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Subject: Curt Schilling's video game venture explodes... what does this mean for MMP? rss

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Brian Youse
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Re: Curt Schilling's video game venture explodes... what does this mean for MMP?
HuginnGreiling wrote:
wolvendancer wrote:
I'm not aware of the connection between Shilling, 38 Studios, and MMP. Can someone enlighten me?
He started MMP so that ASL could stay in print, after Avalon Hill closed their doors.


Sigh. No.

MMP began in 1994 when we released Backblast, an ASL fanzine, and was comprised of four AH ASL playtesters and a guy who had some layout skills. Avalon Hill had made the decision that ASL was "dead" and we wanted to keep seeing some new scenarios, etc.

Curt didn't become involved until sometime around the end of 1995 when he was also attempting to buy the rights for ASL from Avalon Hill. We had been working with AH by then on the restarted ASL and Avalon Hill didn't want to sell the rights (read: they thought geez, we can fleece this guy, lets ask for the moon!) but wanted him involved (name value, something the Dott's - the owners of AH - did recognize, having put Tom Clancy on the AH Board of Directors somewhere around then as well). So, to make a long story short, AH told Curt about us, we met, he joined the company, and its been that way since then.
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Thanks for correcting the story. Looks like I heard it wrong. I've corrected my original post to point to yours here.

And thanks for turning up to put everyone's heads on straight around here. Best to you and everybody at MMP.
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Brian Youse
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desertfox2004 wrote:
Curt actually has little to no active participation in MMP operations, as far as I've gathered by reading various sources. Also, when one considers the vast income that Curt made over his MLB career, and contrast that with the rate and volume of wargame production coming from MMP over the years, it's pretty clear that Curt never invested much actual money into MMP. Finally, as noted by a few, the situation with the video game company and Curt doesn't mean he's personally broke, but rather, he has no intention of investing any more of his own fortune into the venture. I am assuming that Curt is still quite comfortably wealthy - he is a pretty intelligent guy - I'm pretty sure he has his finances in order.

Bottom line - I don't see this impacting MMP whatsoever, if for no other reason than that Curt never contributed that much to its operation to begin with.


This would be terribly wrong in some places. I'm not exactly sure what your "various sources" are, undoubtedly people who "know". :eyeroll:

"the rate and volume of wargame production" stems from the fact that we are content putting out 8-12 items a year.

You are correct, I don't believe Curt to be personally broke because of this, nor would I expect him to be. I'll ask him in a few days when I see him.
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Brian Youse
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Hungadunga wrote:
My undertsanding was that Curt and MMP parted ways a while ago, amicably I thought.


Nope, Curt has been, remains, continues to be in the future 1/3 owner of MMP, as are Perry Cocke and I.
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Hungadunga wrote:
WELL, I HEARD that he was tired of putting $$$ into ASL to keep it alive, while at the same time being regularly accosted by wargamers telling him that he was an asshole.


This could not be farther from the truth, do you -really- think 20k wargamers calling him an asshole is -any- worse than 2 million Yankee's fans?

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Brian Youse
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
Thanks for correcting the story. Looks like I heard it wrong. I've corrected my original post to point to yours here.

And thanks for turning up to put everyone's heads on straight around here. Best to you and everybody at MMP.


Thank you.

I am sorry for the mass of posts, I couldn't figure out how to easily put them all in one post...
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Thanks Brian! thumbsup
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Article with R A Salvatore's take on Studio 38. http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/724154/38-studios-fall...
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Jonathan Harrison
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spizio wrote:
Article with R A Salvatore's take on Studio 38. http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/724154/38-studios-fall...

Direct link to Salvatore's remarks, the initial post particularly worth quoting here:
Quote:
Reckoning sold over 1.2 million units, which is pretty amazing for a new IP on an entirely new engine. I'm not going into the details of the publishing contract with EA (don't really know them), but let me just say that the economics of the video game business are a lot more convoluted than multiplying the MSRP * Units and coming up with a cash/cash-flow number.

