Brad McQuaid Responds

I recently linked to an interview with an ex-Sigil employee and it is only fair to link to the follow up interview with Brad McQuaid posted over at F13.

Here is a brief highlight:

Brad McQuaid: I’m really sorry it went down that way. The way that it did. I can promise you that I and everybody in upper management did everything they possibly could to avoid this happening. Sigil was everything to us. It was our dream. Starting our own company. Providing a great working environment. You know, we worked months and months – as great as SOE is, and it was great working with them as a partner – as some people said “Brad, why did you sell out to..” We didn’t. We had hoped that Vanguard would be more of a success. It turned out we all worked very hard. Did the best we could. I thank everyone for pouring their hearts and souls into the game. I think it’s a great game. I think it has huge potential. When I’ve talked and made posts about the future of Vanguard and talked about Vanguard next year – I do believe that it was planned and architected to be an amazing game. We hoped to do it as our own company. It didn’t work out that way. I’m sorry.

Read the whole thing here.

– Ethic

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I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I'm more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

5 thoughts on “Brad McQuaid Responds”

  1. Am I mis-reading that, or did he say the problem with Microsoft was that they brought in an management team that unreasonably expected them to finish on-time and within the budget?

  2. I think the problem was the expectations and milestones… If I ask you to dig a ditch 10 feet wide and 1 mile long by tomorrow with a budget of $100, I am pretty sure you are not going to finish on-time and under budget.

    I think Sigil has made a huge amount of mistakes (I’ve said so before this mess), but I really feel sorry for the team over there. I hope everyone can find some other projects to work on pretty quickly.


  3. “I’m so totally sorry that I fucked everything up, refused to listen to input from subordinates, and got everyone fired. But hey, I’ve still got a job!”

  4. What, as an external consultant? Brad won’t be working for directly for Sigil or Sony.

    After reading all the interviews though, I wonder how much of this was the fault of other senior and mid-level management. I’ve been in the position before of having my time occupied by fundraising and business development where a partner was sabotaging the company behind my back. It wasn’t pleasant to deal with or fix.

    I wonder if Sony is going to be able to pull Vanguard out of the fire, what Brad will do next (this has got to be a harsh blow), and where the people that Sony didn’t pick up will end up at.

    If any of you guys are reading this, drop me a line.

  5. As a little practice project I disected the interview from a psychological perspective. Specifically from a psychoanalytical view. I focused specifically on his responses to Microsoft. Essentially that seems to be when Sigil’s issues came to light, when they split off from Microsoft.

    Brad’s responses seemed to exhibit projection. It wasn’t his fault that they didn’t meet their milestones, it was Microsoft’s fault for changing teams on them and not having a full understanding. It wasn’t the fault of Sigil management that they were expected to meet expectations, it was because they didn’t have a team who understood MMO’s.

    In one breath he says that it’s all justified because there was a change in management in the gaming group. He claims that they became more hand’s on. Reading between the lines, someone in uppermanagement realized that milestones weren’t being met, things weren’t happening in a timely manner, and changed teams on them. The team had to be micromanaged because they weren’t delivering. Brad said that this is when development slowed down on their end, but from what others are saying, I don’t think development was ever timely.

    A delay here and there is understandable, and a good project manager figures out how to work with it. Do they take the delay, do they remove something from the launch, or do they compromise? I get the impression that compromise wasn’t acceptable, removal of features was booed and hissed at, and so that left just swallowing the delay.

    Honestly, I am not sure that he has fully accepted that the fault of the failure of the company rests on not having business minded people, which rests on his shoulders.

    Unprofessionalism was running rampant. (The President of the company was “openly” dating a Sr. Manager while the President’s estranged wife was still working at the company – Hello, Mcfly… does no one see that as being unethical and just plain wrong?) Officers in the company should never have been officers and I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it was to be in a work enviornment where there seems to be a tolerance for unprofessionalism. Brad justified that the relationship was essentially condoned because he didn’t want it to be a dry enviornment. He justified his inability to create a professional workplace and manage effectively with claiming that it wouldn’t be a fun place to work.

    Clearly there is some inability to accept full responsibilitiy yet. There seems to be a reason for everything and it’s never directly related to him.

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