Posted by: markfender | September 9, 2015

Ryan Dancey Destroyed Another Game

Apparently I am the internet’s source for Ryan Dancey hate. Far be it from me to deny my audience.

xXAoM16According to the latest update, Pathfinder Online is dying. This should surprise no one, since everything about that game (except the way Paizo distanced themselves) was doomed to failure. $5000 for an inn? Using nothing but middleware tools? Not separating PvP and PvE? These are all bad ideas that don’t make sense to any rational human who’s studied the industry, even from the sidelines. Goblinworks has been reduced to a skeleton crew that are “still hard at work” on the game. Except that I note that not one of the people still on staff is a programmer. Seems like a bit of an oversight…

So, what happened? Easy. Ryan Dancey happened. The “Steve Jobs of MMOs” (a self-appointed title that makes sense only if by that he means “was fired from his own company”) managed to convince a lot of people who should be smarter that his ’90s idea of what an MMO should be would be viable in today’s marketplace. He felt no compunction about charging as much as possible for whatever the market would bear. He felt no moral qualms at using the loyalty Paizo built up by edition warring and turning it into vaporware.

He left Goblinworks for “personal reasons.” Now, if those are some legit personal reasons, then I hope everything works out okay (I’m not a monster. I don’t want him dead…just not in my hobby). But it really just sounds like he wants to be able to say “I left before it failed” with the implication that it failed because he wasn’t there.

So, another idea Dancey had was failed. That’s sad and annoying, but not really surprising. What really annoys me about this whole thing is that this won’t stop him. Some other game company is going to hire him. He’s going to have some ideas that sound really good to whoever’s in charge of that company and, like clockwork, those ideas are going to fail again. Because Ryan Dancey is poison to the gaming industry. Please stop hiring him. The margins are too small in gaming to survive his ideas. Make him go work in manufacturing or something, where the margins are thicker and can take a few failures. Let him innovate to his heart’s content in the dress shoe field. Just keep him away from my dice.




  1. It seems like Ryan is mostly a self promoter. In the past, when he was bad mouthing a part of the industry, it was usually timed with a job change – he was presenting himself as ahead of the curve and trying to make that happen by trash talking sectors he was no longer involved in.

    I never got involved in the mmo as I feared is was too little, too late to make enough of a splash to succeed in a crowded field. But it did succeed in keeping Ryan employed for a few years.

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