A History of MEO

by Darius Kazemi on June 3, 2007

in know_your_history

Joe Ludwig just wrapped up a three-part series of articles about the time he spent working on Middle Earth Online for Sierra back in ’98/’99. This is the game that was to eventually become Lord of the Rings Online, which I worked on at Turbine. However, the Sierra game and the Turbine game have no common code base or anything like that–development was effectively rebooted when Turbine got a hold of the license.

Anyway, the tale of MEO as developed by Sierra is sort of an industry legend as far as dysfunction is concerned. Joe tells some stories about it from his point of view, and I highly recommend that you read it if you care at all about the game industry:

Part 1 – Wherein half the team is fired and the rest relocated.
Part 2 – Wherein there is much mismanagement, and cancellation.
Part 3 – Wherein deep dark secrets are revealed, well after the fact.

As a side note, Joe’s working on an MMO called Pirates of the Burning Sea, which is shaping up to be really awesome. You should check it out.

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