MMO Gamer interviews Matt Firor

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Steve Crews from MMO Gamer informed us his interview with our pal Matt Firor of ZeniMax Online is live on their site. No, you’re not going to find out the details of what game Matt is scheming up over in Hunt Valley, but it’s still a pretty interesting read. In the interview, you’ll learn a little more about Matt’s background, his thoughts on current trends within the MMO genre, as well as addressing some of the goals he’s setting for the studio.

Here’s a sample of interview, where Matt discusses the challenge of creating an MMO that offers something unique to the genre:

The MMO Gamer: Alright, no hypotheticals, let’s stick to the real basics: Will ZeniMax Online be up to the challenge of producing something gamers have never experienced before?

Matt Firor: Sure. I wouldn’t be in this position if I wasn’t ready to give something new to gamers. But our philosophy is to incrementally build on what gamers expect – to ease them into the game, make it feel comfortable, etc. before introducing too many new concepts to them. Introducing too many new concepts too quickly is a great way to drive your user base away before they get accustomed to the game.

Job Fair Tommorrow

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Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow ZeniMax Online Studios will be having their job fair in Hunt Valley, MD. You can take a look at the job listings here. As Pete mentioned before, there are some opportunities at our office as well, including the World Art intern posting that Ash alluded to yesterday.

So if you’re interested, drag a comb through your hair and head on over to the Baltimore Marriott. And no, dressing in Elder Scrolls cosplay isn’t recommended…this isn’t Balticon.

Here’s a map of where the fair is being held…good luck to all that apply.

A Dry Heat: Austin

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Hi from Austin, Texas. I’ve been down here for most of the week at the Austin Game Developer Conference. AGDC is mostly about massively multiplayer games (MMO), but they do have an interesting track focused on writing in games. Having worked on Elder Scrolls games — which are often described as single player MMOs — I always find sessions of interest. Gamasutra has some great coverage of the conference.

Personally, I am a fan of postmortem themed talks. I love hearing about day to day development details and how other developers grapple with the issues that inevitably come up.

Matt Firor and other folks from our sister studio – Zenimax Online Studios – are also here. I’m actually writing this while listening to a panel discussion that is being moderated by Matt.

If you are someone who wants to break into the industry, you should definitely be attending the game developers conferences here in Austin and the larger one in San Francisco. I can think of no better way to get direct access to developers, HR managers, and industry recruiters.

Now, With Even More Hiring!

So apparently we’re not only going to do the job fair thingy that I mentioned the other day, but we’re also going to be taking applications and meeting with interested applicants at the upcoming Austin Game Developers Conference.

Once again, they (meaning our recruiter folks) will be talking to anyone interested in the list of positions that we’re currently looking to fill at Bethesda Softworks (list) and our sister company, ZeniMax Online Studios (list). So if you’re in the area or are going to GDC and are looking for employment in any of those areas, do stop by.

I know that Ashley and Matt are both going to Austin, but don’t know if either will be in our meeting room during the show itself. Maybe if you’re lucky you can snag an autograph from one of them. (Usually a Benjamin will coerce Ashley into giving up his, but you didn’t hear that from me.)

Want a Job? Come to the Fair.

Apparently we’re having a job fair next month, or ZeniMax is anyway. At least, that’s what the email I just got says. I thought I’d pass it along for interested parties.

It’s going to be held from 11am – 8pm on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the Baltimore Marriott in Hunt Valley. Given the location, the focus is obviously on people interested in joining ZeniMax Online Studios up in Hunt Valley, MD, but they’ll also be accepting applications and reviewing qualified applicants for positions here at Bethesda Softworks/Bethesda Game Studios.

ZOS is currently hiring in the areas of arts, programming, design, content, production, and so on. You can see the full list of positions here. Bethesda is currently hiring for a couple of positions including several programming positions, a character artist, an animator…and you can see that full list of positions here.

Be sure to bring a copy, or copies, of your resume/portfolio/etc. Wear a clean shirt. Good luck!

Firor Chats with ActionTrip, Ten Ton Hammer

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Two weeks ago, we introduced you to Matt Firor, who is heading up our new MMO division, ZeniMax Online. Since we had a lot of folks ping us interested in what he was up to, we thought we’d keep you up to date on what he’s doing. He’s gone out and done interviews with FiringSquad and Ten Ton Hammer.

Here’s a sample from the Ten Ton Hammer interview:

Ten Ton Hammer: MMOGs continue to rise in the gaming landscape, how do you see the industry changing over the next few years? Where does ZeniMax fit into that change?

Matt: Instead of trying to “game” the market by figuring where everything will be in a few years and develop a product that will fit in an unused niche, we’re just going to try to make the best MMOG possible.

And from Firing Squad:

FiringSquad: How did ZeniMax approach you when they said they wanted to launch a new MMO game studio?

Matt Firor: They told me that they wanted to give me all the resources I needed to make a great MMO. After meeting with the company’s management, I felt very strongly that this is the “once in a lifetime” opportunity that one shouldn’t pass up.

Edit: Shacknews has added an interview with Matt as well.  http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=518

Interview with Matt Firor

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So an announcement went out today about our new sister division, ZeniMax Online Studios. I thought it might be nice to find out a little bit about the newest member of the family and ‘that guy I’ve seen in the cafeteria from time to time.’ Matt was nice enough to answer some questions, while deftly evading others (curses!).

Is it pronounced Fire-or, or Fire-er, or…?

More like Fire-roar. Or, you can just call me Matt. Much easier.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

Most of my game industry career was spent at Mythic Entertainment, where I was the Producer of Dark Age of Camelot, an MMO that launched in 2001. Prior to that I was Producer and/or a designer of 12 other online games including Aliens Online, Silent Death Online, and Magestorm. I was at Mythic from 1995-2006. Prior to that I was a founder of a multi-user BBS game development company with some friends that eventually became one of the two companies that merged to form Mythic. I go back a long way in multi-user gaming; our first project was in 1987, when I was in college.

Hit the jump for the rest of the interview….

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