Differing opinions this week on whether the 38 Studios project — “Copernicus” — is shaping up to be a secret superhit or just a secret mess.

The story so far: Baseball player makes lots of money. Baseball player likes MMOs. Baseball player hires fantasy novelist and cartoonist to create IP, and hires behind-the-scenes talent away from several large MMO companies.

Keen says 38’s interest in secrecy and innovation hint at a project lacking focus. Rog says to leave them alone and let them do their own thing, trusting that they’ve hired a lot of good people. He draws a parallel to Bioware, where 2 doctors who liked video games started their own gig.

I agree with Rog that opening your content up to nerdraging fans too early is an invitation for too many cooks to spoil the stew. But here’s the thing that makes me uneasy.

Check this page out.

Would you be creeped out by a trio of millionaire bosses who dubbed themselves “visionaries” in PR materials?

Yes, it’s just a PR thing. But it comports with the vibe I’ve gotten when I hear them discuss the game in broad, vague terms.

I get the feeling like 38’s secrecy has led to a lack of reality-check external influences, like they’re so convinced of the awesomeness of their work, their “visionary” work, that it doesn’t need to be held up to the light of day. We’ve seen this happen before.

I hope I’m wrong. I would love a groundbreaking, AAA, home-run new IP. But people who call themselves visionaries give me the willies.

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