Roper Leaving Cryptic

So this little bit of news just came across my Twitter feed: Bill Roper is leaving Cryptic (or the Champions version). It was only a few weeks ago that Craig Zinkievich resigned as well. Does this mean bad things for Cryptic?

Of course there’s a lot of speculation about an exodus of people from Cryptic, and what it might mean for the company’s future. So far, I think all of the personnel changes have been very positive. I’ve been much happier with Champions since Shannon took over, and while I was happy with Zinc’s tenure at STO, I’ve been even more impressed with Stahl.

Like anything that happens within a private company, we’ll probably never know for sure. Personally, I’m much less concerned by this than I was by Zinc’s departure. First, Roper left his position as Executive Producer of Champions back in March and Shannon Posniewski has (for whatever reason) done a much improved job. Second, Bill has been a lightning rod for bad press since he started as Cryptic. A lot of that is fallout from the failure of Flagship Studios, but the launch day nerf and Vibora Bay announcement also contributed a lot of bad PR. So, while his departure may impact whatever Cryptic has in development, I don’t see it having any impact on their released games. Deserved or not, Roper’s name comes with a lot of baggage attached, and it can only help Cryptic not to have to deal with that anymore.

10 Comments

  1. AnjinNo Gravatar says:

    Wow. Lightning rod is certainly the right word for this tenure at Cryptic. A lot of how Champions is going now was set in place by Bill Roper, but Poz and Co. have seen that vision to fruition quite well.

    I hope he’s on to better things.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      His announcement read like he was planning on starting a new business. I hope I works out for him, but he’s going to face an uphill battle with players.

  2. rowanNo Gravatar says:

    I will be interested to see how this develops.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      You mean develops as in additional turnover or develops as in Roper’s impact on Cryptic’s games?

      For the first, I think that’s it for the high-level turnover. After all both Executive Producer roles have already changed, so really Jack Emmert is the only remaining person with a lot of visibility and I don’t see him stepping down or leaving. If he were to leave though, I think that would hint at some major problems withing Cryptic or in the Cryptic-Atari relationship.

      On the second, I don’t think Roper had much impact on Cryptic’s games. The major decisions about subscription and cash shop, I imagine were a combination of Emmert and Atari. Possibly the launch day nerf for Champions was Roper’s decision, though, but I consider that more of an operations thing than a design one.

  3. Oh wow? Another big name leaves Cryptic? I agree it could mean anything and that it might not necessarily mean trouble brewing over there, but you gotta admit it doesn’t sound good.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      I think Zinc leaving was a bigger deal, and I’m not even sure what Roper has actually been doing at the company since handing CO over to Poz.

      • That’s good to know. I don’t know too much about the peeps at Cryptic, just know who the big players are because I hear about them a lot. And I’ve noticed Roper is the subject of a lot of QQ. 😛

        • BrianNo Gravatar says:

          In a nutshell, that QQ is why I think this was a good thing for both Cryptic and the game. While I don’t have anything personal against Bill, the amount of drama he draws just doesn’t balance against what he contributes to the games.

  4. Daniel Stahl’s promotion appears to be a really positive change. From his activity on the official forums, it looks like he really understands what improvements should come to STO, and he’s been very forthcoming with information about the present and coming changes.

    I get the sense that Season Two’s bugged launched (I only experienced the anomaly bug, so it wasn’t that bad for me) disappointed him, and under him it seems Cryptic’s STO team is dedicating itself to a slower, doing-it-right-the-first-time approach.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      I totally agree. I couldn’t be more impressed with the level of communication Stahl has maintained, and based on his postings, the direction he wants to take the game sounds excellent, for instance sector space and exploration changes.