Sawyer resigns from Black Isle Studios

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fable
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Sawyer resigns from Black Isle Studios

Postby fable » Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:26 pm

This was posted earlier today on Interplay's boards. I don't know how long it will stay around. The author information is accurate. It's not a hoax, and was written by J.E. Sawyer:

I figured I'd post this here before DAC and NMA got the scoop! I am resigning from my position as lead designer at Black Isle Studios. I will not discuss those reasons here, but I will state that they are my reasons. I apologize to those who may be disappointed by my decision and congratulate those who rejoice at it. My last day will be November 21st.

From this point forward, I will not be discussing any aspect of Black Isle Studios projects that may be currently in development.
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Postby BuckGB » Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:54 pm

I wonder if he may have been hired on at Feargus Urquhart's Obsidian Entertainment? But that's only a guess =).

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Postby garazdawi » Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:25 pm

that's too bad.... I really like the games that Black Isle produced with Sawyer..... hope they can find a good replacement.... and hope he didn't give up gamedevelopment totally.... but just got a new employer...
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Postby Obike Fixx » Sun Nov 09, 2003 10:41 am

Bloodmist (who you may or may not know) wrote this on a danish site called http://www.morrowind.dk

JE leaving was a big blow for all of us on the project, no way around it. However, the stuff he was working on, the technical side of the project (rules, interfaces, etc.), is nearly complete (I think there are only two more interfaces that need to be done, and they are simple ones). Josh made sure that part, the part he was responsible for, was done by the time he left, and I think that is a huge example of his integrity and his passion for doing a great job.

The story and areas for VB have been finished for a few months now, so his input has been received and applied. We are currently building maps and writing dialogues. Sean Reynolds has been creative lead almost since MCA left and has been doing a very fine job of making sure we knows hwo ta write good.

On a personal note, I have really enjoyed working with Josh, and have been very impressed watching him grow into a great lead designer. He is a person who learns from his triumphs and mistakes and grows from those lessons - and in this industry, that's almost impossible to find. He knows when to step in and when to step back, and knows how to empower his employees. He brings a lot to BIS and will be sorely missed. I wish him good luck in his future venture (no, it's not Obsidian) and I know he will develop great things when he gets there.

And VB keeps on chugging along...

Author - Damien "Puuk" Foletto

So it seems that he's not going to work for Obsidian afterall. ;)

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Postby fable » Sun Nov 09, 2003 11:50 am

Bloodmist posts here pretty regularly, if it's the same Bloodmist, that is. I suppose they could be family members. ;)
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Postby Bloodmist » Sun Nov 09, 2003 1:05 pm

I just hope he doesn't get hired by EA... That'd be a waste of talent and skills. :rolleyes:
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Postby IHateUsernames » Sun Nov 09, 2003 1:15 pm

God forbid.

But then again, it could make some interesting games.
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Postby Vicsun » Sun Nov 09, 2003 1:22 pm

Hejsa BM
Havn't seen you for a while, thought you had retired from SYM. WB :)

Originally posted by IHateUsernames
God forbid.

But then again, it could make some interesting games.


Interesting as in I hope you live in interesting times?
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:(

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Postby Aegis » Sun Nov 09, 2003 3:45 pm

Hmm, I wonder if Bioware would try to acquire him...

Heh. This is like talking Hockey trades, and such :p

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Postby fable » Sun Nov 09, 2003 4:49 pm

Originally posted by IHateUsernames
God forbid.

But then again, it could make some interesting games.


Not with EA. They have a habit of swallowing developers whole, and spitting out bones. :(
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Postby Aegis » Sun Nov 09, 2003 5:56 pm

Originally posted by fable
Not with EA. They have a habit of swallowing developers whole, and spitting out bones. :(
Well, EA has produced some good games (For instance, their sports games are unparalelled), like American McGee's Alice, and I hear they have a similar book based game on the horizon.

Though, EA has a habit of buying out competition, thus making little need to produce huge amounts of quality. To me, they are the Sony of the PC gaming market.

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Postby fable » Sun Nov 09, 2003 7:39 pm

Originally posted by Aegis
Well, EA has produced some good games (For instance, their sports games are unparalelled), like American McGee's Alice, and I hear they have a similar book based game on the horizon.

Though, EA has a habit of buying out competition, thus making little need to produce huge amounts of quality. To me, they are the Sony of the PC gaming market.


But think about Origin Systems, Berkeley Systems, Westwood Studios, Bullfrog: all of them were cases of product development intefered with repeatedly by EA VPs. When the results understandably didn't live up to expectations, the blame invariably fell on the purchased game companies, who had their assets liquidated and their development teams, laid off.

The only reason this hasn't happened to Maxis is that when Will Wright couldn't get a bit of interest from EA in pursuing the Sims idea, he did it in his spare time. This left him free of EA interference for initial development, though of course they got the lion's share of the revenues. ;) On the other hand, Wright bought himself several years of freedom from the black slips of EA's accounting department.

EA can still do good sports games in-house. But the years when the company was a driving force in development have been long gone. The people in charge are not corporate bureaucrats who throw around buzzwords and receive phenomenally high salaries for the industry. It's really not a healthy place to be, not if you're a developer, that is.
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