Ritual's Future In Question As Employees Jump Ship

Shawn Andrich

New member
Aug 4, 2006
Ritual's Future In Question As Employees Jump Ship

Ritual CEO Steve Nix left the company for id Software last week, mere months after the resignation of Sin Episodes: Emergence lead designer Shawn Ketcherside. QA lead Michael Russell has now joined the list of vacating top employees, leaving the next episode of Sin and the future of the company in question.

After five and a half years as the CEO of Ritual, Steve Nix turned up on the official id Software site [http://www.idsoftware.com/] as the new Director of Business Development. His reasons for leaving Ritual were not made public.

Over two months ago on September 16th, Shawn Ketcherside also left [http://www.shawnketcherside.com/2006/09/im-back-and-times-are-changing.html] Ritual after nearly six years with the company. He was the lead designer on Sin Episodes: Emergence.

Today, former QA lead Michael Russell updated his blog [http://www.romsteady.net/blog/] with word that he was also looking for a new job. Last week, Russell had made a post [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/newsroom/view/66532-Ritual-Lead-Tester-Slams-Sonys-Quality-Assurance] calling out poor QA practices at Sony. He claims that the article was not the reason for his leaving the company.

"Yes, I got a little internal flak for the Sony QA debacle. The flak consisted of a total of two emails. Most of the edits to the original post were made prior to those emails because of people taking select pieces out of context and reading their own bias into them," he said on Monday. "Unfortunately, some of my wording was ... colorful enough that people could make it mean almost anything.

"One has nothing to do with the other. More information later this week. I'd say more now, but I made an agreement with someone inside Ritual that I respect greatly, and I honor my agreements."

With key members leaving the company, questions have begun to surface about the status of the next Sin Episode and Ritual as a whole. The first episode was released on Valve's Steam service May 10th, 2006. Ritual has stated in the past that they want to release new episodes every six months, but there has been no information or marketing for the next game seven months after the first has shipped. In August, Ritual released the SDK for the first episode, but the promised multiplayer patch has yet to make an appearance.

Ritual could not be reached for comment, all available email addresses listed on the official site for press and business relations have bounced.