just contracting with SOE for distribution and hosting.

        Sounds like a good deal for all involved; Flying Labs keeps absolute creative control, and assumes the bulk of the financial risks. SOE makes money on the front end, and skims some off the top for hosting...If it flops, they've got very little stake in it, and if it doesn't they'll get a nice bit of cash, as well as positioning themselves as a friend to the independent MMO developer.

        The four biggest lies: This'll only hurt for a little while, I'll only put the head of it in, I promise that I'll never try to cum in your mouth, you'll retain full creative control.

      • by Midwedge (617806)
        Acutaly if you look at the announcement the breakdown is this: Flying Lab Software Game Development Community Customer Support Server Operations Sony Online Entertainment Billing Launcher Retail Distribution Localization Marketing Flying labs is doing their own servers, even their own fourms, they won't be paying SOE to host for them, SOE is doing the sales/billing side and localization, thats it.
        • I skimmed it. Looked to me like FL was being hyper-careful, and extremely protective of their IP, and that Sony was happy to be able to make some cash off of it, and bulk up their whole Station Pass thing with another title.

          Lot of people here are clearly still massively bitter about SWG. The whole Vanguard/Sigil thing I don't see as a "This is Sony being evil" thing so much as Sony getting fed up with the crap and taking over the bankrupt company. Not like they could have done much worse.
    • Re:Vanguard (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dopplex (242543) on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @02:14PM (#19652815)
      Different than Vanguard really... I mean, the publishing deal is probably similar - but the only reason that Vanguard's IP ended up getting acquired is due to the failures of Sigil. Provided the Burning Sea guys are less dynsfunctional (and let's face it - it's pretty hard to be more dysfunctional than Sigil was, according to most reports) I see this being a pretty standard publishing arrangement.

      When exactly has SOE meddled with the design of a third party that they were publishing? All of their blunders had to do primarily with IP that they designed themselves. There's a lot of irrational SOE dread out there. Yeah, they screwed up Galaxies - but that was their own game, and you have to think they learned something from that experience.
      • When exactly has SOE meddled with the design of a third party that they were publishing?

        You mean like Verant?

        This publishing deal makes it likely in my opinion, some days down the road, that SoE will have some level of control over the game. Possibly when the buy the independent publisher, possibly when they just buy the game. And that means I won't touch it with a 10 foot pole. Heck, knowing SoE is skimming some off the top of my subscription is enough to keep me away.

        Sorry Flying Lab Software, you migh
        • by esampson (223745)

          When exactly has SOE meddled with the design of a third party that they were publishing?

          You mean like Verant?

          You need to come up with another example. Verant wasn't a third party being published by SOE. Verant was SOE. It's name was changed from Verant to SOE after Verant was acquired by Sony.

          • by Glonoinha (587375)
            So basically the only step between this being 'as proposed' and 'another royal ass-fucking like Everquest' is for Sony to buy Flying Labs? Sorry to tell you this, but methinks this game is already fucked because that's exactly what is going to happen (Sony buy FL) - there's no way I'm pouring a couple hundred hours into a game only to have SOE do to it what they did to Everquest.
            • by esampson (223745)

              So basically the only step between this being 'as proposed' and 'another royal ass-fucking like Everquest' is for Sony to buy Flying Labs?

              Leaving aside any and all issues about SOE for the moment, that 'only' step your talking about is sort of a big one. It's kind of like saying the only step between FedEx having the ability to have the new Harry Potter book rewritten or not is for them to buy Scholastic.

              I'm not going to try to talk you down from your dislike of SOE. All I was really saying was that your o

      • by toolie (22684)
        All of their blunders had to do primarily with IP that they designed themselves. There's a lot of irrational SOE dread out there. Yeah, they screwed up Galaxies - but that was their own game, and you have to think they learned something from that experience.

        What they learned was to never deal with LucasFilms/Arts whatever again. They didn't own the IP for SWG, they licensed it. Then, when LA wanted something changed, SOE had to do the changes as part of the licensing agreement. They might have provided t
  • by jesdynf (42915)
    They're going with SOE? Oh, man. Hope that call made somebody some money. It won't be making mine.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @02:15PM (#19652827)
    Want to quickly head off some of the more reactionary comments that are sure to appear here.

    First, Flying Labs (the devs) maintain complete creative control. SOE is literally just publishing it. This won't be a SW:G repeat.

    Second, Flying Labs is self financed. They have plenty of cash, and aren't going to have the problems Vanguard did.

