Some of you may know this, but the announcement that SWTOR is going free to play was made by Jeff Hickman. At the same time we found out that Jeff Hickman took Rich Vogel’s place as Executive Producer of SWTOR. Let me explain something. Rich Vogel was the game. That is how they presented the man at the fansite summit. Jeff Hickam was presented at the same summit as the guy that will be in charge of the game operating smoothly, because of his previous experience with Warhammer Online launch and operation (his title was “Executive Producer of Live Services”). He was basically in charge of the technical side of things and making sure the game launches smooth and operates smooth. Whether he is the one responsible for the decision to have so many servers at launch with such low pop limit is unknown.
What else you need to know about him is that Jeff Hickman is famous for being the Executive producer of another EA operated MMORPG title – Warhammer Online. Yes, that is the same man that was in charge of another biggest failure in the history of MMOs. He was there for WAR launch, operation and ultimate failure. He is the only person that survived through the cuts in the upper management and was later moved from Mythic to Bioware, Austin.
I made the photoshop of Jeff Hickman as Palpatine a little over a year ago. Right after I came back from the fansite summit where they introduced Jeff Hickman for the first time. I did that after I did some research about the man and came across the now famous EA Louse insider blog post. EA Louse was this disgruntled employee at Mythic, who worked on Warhammer Online and was about to get fired. He made a blog post explaining in his opinion why WAR failed and what was happening at the company at the time. This is what he had to say about Jeff Hickman:
First, the project leaders did not know what they were doing. Jeff Hickman was the saddest excuse for a producer I’ve seen. All he did was drink the Koolaid and suck up to the right people. He was the perfect yes-man, and this reached down to almost all managers.
That is why the photoshop image of Jeff Palpatine came to be. I never in a million years thought I would have a chance to use it. How a guy that is in charge of Live Services could get to the position of the Executive Producer for the whole game with all those good people that lived and breathed SWTOR in Bioware, Austin is beyond me. But, here we are and here is the Palpatine comic, starring Jeff Hickman.