Category: Drama

Stardock Lawsuit Drama


Don’t you just love a good drama story? This one’s about Stardock the studio that developed and released the highly unsuccessful Elemental: War of Magic. Kotaku has a story that sheds a little bit of light on a story that was going around not too long ago. The original story that broke was that Stardock was suing an ex-employee for losses of over a million dollars for taking and/or damaging marketing materials on their way out the door. New light has been shed on this case in the form of a previous lawsuit that the CEO was already in – with the same employee in which she accused him of sexual harassment.

Miseta was the manager of marketing at Stardock when she quit around three weeks before Elemental shipped. When she left in August, 2010, she was threatening a suit against Wardell for sexual harassment. That suit was filed in December, 2010, seeking unspecified damages in excess of $25,000. The best evidence comes in the forms of several statements and emails made by the CEO, Brad Wardell. Email records showed that he said she wasn’t just chosen “because [she was] hot,” and a link to a sexual purity survey and request to send the score back to him.

She sent him an email in May asking him to stop with the sexual harassment and he sent back “I am an inappropriate, sexist, vulgar and embarrassing person and I’m not inclined to change my behavior. If this is a problem, you need to find another job,” which is exactly what she did. On August 3rd she was out the door. It seems that the lawsuit over damaging marketing materials is a PR redirection in hopes that the backlash over the sexual harassment case that’s pending will be overshadowed by a “bad employee.”

If he did or didn’t harass her, and if she did or didn’t destroy any documents, I think one thing can be agreed upon: BACK UP YOUR DOCUMENTS!


MLG League of Legends Tournament Drama

LOL Drama

I’m beginning to think I need a “drama” category. This weekend was the Summer Championship League of Legends Event in Raleigh. Apparently there was colluding to split the winning pot between Curse NA and Team Dignitas. To preserve the spirit of competition, Major League Gaming has disqualified first and second place and will pay 5th and 6th place in addition to 3rd and 4th. There are obviously sides to each story and right now they’re:

MLG: “To be clear here folks, the Collusion had nothing to do with the ARAM. CRS/DIG conspired to split prize money.”

Riot: “they decided who would win prior to the match – it’s not about what they are doing with the money afterwards”

Team Dignitas: “Team Dignitas, our members and all of our partners have never, and will never, stand for conduct that disrespects our team values MERIT, PRESTIGE, WORTH, DIGNITY,” and they are currently investigating it further.

Curse NA: “Dignitas and Curse agreed to play an ARAM. Anything outside of this is false.”

Obviously MLG has their image to maintain – in that they want to be taken seriously as the head of e-sports. Riot has it’s image to protect as it’s important to them that teams who are using their game to make a living don’t decide before the game is played who is going to win. Curse and Team Dignitas have their images to protect as well which is more than likely the reason for denial – they might be out sponsorships and even entry into future competitions. For the press release from MLG, click here.


Diablo III Drama

Diablo 3 Drama

A little while back, David Brevik, co-founder of Blizzard North who was behind the first two Diablo titles did an interview with IncGamers about Diablo III. After the Blizzard North team was done away with in 2005, Blizzard South was put in charge of Diablo III development.

This is a transcript of the interview:

IncGamers: You are very well known in the world of ARPGs, and I am going to ask you, Diablo 3 is probably the most anticipated PC title in 10 years. What’s your opinion on the final product?

David Brevik: Honestly, I think that they did a lot of the things the best they could, it was a very different game than I would have created, the team and personalities, the people, the talent and all the design philosophies of the people that worked on it in Irvine, we called them Blizzard South, those people have their own style and the their own way they like to design. It was very, very different from the Blizzard North.

So I think that when Blizzard South took over the development of Diablo 3 it was inevitable that they were going to create an experience that was in the Diablo theme but concentrated more towards the things that they liked to experience. Including more story and things like that.

When Blizzard North shut down they lost a ton of experience with why the Action RPG works and what about it works. That’s really difficult to recover from. They didn’t have the experience of people that knew it well. This is why you do things with random levels for example, and so when you lose that experience you are going to create a very different experience in the end than we would have created.

IncGamers: Do you think they bought the wrong people in? As we understand, Jay Wilson, for example, his background was RTS. From our point of view it looked like they misunderstood what kept people playing, The type of loot drops, which has been a big issues. One of the other issues is they have not listened to their community, and they have not anlaysed what makes up that addictive Diablo experience. What are your thoughts on that?

David Brevik: Well, the loot system. They made some decisions with the loot system that were very different than the way that we did it in Diablo 2 and I think that obviously the community has been upset with some of the decisions they made. Having all of your powers work off your main weapon and things like that, to having blues that are more powerful than yellows. Eventually the auction house and how that worked, even something as simple as when you equip an item and it’s bound to your character permanently would have totally changed the dynamic of the game.

It seems odd that they have not really responded in a quick fashion to some of these things. I think they are very well aware of the problems at this point and are trying to fix some of this stuff. It’s a shame that they had to learn some of these painful lessons

IncGamers: As you created Diablo, how do you feel about it? Do you feel a little let down that the legacy has kind of been mashed up?

David Brevik: I have very mixed emotions about it (laughs). On one hand I am sad that people haven’t enjoyed Diablo because it’s a love, a passion, and its obvious people still have a giant love and passion for Diablo and they are speaking out about it because they have such love for it. That makes me feel great.

I am sad because people are outraged and, you know, some of the decision they have made are not the decisions I would make and there have been changes in philosophy and that hasn’t gone over very well. I think in that way I am a little sad.

I am also a little happy, which I hate to say, it shows that the people that were involved in Diablo really did matter, and so I am happy that it has come to light that how talented that group was and how unique and special that group was. I am hoping that, as this happens very often in the industry, you see it with Call of Duty and things like that , when the people leave the game changes and it shows how critical people are in this industry.

IncGamers: One of the questions the Gazillion guys asked me to ask you was, where did the name Diablo come from?

David Brevik: I thought of the game when I was in high school and I lived in the east part of San Francisco in a town called Danville and I loved at the base of Mount Diablo and that’s where the name comes from. Once I found out what the mountain name was, I thought that was awesome, I didn’t speak Spanish, so I thought I wanted to use that as a title for a nemesis in a videogame. It’s simply from where I lived.

IncGamers: Well thanks a lot David, you’ve brought a lot of pleasure to millions of people over the years and hopefully you’ll continue to do so.

Chris Haga who was a Technical Artist on the Diablo III team got wind of the interview and was apparently insulted by it and took to facebook. Shortly after that familiar names comment on the article agreeing with their dislike of David Brevik calling him a “fucking loser”. Some of the other people were Producer Stephen Parker, Game Director Jay Wilson, Gameplay Programmer Roger Hughston and fellow Technical Artist Jill Harrington. I’m quite shocked at the negative attitude towards the man who created the franchise that they’re so proud of. It will be interesting to see what kind of backlash this public reaction from the Diablo III team has. Normally employees who take to facebook and give their company a negative image are fired – I doubt anything like that will happen to the new Diablo team, but it will be interesting to see how Blizzard reacts.

Click to see Chris Haga Facebook image