no launch in June, but beta will be expanded

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no launch in June, but beta will be expanded

Postby Sentenza on Tue May 22, 2007 10:24 am

The Second Sun @ Pirates otBS
won't launch in June
however beta is announced to be expanded end of june

05.18.07Contract status, and steady on course

I realize the subject of when we’re shipping is a hot topic for the community. As you may expect, it’s a hot topic for us as well. When I talked about the distribution issues earlier, I had expected that the issue would be closed by now and that we’d have announced the new date. Needless to say, this hasn’t happened. That’s not to say that we haven’t made progress (a first draft of the contract was delivered), but it’s still not done.

As anyone who’s been through this process can tell you, there are always language issues, control issues, and even when everyone’s largely in sync, these things can take a long time (as they have). No matter how much you (and I!!!) wish it, there’s no “just get it done”. There’s working through the issues, clearing up confusion, and making sure everyone’s on the same page.

Part of what has taken so long is that I’m 100% dedicated to maintaining control of the game. That’s a very unique position in this industry, and honestly, I don’t think a contract like this has ever been done, so there’s a lot of education that has to occur. And while I know that the length of time is frustrating to our fans, Pirates is a long-term project for us. We have a lot of long-range plans for the game after we launch and we intend to be working on it for quite a few years. So I’m not going to rush a contract in order to “get it done” – it has to be done right.

I wish I could say more, but NDAs with other companies restrict what I can talk about. I will say that I’m talking with good people with good intentions, and we’re working through things.

What I can talk about is June. Clearly, we’ve been hoping to announce the new date along with a lot of other concrete information and new partnerships that we’ve been developing. A lot of these will be very exciting to you (especially our European friends), and I’m looking forward to talking about it. But I don’t want to leave you hanging while we continue with the contract process. If I knew what I know now, I’d have done this earlier, but better now than later.

So here it is plain: We won’t be shipping in June.

However, we will be expanding the beta dramatically at the end of June. This coincides with us finally having the original version of the game that we expected to ship for R1. It’s a massive improvement over what’s in the beta now, with a lot of moving pieces all finally coming together. We’ll introduce it to our current beta folks, and assuming that goes well, we’ll start the process of inviting people in. Lots of people. This isn’t an open beta -- we view that as entirely a marketing device and we still have serious, large-scale testing to do of the economy, the Conquest system, and other features. But it is a huge expansion of our beta population. Currently, to get into the beta, you have to either be crazy lucky or have a beta key. Now your odds will get a lot more reasonable.

And with any delay, it’s just that much more time for bug fixing, performance enhancements, and a small, elite group of new features. When the beta testers talk, we listen, and we have been developing a list of the most important things we can do to improve the game. While we don’t want to get into feature creep for R1, these are features which are small on work (a day or two) and big on fun. We’re using the extra time as efficiently as possible. The time we’re looking at isn’t that long, and we don’t want to get caught halfway through a big feature when we’re ready to ship.

We’re really looking forward to delivering the first version of Pirates to you. This period of little information has been tough on you, and tough on us. What makes it easier for us is seeing how fast the game is moving now. Not even the beta testers know everything that’s coming to them. I know it’s been quite a while, but I think you’ll find that it’s worth the wait.

Sentenza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rate TSS at WAR!

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