Star Trek Online: Call of Valor

A Star Trek Online Fan-fiction.

Conspiracy Theory

Well, another high-level Cryptic employee is leaving the company. This has been how many now since STOs launch? Come, Watson! The game’s afoot!

I’ve heard of high turn-over at a video game company, and I know I’m not that familiar with the internal workings of a game developer company for an MMO, but this much in the top ranks over such a short period after launch, and for what seems all the same kind of reasons, seems a bit off; “I’ve had a blast but it’s time for me to find something new/spend time with my family”. Even Zinc’s departure felt odd; No offense intended, but “going to spend more time feeding his goat” sounded almost like he’s being “put out to pasture”, doesn’t it?

Why do I get the impression that Cryptic is actually pushing these people to leave? Are they being given the option of “either you resign peacefully or we fire you outright & destroy your reputation in the industry”? Are so many of the fans posting such amazingly good ideas on the forums that the paid employees (that are supposed to be getting paid to be coming up with those ideas) are shown to be more like idiots rather than innovators (again no offense intended to anyone)? Is Cryptic management doing a steady and complete revamp of ALL their “command staff'”?

Few can deny that since Stahl took over as EP, the game has gone from ok to overdrive. Zinc had a great start, but did Stahl show, one way or another, to have not only his finger on the pulse of the fans but a purer understanding of how to get them what they wanted and not only retain customers but draw more in? (BTW, Stahl, if you ever read this, PLEEEEASE sing “The Ultimate Klingon on STOked!) He did more to retain players that Zinc had in his whole time. Not for lack of trying, mind you, but Stahl still had better results. is that because Stahl is just plain better at the job of EP for STO, regardless of what effort they both put into doing said job?

Zinc was trying to push more STFs and more new content; Stahl is pushing for improving or finishing what content is already there. Neither approach can be considered “wrong” per say, but Stahl’s approach was what fans were hungry for more, and so has gotten much more results. Is Zinc crappy at his job? NO! He’s an awesome EP and worked hard for STO; it’s just his direction was not where STO needed to go and so he left. Is this a trend that seems to be permeating the whole Cryptic and STO infrastructure and are these people really leaving “for new opportunities” or are they being quietly told to leave or else? THAT is the real question.

Every time someone from the upper end leaves, the game has another surge of awesome come out of it. EVERY time. Is this because Cryptic is realizing that the people they had are nowhere near what they need and those people are being replaced with others who really can get the job done? I’d love to be a fly on their walls, even if just to find out what’s really going on behind the scenes…

This is all speculation and theory, and I don’t expect anyone outside of Cryptic to know how close I am to the truth or if I’m waaaay off base. I felt these questions were worth asking, just the same.

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August 16, 2010 - Posted by | Nit-picker's Guide

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