Game talkMoving on from Playdom/Disney

 Posted by (Visited 8514 times)  Game talk
Apr 022013
 

015-shrunkAs of today, I am an unemployed game developer!

It was in the summer of 2006 that I founded Metaplace in a spare bedroom. By 2007, we had built an amazing, deeply involved community, and a powerful platform. By 2009, we had failed to make money at it and were forced to shut it down. Since then I’ve been privileged to see several of the folks from that community go on to join the industry and do great work.

We switched to social games. In the space of six months, we launched three of them. I still get emails asking for the return of My Vineyard. We introduced some real innovations to Facebook gaming, and were quickly acquired.

Then came two and a half years with Playdom and Disney. So much learning! Amazing views into metrics and science and the mass market from Playdom. That incredible culture of creativity and deep commitment to values at Disney. I held a frame from Steamboat Willie in my hands. I watched everyday people who never thought of themselves as gamers wake up to the power of games. And above all, I worked with many wonderful people.

Now it feels like time to apply the things I learned.

So, I am off on my own!

What’s next?

  • No, I am not doing a Kickstarter. I get asked about it about once a week. I suspect that those of you who want this all want me to make a worldy MMO. I may yet make one of those in the future, but I don’t think that you can raise enough money on Kickstarter to do it justice.
  • I’m available for consulting, if you can afford my soon-to-be-exorbitant rates. :)
  • I suspect I will be able to do a bit more writing and speaking than I have been doing. I look forward to catching up with all the stuff going on in the academic scene…
  • I don’t have a next job lined up yet. I am, as they say, exploring opportunities. I’ve talked with a few folks, and now that this is public, expect to talk to more. But…

Most likely, I will simply start making games. Lots and lots of games. Fun ones. About all sorts of things. I want to get my hands dirty. I want to explore ideas. It is a crazy exciting time in the industry right now, and I came away from GDC inspired.

I’ll keep you posted. Expect the blog to get a bit more active.

PS, press folks, you should direct any questions about my Disney tenure and departure to Brian Nelson over in the PR dept.

Image is by the amazing Bud Coy, from the farewell card from the San Diego team. You guys rock.

  177 Responses to “Moving on from Playdom/Disney”

  1. Best of luck to you, Raph.

    As I said on twitter, I am sure whatever project you take on next will be something cool and interesting.

    The world needs a good worldy MMO. I hope you get another chance to make one someday (sooner the better).

  2. Congrats!

  3. That is fantastic Raph, congratulations! Legions of people will be watching. But no pressure, really! :)

  4. Good Luck! :) if your prices are on par with volunteer prices for consulting it would be great to talk further! I would guess they won’t be though :( lol

  5. Yeah, Kickstarter is actually a bad model for something like a worldy MMO. I do hope you take another shot at doing one at some point.

    One thing you might consider is doing what Danc has been up to: reinventing each game genre and putting your own spin on it. That would be small and manageable, but still interesting and lots of theory fodder.

    (Also, you should use G+ more.)

  6. Best of luck to you, Raph. Looking forward to seeing where this fork in the road leads you (and those of us hovering over your right shoulder).

  7. […] On his personal blog, Raph Koster announced that he has left Disney to become an unemployed game developer. The big question is, of course, what’s next for the driving force behind Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. The answer is… he doesn’t know. […]

  8. Best of luck Raph! I know good things are in your future

  9. Can you turn Metaplace back on?

    Or what about that Island game? Did you sell that one or do you still own it?

    It would be good to write another book with broader themes.

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

  10. […] On his personal blog, Raph Koster announced that he has left Disney to become an unemployed game developer. The big […]

  11. […] On his personal blog, Raph Koster announced that he has left Disney to become an unemployed game developer. The big question is, of course, what’s next for the driving force behind Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. The answer is… he doesn’t know. […]

  12. […] On his personal blog, Raph Koster announced that he has left Disney to become an unemployed game developer. The big question is, of course, what’s next for the driving force behind Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. The answer is… he doesn’t know. […]

  13. […] Koster ha anunciado su marcha de Disney en su blog personal, remarcando que ahora es un “desarrollador de videojuegos en paro“. Sus […]

  14. […] On his personal blog, Raph Koster announced that he has left Disney to become an unemployed game developer. The big question is, of course, what’s next for the driving force behind Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. The answer is… he doesn’t know. […]

  15. Here’s to opportunity. May fortune always give the right tools to blaze your own trail.

  16. Just remember what I said.

  17. woo hoo! as they say, do what you love, man!

    m3mnoch.

  18. I think for Kickstarter, it’s a great way to prove interest and raise starting capitol in order to negotiate with outside investors to get even more money. I’m pretty sure the big kickstarters we’ve been hearing about have more than the two, three, four and five milion they’re showing.

    Anyways it’ll be nice to see your blog get more active. I’ve been watching you for a long time but it seems like you’ve barely posted anything the last few months. You’re an interesting guy! I want you to say more things for me to read. ^.^

  19. I know where you can get some cheap labor.

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