Since I came onboard at Flying Lab last year the company has always been agonizingly close to securing a publishing deal for Pirates of the Burning Sea. When I was hired, the release date was June (as in, now). Several times we were on the verge of signing a deal and then there’d be some issue or other. Well, today a press release has finally gone out. Pirates of the Burning Sea will be published by SOE (Sony Online Entertainment). You can read the PR here:
It’s a good deal for Flying Lab. The company gets to control the game itself, the community, customer support, and the servers, while SOE handles billing, marketing, retail distribution, and localization. Most importantly Flying Lab retains ownership of the game. This is way better than a lot of the deals the company has been offered. Many MMO fans, of course, do not have kindly feelings towards SOE so naturally the internet has been ablaze all day. There are many differences between the tabletop gaming industry and the computer game industry, but in this way they are exactly the same. Gamers will be gamers I guess. I can say that my boss Rusty is completely serious when he asserts the following: “If Pirates isn’t good, if you don’t like how the game is designed, or how the servers are operated, or how we interact with our community, it’ll be our fault, not SOE’s. We own the game and the buck stops here.”
SOE needs a hit MMO and Flying Lab needs to get boxes onto retail shelves. Time to hoist the black flag of commerce.