2007 Syndicate World Conference
The Syndicate® celebrated its 6th Annual World Conference from Sept 23rd to Sept 27th. More than 140 people converged on San Francisco, CA to spend 5 days building friendships among guild members and proliferating game expertise. The Syndicate is not a guild that exists for any one online game. Rather, we are an online gaming community that uses online gaming as a tool for the purposes of advancing ourselves, our friendships and our success.
We chose the location of this year's conference due to its proximity to several developers that we have close relationships with and that we wanted to visit. Both Electronic Arts and Perpetual welcomed us into their offices. On Friday, more than 100 members stormed EA and toured the Campus, had a UO Townhall to discuss their Kingdom Reborn client and the Stygian Abyss expansion and to see the UO Dev Team area. After eating lunch there and even shopping at th EA Store, we gathered on the lawn for the Second Skin movie crew to do a little filming. A loud chant of "Long Live The Syndicate" echo'd off the buildings right as the President of EA walked behind the group. Pulling a UO developer aside he asked why we were there and who we were. If he didn't know of The Syndicate before, he does now as we were the single largest tour to pass through EA.
At our Saturday meeting Perpetual came to speak. On Sunday we raided their offices to see Gods and Heroes and Star Trek Online. At the time of writing this history entry we cannot talk about what we saw as far as STO goes except to say.. it was cool! Gods and Heroes, which launches soon, we can talk about. That too was a real treat to see. What of the most interesting things was both the similarities to EA and the differences between a larger corporation development environment and smaller, newer companies development operation. Signing Binky up for a massage and leaving him a Long Live the Syndicate voicemail was fun as well :)
We were also very fortunate to have Anthony "Sunsword" Castoro at the conference. Sunsword has had many jobs. He worked for EA and many of you may know him from his UO days. He has worked for Codemasters. He now runs his own company called Heatwave Interactive. Again, at this time we really cannot talk about what Heatwave has in the hopper but the creative ideas and concepts that Anthony is looking to turn into reality definitely got our attention and are games that our panelists felt they would play. We were very pleased Anthony could make it and he is never at a loss for a good story to tell.
We were also excited to have the Prima Games team there. Prima, as you likely know, is the industry leader in print media strategy guides. The Syndicate is partnered with them to do work on guides. You may have seen our logo on the cover of the LOTRO guide.. Pirates of the Burning Sea.. Vanguard... BF2142.. Might and Magic Dark Messiah.. Gods and Heroes etc.. They talked about our relationship with them and we held a round table to discuss what MMO gamers would like to see in future MMO guides
And last, but certainly not least, the Second Skin movie crew was there. They are doing a documentary about MMOs and The Syndicate has a segment in the movie. They had already filmed us at dinners.. at lan parties.. etc.. but this was to get conference footage to finish out the segment. Victor, Peter and Juan are all great guys so we were thrilled to have them there. They captured a bunch of great footage and did some interviews for pieces they needed for the film. The highlight was the sneak peak at our section of the film. The first 70-80% was a very well done and very entertaining scene that you might see in a high quality documentary about a fun topic like gaming. Since the conference footage hadn't yet been integrated the last 20% turned into a roast about Dragons, the guildmaster of The Syndicate. It was very funny and had to be shown multiple times to anyone that missed it.
We very much appreciate all of our VIPs for attending this year. While our annual conferences are first and foremost a chance for us to build and enhance our friendships, having you there provided a whole other element to the event that made it truly special. The only complaint we had about the conference was that it had to eventually come to an end. After 5 days of fun and adventure, we had to pack up and head home. But, there is always next year which is already shaping up to be a large and very fun time.