Caveat: I am not an employee, an officer, a stockholder or on the BoD for 38 Studios. I've worked with them since 2006 on a consulting basis and believed in the project (and still do) - so much so that all of my compensation is on the back end. Maybe I'll never see a dime for those hundreds of hours, but I got the chance to work in the most incredible creative environment you can imagine. So be it.

And...38 didn't go begging for a handout from Rhode Island...Rhode Island offered to secure a bond for them when the credit crunch reigned, trying to lure them out of Massachusetts.

Say what you want about the rest of it - I'm not going to comment - but I have to tell you that this was an amazing team of designers, engineers, artists, animators, writers, audio team and all the rest, all chasing a common dream - all pushing the envelope in their respective fields. And this game is much further along than is being reported - I wish I could show you some if it! - and the environments, the animations and the game-play would blow you away.

The MMO market is very different now than it was 6 years ago. Star Wars is aching, by all reports, and it's a solid game with groundbreaking voice-over work. EA bought Mythic, and Warhammer crashed. Bioware's MMO is hurting (they just laid off a bunch of people in their Austin Studio).

Curt and I never agreed on politics, but that didn't define our time together. We'd argue, laugh, shake our heads behind each others' back, and carry on. And if this means anything to any of you, let me assure you that the vast majority of the employees of 38 make ME look like a rabid right-winger, the bunch of anarchists! And lord, I love 'em all and miss them already.
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pzjg1 wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
Curt actually has little to no active participation in MMP operations, as far as I've gathered by reading various sources. Also, when one considers the vast income that Curt made over his MLB career, and contrast that with the rate and volume of wargame production coming from MMP over the years, it's pretty clear that Curt never invested much actual money into MMP. Finally, as noted by a few, the situation with the video game company and Curt doesn't mean he's personally broke, but rather, he has no intention of investing any more of his own fortune into the venture. I am assuming that Curt is still quite comfortably wealthy - he is a pretty intelligent guy - I'm pretty sure he has his finances in order.

Bottom line - I don't see this impacting MMP whatsoever, if for no other reason than that Curt never contributed that much to its operation to begin with.


This would be terribly wrong in some places. I'm not exactly sure what your "various sources" are, undoubtedly people who "know". :eyeroll:

"the rate and volume of wargame production" stems from the fact that we are content putting out 8-12 items a year.

You are correct, I don't believe Curt to be personally broke because of this, nor would I expect him to be. I'll ask him in a few days when I see him.


Thanks for setting the record straight, Brian. My sources regarding Curt's involvement were from the usual place - the Internet - you know, it's that very reliable font of all knowledge!

Now, stop responding to these silly posts and get to work on the reprint of OCS Korea so I can get my hands on my pre-order already!
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Glenn Martin
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Youère all wrong! The truth goes deeper than that!
The move to Rhode Island was part of a carefully co-ordinated conspiracy by New York state to bankrupt Rhode Island preparatory to annexing it to grab its electoral votes for the upcoming election. Massachusetts agreed to take the fall in exchange for the hot dog franchise at future New York sporting events being awarded to its powerful Bratwurst interests.
Curt only went along with this to prevent publication of pictures of him participating in coke-fueled (oddly, the bottled kind) sex orgies with the staff of Clash of Arms games who, it turns out, are yetis.

Hope this clears things up.
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Youse,

Thanks for stepping in and clearing things up, though I bet the ladies of the BGG quilting club will still be coming up with rumors. Just look at the continued rumors in the CSW MMP folder.
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RobTys wrote:
Youse,

Thanks for stepping in and clearing things up, though I bet the ladies of the BGG quilting club will still be coming up with rumors. Just look at the continued rumors in the CSW MMP folder.


I'm not sure people can be blamed for the rumors, because as far as I know, no one has ever publicly explained the relationship between MMP and Curt Schilling, how much money he put into it, or the fact that he has a 1/3 ownership stake, before. I've followed the industry reasonably closely and I don't recall ever seeing it laid out this way. I always though Schilling was the main player based on what I have see in hobby publications, statements he has made, information I have heard from mutual friends and, yes, shudder, the Internets.