    SOE has a really bad -- and justly earned -- reputation these days, but it seems like Flying Labs got the deal they needed from them, so I'm thrilled. I've been following this game for like four years now, and they've always been adament about maintaining complete control of their game, and I was starting to get nervous they couldn't find any publisher who'd let them do that.
    • by vux984 (928602)
      First, Flying Labs (the devs) maintain complete creative control. SOE is literally just publishing it.

      Until SOE buys a big stake in Flying Labs.

      When you dance with an 800 lb gorilla you should expect to get stepped on.

      Even if it promises not to.

    • by Ogive17 (691899)
      They may be maintaining complete control of development, but SOE's reputation is that they eventually ruin every game they touch. It's going to keep jilted people from even trying the game (like me, my SW:G experience went so sour that I'll never touch anything affiliated with SOE again).

      It's not fair, but it's the price you pay when you do a deal with the devil.
    • by Dale512 (1073668)
      I think the point is there have been several games in the past that were going to just publish with SOE and maintain all control of development. These all ended up with SOE doing the development. They can say what they want, but their track record speaks differently.
  • I've enjoyed Talk Like A Pirate Day as much as the next guy, but enough already! The pirate thing needs a few years of rest before it becomes fun again.
    • by clem (5683)
      A few years seems excessive. Let's come to a compromise and reschedule for DecembArrgh!

      Arrgh! Arrgh. Er...

      Sorry.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by El Torico (732160)
      Yeah, enough with the Pirates. Now an MMORPG with Ninjas, that would be cool.
  • ...because given SOE's track record with internally developed games and the ones they've merely published, your title's going down with all hands sooner or later.

    Granted that Vanguard was partially bankrolled by SOE, and was developed by a man who spent more time taking visual stock of the insides of his colon than actually developing, but SOE does have a richly deserved reputation as the publisher where MMO titles go to die.

  • Another MMO bites the dust.
    • Another MMO bites the dust.

      C'mon, couldn't you take it a bit further?

      SOE walks jauntily down the street,
      With the brim pulled way down low
      Ain't no sound but the sound of hype,
      Checkbook ready to go
      Are you ready, Are you ready for this
      Are you hanging on the edge of your seat
      Across the nation gamers feel ripped
      And another studio falls to defeat

      Another MMO bites the dust
      Another MMO bites the dust
      And another one gone, and another one gone
      Another MMO bites the dust
      Hey, SOE might buy you too
      Another MMO bites the dust

      How do you think I'm goi

  • It's not that bad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ceswiedler (165311) * <chris@swiedler.org> on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @03:00PM (#19653481)
    I work on an MMO which is also being published by SOE Platform Publishing. They are not involved at all in game design or implementation--they will be doing publishing only, i.e. box sales, marketing. In my opinion they're a very good choice for publishing MMOs.

    If the game is good or bad, it's the developer's fault, not the publisher's. Don't lump games that are published by SOE in with games that are developed by SOE.
    • by achan0x (1120443)
      most user's aren't going to look at this way, they'll see the SOE logo and simply bypass it.
  • Was looking forward to playing PotBS--not now though. Been burned by SOE too many times. It will be a cold day in Hell before I ever give SOE a credit card number,
    • by jjohnson (62583)
      RTFA. SOE is only the distributor; Flying Labs retains all creative control and IP, and operates the servers themselves. This is a fundamentally different deal than all the other crap SOE hosts.
      • by HycoWhit (833923)
        I read the article. I've had more than enough experience with SOE to realize anything that involves SOE is going suck sooner or later. My bet is sooner comes pretty fast. Sure it will be different. After so many SOE screw-ups, how would you exepct the article to read? Other folks can spend their money on PotBS, for me personally--I'll be taking a pass at release. If you lay down with dogs--you are going to get fleas....
        • by billsoxs (637329)

          If you lay down with dogs--you are going to get fleas...

          Not if you put that flea and tick repellent stuff on the dog you don't. Of course that is a LOT of dogs at Sony that you would have to cover - but it MIGHT work.

  • by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Tuesday June 26, 2007 @04:33PM (#19654809) Homepage
    Lots of people trying to calm everybody down by explaining how distant the relationship between Flying Labs and SOE will be. Those people are missing the point.

    People choose what games to play based on more than just the quality of the game. I quit Everquest vowing never to give SOE (or any company with Brad McQuaid) another dime, no matter how good their future games might be. And I will avoid this Pirates game, not because I think SOE will somehow screw it up, but because part of its revenue would go to fund SOE. I choose not to fund incompetant and unethical companies.

