Vanguard: Saga of Heroes producer and Sigil CEO Brad McQuaid has revealed via a forum post that the company and publisher Sony Online Entertainment are currently in discussions about the developer's future, including a possible acquisition.
Sony Online has released an official statement mentioning only that the publisher and operator is "in discussions with Sigil regarding the future of Vanguard and Sigil Games in Carlsbad."
McQuaid himself is currently only able to add that "it means that right now Vanguard," Sigil's original fantasy MMO released in January of this year, "is doing decently but not as well as we hope," and that "SOE is going to be getting more involved with Sigil and Vanguard - our relationship is going to become even tighter - much tighter," so that the game can "both continue to be worked on and improved and debugged and optimized."
In his lengthy forum post, McQuaid points to a number of factors that are currently holding Vanguard back from mass adoption, including misguided marketing that the game requires as much team dedication and time as Everquest.
Technical reasons, too, he adds, are keeping the game from more players, relenting that "for a variety of reasons and mistakes on our part that I won't get into right now, Vanguard was released with system spec requirements that were too high for January 2007," and that only time, along with a few performance related tweaks, would make that transition more manageable.
According to McQuaid, what the game is in need of is a re-launch, with "targeted marketing campaigns, an all-around successful move by gamers to the next generation of hardware, continued good word of mouth ‘viral' marketing by those who are already playing, enjoying, and re-subscribing," and that all of that "could and should ramp up by the end of the year."
That can only happen, he says, with a "funded and supported Sigil and a well marketed Vanguard" -- something that can only occur with tighter integration with Sony Online, though both parties are currently stopping short of a full out acquisition announcement, or any changes in staff and management.
More on the discussions or formal announcements are expected from the parties soon.