I'm not a video gamer and don't follow that industry in the slightest and therefore don't have an opinion on whether the business plan was sound or not. Obviously, reasonable people can differ.

The politics of the situation, apparently, are OT for this forum, so I won't comment on that part.

While I appreciate Mr. Youse helping to set the record straight, I don't think it's fair to be too critical of people's opinions given the lack of transparency that usually accompanies business news. If you don't want people to be misinformed, you have to inform them. People are going to have opinions about something they care about, and clearly quite a few people care a lot about ASL.
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Jon Gautier

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That's correct! We are all entitled to voice our opinions--loudly, publicly and repeatedly. MMP has only itself to blame for keeping us in ignorance.
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pzjg1 wrote:
HuginnGreiling wrote:
Thanks for correcting the story. Looks like I heard it wrong. I've corrected my original post to point to yours here.

And thanks for turning up to put everyone's heads on straight around here. Best to you and everybody at MMP.


Thank you.

I am sorry for the mass of posts, I couldn't figure out how to easily put them all in one post...


Thank you for wading in here. Now I don't have to go into the CSW jungle to learn the truth. thumbsup (Seriously. I hate going there because I get sucked into acting like an even bigger ass than I am in real life & in real life I'm bad enough. )
 
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M Stumptner
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wargamer55 wrote:

While I appreciate Mr. Youse helping to set the record straight, I don't think it's fair to be too critical of people's opinions given the lack of transparency that usually accompanies business news. If you don't want people to be misinformed, you have to inform them.

Except the second post in this thread made it clear that people had been informed and that the information was out there. Everything else was speculation by people who couldn't bother to enter a URL and two mouseclicks to see for themselves.
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M St wrote:
wargamer55 wrote:

While I appreciate Mr. Youse helping to set the record straight, I don't think it's fair to be too critical of people's opinions given the lack of transparency that usually accompanies business news. If you don't want people to be misinformed, you have to inform them.

Except the second post in this thread made it clear that people had been informed and that the information was out there. Everything else was speculation by people who couldn't bother to enter a URL and two mouseclicks to see for themselves.


There's also some truth to the notion that businesses often decide to run themselves as businesses and not charities, meaning not everything they do is open for public discussion, or even community polling.
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pzjg1 wrote:
Hungadunga wrote:
WELL, I HEARD that he was tired of putting $$$ into ASL to keep it alive, while at the same time being regularly accosted by wargamers telling him that he was an asshole.


This could not be farther from the truth, do you -really- think 20k wargamers calling him an asshole is -any- worse than 2 million Yankee's fans?



To be fair though, I'm guessing he was probably being paid more per person calling him names when they were Yankee fans, unless MMP is really bringing in some good money.
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Seth Owen
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M St wrote:
wargamer55 wrote:

While I appreciate Mr. Youse helping to set the record straight, I don't think it's fair to be too critical of people's opinions given the lack of transparency that usually accompanies business news. If you don't want people to be misinformed, you have to inform them.

Except the second post in this thread made it clear that people had been informed and that the information was out there. Everything else was speculation by people who couldn't bother to enter a URL and two mouseclicks to see for themselves.


The second post:

Quote:
According to a post on CSW MMP is a separate company and is not affected. I hope that is true.


Really? That's informing people? Some cryptic reference to another site (not even a link) is supposed to make everyone shut up!?

The mere fact that MMP is a separate company does not necessarily mean it's immune to the tribulations that might be affecting Schilling or his other ventures. A lot would depend on the particulars of the case -- which you've now laid out. None of this was common knowledge in the hobby, as is evident form the mere existence of this thread.