    Flying Labs just struck a deal with the devil, from many gamers' points of view. They shouldn't be surprised if people quietly cross themselves and scurry away from them, no matter how good their product may be.
    • by jjohnson (62583)
      Fortunately for Flying Labs, and unfortunately for your commendably principled stand, few consumers are as ethically considerate.
      • by jfodale (1032534)
        Well, with this announcement and the many delays, I am no longer buying this game on release day. I'll wait 4 or 5 months and if it hasn't faded to obscurity, I'll pick it up then.
         
        So I guess I'm one.
    • Could you explain why you hate SOE so much, as I stated above, as a console gamer, SOE does quality games. For example, in some ways I think EQOA is a better game than FFXI, just simply more "fun" and less "work", and the two Snowblind Engine Diablo clones are great games. Even the PSP's Untold Legends is a fun little Diablo clone, not perfect, but I enjoy playing it.

      • by will_die (586523)
        What people dislike about SOE is that they have published two big games, Vanguard and Star Wars Galaxy, which have both been really horrid games. What they totally ignore is that the head developers for both of thoses games said that SOE gave them free control of the products. SOE just required updates and for them to stick to time schedules that the developers agreed to. However theses people are mainly fanboies and don't want to recognize that people they have been saying could do no wrong and would pr
        • SOE does have some problems, customer support in game can take between 1-2 hours during prime time and are generally clueless on the games


          Flying Lab is in charge of support.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Panzergheist (609926)

      I choose not to fund incompetant [sic] and unethical companies.

      Seeing as you would more than likely need to use some Microsoft product to play MMO games, I think this is a case of selective ethics. That is a lot like condemning snuff films over dinner with a serial rapist.

    • You said nothing in your comment to explain your stance, so either your being irrational in your anti-SOE views or just FUDing for karma (which unfortunately works here)

      Hell I know people who will not touch a Blizzard game. When pressed they eventually fall back on the problems with B-Net and Diablo. Fine, thats their choice. But if your going to FUD something at least tell us why.

      FWIW, unless it personally affects you get over it. Too many people like to make themselves out to be victims to feel as if
      • I was a guide on Everquest, and got to see some of the back room dealings that went on in maintaining the game. I saw GMs giving loot to their favorite guilds, I saw edicts handed down by Sony (then Verant) that we should lie to players to keep them playing, and I saw a corporation whose business plan revolved around free labor and addicted consumers.

        I won't play Blizzard on-line games because I distrust their privacy policy -- IMHO they're not evil, I just don't trust them. I don't shop at Wal-Mart, eat
    • by walnutmon (988223)
      I choose not to fund incompetant and unethical companies.

      You still buy gasoline?

      If this game rocks cocks, you will buy it, and if you don't, others will. If you like this kind of game, and it is good, and you don't play it, what justice are you dealing out? If you play games for the companies that publish them, then you need to get a new hobby.
  • It's probably for the best. It's one of the few MMORPGs that interested me. I guess I don't have to worry about falling in that trap now.
  • For a minute I thought this was about "Pirates of the Great Salt Lake".

    http://www.piratesofthegreatsaltlake.com/ [piratesoft...ltlake.com]
  • Oh no! You'll get food poisoning if you eat at Jack in the Box!
    Oh no! Apple is dead!

    I don't think SOE can afford to burn money; companies that fail over and over again don't last unless they change dramatically. I kind of wonder what SOE's current expected lifespan is if they screw things up this time; Sony has other game divisions.

    Change has to start somewhere.
    • As much as I hate SOE, they are the most profitable portion of Sony at the moment. Change won't start at mother ship Sony by axing their most successful wing.
  • To clarify, if you're unfamiliar with Platform Publishing, Sony Online Entertainment will only be publishing the game; they will have nothing to do with development.


    after swg, whenever i see soe anywhere, i get irked. Its good that they were wise only to let them do publishing.
  • by Josgar (1122523)
    People really need to give SOE a chance: Yes they did mess up everquest. Lucas Arts forced them to change SWG... however, they have turned around EQ2 in the past 2 years, and made it more fun. As long as the developers of this game do not go bankrupt, then they should be fine. In an interveiw with an X employee of sigil, the xemployee said that SOE did not touch vanguard at all during that time. Granted that SWG people will be mad, but we all must remember that SOE does not have full control over SWG and wa

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