I got a little shock today from Twitter. Craig Zinkievich, the Executive Producer and a seven year veteran of Cryptic Studio, is leaving. In the full announcement, Craig basically says he’s taking the summer off to spend time with his family; although, he is planning to continue playing the game (I look forward to him posting gripes at the devs).
I was completely caught off-guard by Zinc leaving, and initially very concerned at what his departure might hint about the game’s future. Unlike with Roper’s management of Champions, overall I’ve been very happy with Zinc’s tenure as EP. Still, that initial fear reaction was just my normal reaction to change. After reading the announcement twice and heading over to the forum thread, I was much less concerned.
Daniel Stahl, formerly a Producer on the game, is taking over for Craig and has brand new Twitter account, Cryptic_dStahl, if you’re interested in following him. Daniel is very active on the forums and well respected by the community, at least for now. MMO forum communities being what they are, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
If you want an idea of what kind of person is taking over management of the game, just read Stahl’s awesome response in the forum thread about Zinc leaving. There’s also a good follow up by Zinc to some of the comments in the thread, and an additional post by Daniel to address some of the conspiracy theorists. My cynical side suggests that all of this is exactly what Cryptic would post, but given the number of dev posts I’ve seen by Cryptic staff I don’t think that’s true.
Of course how this will actually affect the game is any one’s guess, we’ll just have to wait and see.