As far as a company releasing information goes, it's certainly true that they don't have to release any information not required by law and (if public) certain financial regulations, but you can't have it both ways. If you don't want misinformed opinions bouncing around, you have to provide enough information so that people who care about the company and/or its products can have informed opinions. If you choose not to do so, then you can't very well complain about people having ill-informed opinions.

Let's stipulate that the reason why people have opinions at all about this is they happen to care a lot about your company's product. As the result of treating customers like mushrooms is that they might stop caring about your product, I don't think it's wise to get too testy about it. As Curt is by far the best-known public face of the company people are naturally going to wonder.
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wargamer55 wrote:
M St wrote:
wargamer55 wrote:

While I appreciate Mr. Youse helping to set the record straight, I don't think it's fair to be too critical of people's opinions given the lack of transparency that usually accompanies business news. If you don't want people to be misinformed, you have to inform them.

Except the second post in this thread made it clear that people had been informed and that the information was out there. Everything else was speculation by people who couldn't bother to enter a URL and two mouseclicks to see for themselves.


The second post:

Quote:
According to a post on CSW MMP is a separate company and is not affected. I hope that is true.


Really? That's informing people? Some cryptic reference to another site (not even a link) is supposed to make everyone shut up!?
As that cryptic second poster, I can only apologize for my poor memory keeping me from remembering the post number from CSW and that my internet search skills are no better than yours so I was unable to find the post myself, despite providing sufficient clues.

I also note that there have been several following posts by an official MMP official stating pretty much what was in the cryptic post of mine in a less cryptic manner without requiring any linking to obscure websites that nobody ever visits.

wargamer55 wrote:
The mere fact that MMP is a separate company does not necessarily mean it's immune to the tribulations that might be affecting Schilling or his other ventures. A lot would depend on the particulars of the case -- which you've now laid out. None of this was common knowledge in the hobby, as is evident form the mere existence of this thread.
Which puts everybody in the same position since nobody on "this side" of the problem knows whether anybody on "that side" of the problem is going to sue MMP for the "missing money" and nobody knows how the judge will rule since no judge has been appointed for a case that may not even be filed.

Hopefully I am done being cryptic for today. And tomorrow and all my remaining tomorrows.whistle
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MeGusta wrote:
You'd think that someone from MMP would post here letting gamers know that everything is okay at MMP and it's safe to pre-order games. The fact that MMP is ignoring this (definitely smaller) chunk of their customers goes to show you how out of touch they are.


Did you just skip page 3 of this thread? About half the 3rd page of this thread was by Brian (the main gaming voice) of MMP.
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MeGusta wrote:
You'd think that someone from MMP would post here letting gamers know that everything is okay at MMP and it's safe to pre-order games. The fact that MMP is ignoring this (definitely smaller) chunk of their customers goes to show you how out of touch they are.


So ten posts after Brian Youse from MMP responded to the story, somebody comes in and says somebody from MMP should come in and respond to the story.

And it's not people's fault that rumors get started. . .why?????
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Quote:
chunk of their customers goes to show you how out of touch they are.


Someone is certainly out of touch.

I can only say that it seems business as usual from my perspective as a designer/developer that works with MMP. I haven't heard anything other than these public posts in my work with MMP.
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wargamer55 wrote:
M St wrote:
wargamer55 wrote:

While I appreciate Mr. Youse helping to set the record straight, I don't think it's fair to be too critical of people's opinions given the lack of transparency that usually accompanies business news. If you don't want people to be misinformed, you have to inform them.

Except the second post in this thread made it clear that people had been informed and that the information was out there. Everything else was speculation by people who couldn't bother to enter a URL and two mouseclicks to see for themselves.


The second post:

Quote:
According to a post on CSW MMP is a separate company and is not affected. I hope that is true.


Really? That's informing people? Some cryptic reference to another site (not even a link) is supposed to make everyone shut up!?

Actually, check it out would be the normal reaction.

Quote:
The mere fact that MMP is a separate company does not necessarily mean it's immune to the tribulations that might be affecting Schilling or his other ventures.

No, the fact that it was stated it's not affected means it's not affected.
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