Allen put the studio at risk says Smart, and that's only the "short and subtle version." MMO Alganon's winter launch "should never have happened."
3000AD president Derek Smart is now el presidente of Quest Online, and he has addressed the fledging MMORPG Alganon community to dispel confusion over the major leadership changes that have gone on.
"I just wanted to make a few things crystal clear so that we're all on the same page because in the coming days a lot of conflicting reports are going to start sprouting up all over the Net, and all will be based on conjecture, speculation and rumor," he started.
"Dave Allen didn't "depart". I fired* him back in February for insubordination and for acting against the best interests of the company, the LLC investors (who I represent), the game and the team." Smart assures us that yes, "legally I actually can say that."
"Shortly after the investors of the LLC unanimously voted him off the LLC. Leaving his previous partner and co-founder (Greg Wexler, one of the most cheerful and straight up guys you'll ever meet in your lifetime) and myself to run the company."
Smart says that Alganon's December launch was something of a huge mistake to make because the game just wasn't ready yet. "The Dec 1st launch of the game should never have happened. It was a mistake that has not only cost the company money but has also cost people their jobs and put an otherwise exceptional product at risk."
"As a game developer, I know all too well that if your game is not finished and you release it, thats just asking for trouble. No matter how great the game and technology are, it can and will fail. Especially in this industry climate."
The veteran developer has nothing but praise for the studio's hard working employees though, who he now hopes to steer toward something they can all be proud of.
"They are true professionals previously caught in the middle of a rock and a hard place in terms of being unable to reign in powers that end up making bad decisions for the game and company. At the end of the day - and in this economy - you'd be hard pressed to disagree with the guy who controls your paycheck."
One major bad decision, points out Smart, was to try and compete with World of Warcraft with neither the budget or manpower to match Blizzard.
"This whole "WoW look-a-like" rubbish, is gone. I've essentially asked them to throw it all out and for the artists to come up with the game's own unique look and feel for for both the web UI as well as the game UI itself," continued his post.
"You don't go competing with WoW when you don't have a WoW sized budget or the manpower to match. But thats what David wanted to do and I've pretty much tossed it all. The team was unable to actually do this previously due to David wanting it that way, even though they knew it was a terrible decision."
The MMO will also be ditching paid monthly subscriptions and adopting a free-to-play model, with everything added since the launch "disabled/removed on my orders," with the team soley focused on "fixing game bugs, tweaking things etc".
How much did Dave Allen want Alganon to be 'WoW-like'? See for yourself...