The Turbine layoffs have confused me
I can’t always make sense of business decisions when it comes to layoffs and the recent layoffs from Turbine are confusing. For me. As a player I want to know we’re going to get to Mordor, see the ring as it falls into the fires of Mount Doom. I want to see Sam back in The Shire dancing with Rosie Cotton. And I want to know this will happen very much. I’m more than that, though, I’m not just a player. I consider myself to be part of the LotRO/Turbine family. I don’t think ‘the family’ consists of just other gamers but also the developers, designers, artists, writers … those who have worked so tirelessly and poured so much of themselves into their work. We wouldn’t have LotRO without them and they wouldn’t have the game without us. I’m not defining family by my last statement, just expounding on the nature of the relationship. Because it is a relationship.
So many +names are gone and it’s shocking. These folks put so much love, frustration, endless hours into shaping Middle Earth into a piece of my heart. It’s not just a game to me like Binding of Isaac, for instance, is. I can’t talk about it without emotions. Big feels, really, both good and bad, but feelings none-the-less. The feels are huge right now. There’s a sense of loss and sadness that is running deep and wide in my heart. I went to bed last night wishing that instead of being escorted out by security (I don’t know that that’s how it happened, just a stereo-typical example) these wonderful people were giving a fanfare befitting a celebrated Hobbit! With PIE! LOTS OF PIE!
It’s made me think of all the times I could have taken just a moment out of my day to say thanks for the beautiful artwork in the scenery that causes me to forget all about the orc I was looking to kill. Thanks for the sound of Hobbits laughing that made my night. Thanks for Carn Dum, a dungeon I’ve spent countless hours in and that’s given me SO MANY MEMORIES! Thanks for Weathertop, an iconic location that’s so huge in my heart both for the story, the look and a place where we players throw so many events. Thanks for making my Hobbit not so fat and fixing her skinny arms. Thanks for the festivals (I used to be a HUGE festival goer!) and the crazy frustrating fun that was the hedge maze. Thanks for Bree’s new look and for causing me to, once again, marvel at my surroundings. Thanks for crafting such a wonderful and emotional story that was Amarthiel and Laerdan’s final moments together. Thank you for making LotRO so much more than just another game.
I don’t do that much, though, say thanks. I mean it and mean it completely, but I tend to do one more quest or kill another mob rather than take a few to tell them how much I’m enjoying the game they’ve created. I need to work on that! I hope those who’ve been laid off not only find work fast but get to continue doing what they love. You +folks will always have a place in my heart.
Hearing about these layoffs, especially when it’s names we’ve seen for so many years, it feels like Weathertop was yanked from the landscape. It just feels huge. I really want Turbine to address our concerns about the future of the game. Not saying anything, which is their right … I know, makes all the assumptions sound louder. Is the road map for 2014 still a go? I don’t know how all of this works and will admit, after the shock wore off that was the first thing I wondered. What does this mean for LotRO? Are we still going to Mordor? If nothing else, address the maintenance-mode comments. Please. Sometimes speculation is a good thing but in this case, it’s a little worrisome.