Thank you Games Workshop

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As I stated in my earlier posting, I intend to spend a great deal of time and effort over the next few weeks/months thanking the people and companies that I’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years.  The first of these posts is to a collection of individuals and the company that they are part of that has played a very important role in my life.  So, without further ado, let the games begin.

Over the past fifteen years I’ve been fortunate to work with some great partners whether it is in terms of licensing IP, technology or on joint ventures.  Without taking anything away from any of them, I really have to give a special thanks to the men and women at Games Workshop.

From the day we first met many years ago, they have been nothing but open, honest and direct with me in terms of every aspect of our dealings.  We started off first as friendly competitors, transitioned to friends and then to true partners.  They trusted Mythic and I with one of their most prized possessions and we did everything we could to deliver on a private and personal promise I made them 4 years ago.  I hope that they are happy with the results and everything that Mythic and I have done for them up to now and I hope, and expect, that they will be happy with the work being done going forward even though I am no longer at Mythic.

I will never forget the kindness that they showed my family and I, when we all came for a visit a few years ago.  They were gracious, accommodating and treated us as long-lost cousins.  My son became a lifetime GW convert on that day and he stills talks about his visit to Nottingham in a manner that is a cross between adoration and hero worship.  For that kindness, as well as the trust they showed in me personally, they have my undying gratitude.

My brainstorming sessions/discussions with Allen (please forgive me for introducing you to my favorite vice, Cherry Twizzlers), Rick, Erik, Andy, etc. were one of the joys and highlights of my career.  You all were generous with the license, open to suggestions, forthcoming with your own thoughts/input and you participated heavily in the early coalescing of the ideas that became the game vision document (not a game design document as that is an Orc of different color) I wrote for Warhammer.  Whether it was in a conference room, Bugman’s Bar (I really felt at home there) or at dinner, I felt privileged to be treated as more than a licensee.  I enjoyed my times in England more than anywhere else I’ve been in the world so far and Nottingham will always occupy a special place in my and my family’s heart.  I’ve always felt at home in England and your efforts, kindness and generosity of spirit and deeds made me feel even more welcome.

So, a special thanks to them and to everyone that I met and that I was privileged enough to work with over this time.  I hope this will not be the last time we get together and to Tom, Mark, Andy, Rick, Allen, Erik, Robin, Hugo, Jo and everyone else that I was so fortunate to get to meet and to know over the years as well as to all the people that make GW what it was, is and will be, thank you so very much.

With my deepest respects and admiration,

Mark

All Things Must Come to an End

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After 15 years of leading Mythic Entertainment, my time with the studio (and EA of course) I co-founded with Rob Denton has come to an end.  Early in May, Electronic Arts let me know that they wanted to make some changes within the Games Label and as a result of those changes I have been out of the office (and out of touch with the team, game, etc.) since that day.  So, please accept my apologies if you have tried to reach me over the last couple of months but please know I wasn’t ignoring you. Well, unless you were a gold seller making me an offer I couldn’t refuse in which case my email automatically deletes your message (would be nice if it could do that wouldn’t it?).

To describe these past two months as difficult would be a great understatement as change is almost never easy.  I have helped shepherd Mythic through good times and bad, through near bankruptcy and through our many successes.  During my tenure there my duties have run the gamut from being CEO/GM to doing some of our legal work to acting as lead designer and even using my personal credit cards/credit to pay for the phones we used when we launched DAoC back in 2001.  While I will miss doing those things (well, some of them anyway) for the studio, what I will really miss are the people at Mythic.  While some of the team has changed over the years, we have always had a great team at Mythic and seeing, talking, protecting and sharing with that team is what I will both treasure and miss the most.  Mythic is, as always, more than simply the senior leadership there, it is the programmers, artists, designers, marketing, IT, operations, facilities, finance, community management, HR, customer service, quality assurance, etc. who make Mythic what is was and is today.  It is those people, most of whom whose efforts aren’t usually publicly recognized, that deserve so much credit for the success of DAoC and Warhammer.  I wish that team nothing but the best of fortune going forward as my respect and love for them runs deep and I hope, is well known by them.  I will never forget the effort made by those teammates during both the development of DAoC and Warhammer.  Whether it was the extra late night and/or weekend efforts or simply the passion so many of you showed for our games, your level of commitment is something I will never forget.  I will have a lot more to say about this over the next few weeks and I will try, and I’m sure fail, to adequately express my thanks and deepest gratitude to many of the team members. While I always tried to show my gratitude either through the tools available to me as CEO of Mythic or GM of EA Mythic as well as with some personal touches, I will never be able to thank you enough.

Over the next few weeks I will be using this blog to thank certain people and companies for their efforts over the years.  There will be a lot of praise, a couple of mea culpas (I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t deliver some of those) and maybe a couple of surprise shout outs.  So, I expect this space to be pretty busy for a while.  However, if you are looking or expecting me to damn EA or anyone there, you will be sorely disappointed.  Over my 23 years of making games professionally I have refrained from attacking the competition, former and/or current partners, other game developers, etc. except on a few very rare instances.  I have no intention of breaking with tradition at the present time and I hope my track record in this regard remains unchanged for the rest of my career.  During my time at EA I was privileged to get to know a number of very fine professionals and I have some fond memories of working with them.  As always EA has my thanks for their interest in acquiring Mythic and in supporting the development of Warhammer.

For those looking to contact me, the best way to reach me currently is through Facebook.  So, friend me there but if I don’t know your name, please enclose some details in your friend request as a courtesy.

Mark