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.

Zinc’s Leaving
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5 thoughts on “Zinc’s Leaving

  • July 1, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Interesting. My paranoia antennae are definitely twitching, but it seems best to take everyone at their word for the time being.

  • July 2, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Yeah, it was quite a shock for me to hear about it too. When I think Zinc I immediately think Cryptic since he’s made quite a name for himself over there.

  • July 2, 2010 at 6:44 am

    It still does not go together for me, Kae. Stahl says he was not fired/forced out or whatever. Zinc was well respected and says he enjoyed his work and all that and then… “Two and a half years on Star Trek Online, seven years at Cryptic Studios … and it’s time for me to move on.”

    This simply does not go together. You would also drop a very good job in an economic depression especially if you have wife and kids, would you? He is probably not exactly poor, but still it makes me wonder.

    • July 2, 2010 at 8:21 am

      Sounded a lot like burnout to me. Gaming industry hours are pretty nuts, and often run through the weekend. Especially if his kids are young, I can easily see Zinc realizing he needs to take some months off now and spend some time with them. Still, it’s hard to ever know what is really behind these decisions without actually knowing the people involved.

      The real proof will be seeing what he does in the coming months. Either way, I think Stahl will do just as well as EP.

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