September 17, 2008

Craig Morrison replaces Gaute Godager as Game Director for Age of Conan

Funcom announced some suprising news today. Apparently, Gaute Godager has resigned from his position as the Game Director for Age of Conan and quit the company he participated in founding and had been working in for the past 16 years. I guess we won't hear his cool Norwegian accent in Funcom videos anymore. With Gaute leaving, there's also very little left of the 'original' FC team.

Here's what he had to say about his desicion to leave the company:

I have done my very best making this fabulous game, but I have concluded there are elements which I am dissatisfied with. I have decided to act on this, and as a result I have chosen to leave Funcom. It is time to get new, fresh eyes on Age of Conan, and I wholeheartedly support the appointment of Craig. I have had a fantastic time these last 16 years, and I am very proud of the many things Funcom has achieved. Funcom and Conan will always be a big part of me, but as I now look to new ventures outside the gaming industry I am certain Age of Conan’s future is in the best of hands.
Uh oh - it seems there were some internal disagreements regarding AoC; not surprising really, considering all the heated debates about undelivered promises and complaints from the players about the state of the game, especially in the first 2 months after launch.

The one to take over his position is Craig Morrison, who had been working as Funcom's Community Manager, and later as the Producer and Game Director on Anarchy Online. He also seems to be a huge fan of MMO games and he had worked at IGN’s Vault as Associate Editor, managing websites dedicated to several of those.

Here's what Craig had to say about his new job as the Game Director for AoC:
Taking on the position as Producer and Game Director on Age of Conan is a great challenge but also one I welcome. I have a clear conviction I can lead the further development in a good way, evolving Age of Conan into something even better. My main priority now is therefore to listen to, and act on, player concerns, while ensuring we add additional great content to the game. At heart I will always be a gamer, and the coming changes and additions to Conan will always be done with the gamers in mind. Together I am certain we will shape an amazing future for Age of Conan.
I wonder if this means that we'll see some major changes in AoC; surely Mr. Morrison has a different vision of the game than Gaute did. This change could do a lot of good for Age of Conan; I don't want to say anything bad about Gaute, but now he has 2 'bad' MMO launches under his belt, while Craig Morrison (known as 'Sillirion' by Anarchy Online players) seems to have done a great job as the Game Director of AO.

5 comments:

Amatheon said...

This is really good news.
Having recently returned, I was worried that Conan would not do well if the patch was not released this week.
It has actually done wonders for the population (X-Fire actually shows more people playing Age of Conan than LOTRO as one example)
This was just more icing for Funcoms' cake.
Of course, WAR will be the news at this point, with so many blogs and news sites covering it.
It is refreshing to read about some games which try to change the genre, and not rely on the old mechanics and old graphics to sell.

JoBildo said...

Hmm... I honestly think that Craig Morrison will do good.

Any fan of AO can tell you just how good that game became after its horrific launch. There just were never many of them. There's a much larger installed base for AoC. If they can fix things, get those fixes public, and get content into the game at a good rate (not an easy undertaking), they might turn it around and keep their 200+ subs.

Here's hoping. I still want to be able to go back and see that the rest of the game is as fun as levels 1-20 were.

JoBildo said...

Er, 200,000+ plus subs. :)

NaturalChaos said...

Hopefully this will be good for Age of Conan and it's not just Gaute getting out before the game collapses and Funcom goes out of business.

gourmet popcorn said...

I agree Craig will do some good stuff.

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