Former Mythic CEO and Co-founder on Studio's Demise

Former Mythic boss and co-founder Mark Jacobs has been allowed some space on Eurogamer's pages to publish a eulogy for the studio. Here's a snippet:

There was the first team, or "old" Mythic. About a dozen folks made online games from 1995 to 1999, when online games had gone from an afterthought in the games industry (MUD? What's a MUD?), to the "next big thing," and then back again to a niche market. These guys and gals - including the studio's co-founders - accepted pay cuts, "turtle mode" (literally counting paperclips), and incredibly low budgets (the one exception being Aliens Online, for which we were paid $450K) to create more than a dozen online games, including games based on major Hollywood licenses. We all worked long hours and weekends because we believed that online games still had a big future, despite a dire forecast when our primary sources of revenue - Engage Games Online, Kesmai, and the AOL Games Channel - were shut down, merged, or otherwise became non-viable options.

Then there was the second team, about two dozen folks who, in 18 months and on time and on budget, created what I and many people consider the best RvR-centric MMORPG to date: Dark Age of Camelot. This team poured everything they had into making this game, and even though we were rejected by every publisher we approached save one, Vivendi Universal Games (thank you, as always), they never lost faith. It was truly a team effort. Nobody, not even me, can or should claim all the credit for creating that landmark game. They did everything that was asked of them, and while I generally eschew clichés, they gave 110 per cent to make that game happen. When it succeeded, they shared in its success and bounty.

Then there was the third team, the team that created Warhammer. Many of them came from the team that was making Imperator and were moved to WAR. In only three years, and with crunches that were even worse than during the Dark Age of Camelot development cycle, they created a terrific, albeit flawed, MMORPG. Through their efforts, new words and phrases such as "Public Quests" entered the MMORPG lexicon, and I hope that WAR will be remembered not just for its flaws but for its glory as well. The flaws were not of their making. As I've said before, the flaws and premature release rested with senior management (including myself) at both Mythic and EA but ultimately, members of that team paid the price. It was for those reasons, among others, that I insisted that Mythic co-founder Robert Denton and I tried to speak to every member of the team that was laid off one-on-one or in small groups to thank them for their efforts and to apologise for the layoffs.