March 13, 2004 at 2:45 pm #24538
What is Sierra doing for there 25 Aniversery?
March 14, 2004 at 8:59 am #24539
(re: 25 Aniversery) What is Sierra doing for there 25 Aniversery?
To be honest, I’m not sure there is a Sierra anymore. It has been a while since I’ve heard ANYONE say “I work for Sierra.” Sad…. I think Sierra today is nothing more than a brandname used by VU Games for some of their products. Hopefully I’m wrong in this, but if there really were a Sierra, wouldn’t you expect that at least one message would have been posted here by some Sierra employee?
March 14, 2004 at 10:17 am #24540
(re: 25 Aniversery) Ideally they’d release the LSL: Ultimate Pleasure Pack again so that I wouldn’t have to spend $200 on it.
It would be really nice if they did release complete sets of all the major series though.
March 15, 2004 at 5:12 am #24541
(re: re: 25 Aniversery)
Must be making you mad Ken, to see the company you worked so hard for be turned into the Sierra it is today… I know it’s making me mad! I don’t think they even realise Sierra is turning 25!
March 15, 2004 at 2:51 pm #24542
(re: re: re: 25 Aniversery) I sent this e-mail to the sierra customer service:
Dear Sir, Madame
Congratulations with your 25th anniversary! I’m playing your games for 15 years now.
And this is the reply:
Response from Sierra Technical Support:
Glad you are still enjoying the progams. We are currently working on the latest version and you can read more about it at sierra.com.
VU Games Email Support
A new question is on what are they currently working on?
March 15, 2004 at 4:32 pm #24543
(re: re: re: 25 Aniversery) Must be making you mad Ken, to see the company you worked so hard for be turned into the Sierra it is today… I know it’s making me mad! I don’t think they even realise Sierra is turning 25!
Here’s a story I may have already told on this board (hopefully not — I hate to bore people).
About three years ago, I went through the same process as I am now — I contacted the reigning hauncho at Sierra to ask if I could help. I had heard that things were going sideways, and wanted to help get the company on track. He was polite but clearly not interested.
That didn’t bother me – but, what did is that as we were walking to the elevator, after a nice lunch, he mentioned that his predecessor (or, him – I don’t remember which) had hired a consulting firm to help them decide what had gone wrong at Sierra. For those who have never hired consultants, here’s what happens: you give them $100-300,000 and they start a bunch of smart college graduates studying your business – and, then give you back a thick book telling you how to run your business better.
Here’s what angered and humiliated me: Sierra grew 30 to 50% every year for nearly 20 years under my leadership. I made more than my fair share of mistakes, but we always made money — typically bringing 20% or so to the bottom line. So – the pattern is that the company grew consistently and profitably for 18 years – then started shrinking and losing money during the years after the sale.
At the time, I lived about two miles from the corporate offices. Do you think the fancy, suit-wearing, high-priced, college-educated researchers thought to invest a dime in calling me to ask what changed. Nope. Could I have made a difference? Got me, I’d like to think so. I would have been happy to try, and how much worse could I have done?
March 16, 2004 at 10:00 am #24544
(re: re: re: re: 25 Aniversery) Don’t worry I never get bored hearing things about Sierra =). I’m also studying to be an IT consultant and if they’d hired me you know how thick my researchbook would have been hehehe. I don’t know what’s up today with big companies buying smaller companies. I know Sierra did but the smaller companies didn’t suffer from the takeover (or did they?). Samething happened with Microsoft buying Access Software. AS made some amazing games in the old days! Anyone remember Crime Wave. First game I played on my trusty old XT that supported 256 Color MCGA graphics and digitised music and voice effects! Those guys were brilliant…
Anyway I worked at a store called cd-rom land (I got the job because of my gaming knowledge) to make some extra money and after a year we were sold and taken over by some bigger store. 2 weeks later they opened two new cd-rom land stores in our vicinity with some new employees (sp?). Every thursday we had a meeting with all the personnel and this time with the personnel from all 3 stores. After the meeting we invited everybody to have some drinks with me and my colleagues. We just wanted to make some new friends. Of the 23 only 4 went with us… Our other colleagues didn’t feel like coming with us because they thought we sucked (so our boss told us). The 2 new stores were bigger, better looking and more expensive than our “old” store. We weren’t professional enough (we gave our customers walkthru’s for games for free and sometimes they could even call us at home if they were stuck) and our store would never make more money than theirs. So you can guess what happened… After 3 years the 2 new stores have been closed and we are the only store left! It’s not just the name of the business you buy that makes it great, it’s the people that work there that make it great! We just loved working there, we played games when we weren’t too busy, we talked about games, we took game stuff home (man those 3 meter posters rocked! 😉 ) we even held LAN party’s there. Some of my colleagues even stopped by at the store just to chat and they didn’t even have to work! I made some very good friends working there… Anyway like I said it’s the people that make it great not just the name of the company; although I do have to admit I bought some games I never heard of just because it had Sierra on the box. e.g. Shivers and Mission Force Cyberstorm. Fortunately I was never disappointed… Can’t say the same now…….
March 16, 2004 at 7:36 pm #24545
(re: re: re: re: 25 Aniversery)
100% in agreement: that’s what happens 95% with consultants, especially big ones and especially when they do boast the “I can tell you what to do” mood, forgetting about the history of the Company and above all who made the history real… sic.
I jump to another topic: Ken, don’t you think that nowadays business is running too fast, with all these two years in a company managers who run business for immediate returns without having the needed and nurtured experience (and often using the type of consultants you mentioned part to cover for the lack and part as a cover for their back) ?
March 17, 2004 at 8:47 am #24546
(re: re: re: re: re: 25 Aniversery)
I always found it really really that big companies say that there isn’t a desire for adventure gaming (games not focused on combat but instead focused in the journey between point A & B), but they stopped making them THEN said that there wasn’t a desire. 🙂 But then agin, the 13 year old pimple face kids have spoken (and counter strike is what they said)
You know Ken, I read that power point pres you make in 2001 (about the success of sierra on-line) and agree with you. 🙂 Most companies today don’t experiment (Nintendo did good with their latest Zelda & Metriod for Gamecube. VERY creative!). They would be more suscessful if they did!
I wish I had money. I tried to convince a couple friends of mine to start a game company (well, just a company at first), one of them said yes, but the other one only wanted to program utility applications, not entertainment. 🙁 Oh well. We could of been the next sierra. 🙂