In an interview recently published with Gamasutra, famous toy-maker and artist Todd McFarlane elaborated on the formation and development of 38 Studios, the new MMO venture started up by Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, and of which McFarlane is a part. He explains how 38 Studios and the game they're developing is Schilling's baby, and that he and author R.A. Salvatore were really only brought in after things had gotten underway to help flesh out the areas of development related to their respective disciplines. He describes his own role as more of a director -- he's done almost none of the artwork himself -- but he's been responsible for keeping the game's artists in line with the overall design philosophy. Based on the interview, he seems confident that the new project is going to be a success, even within the already heavily-populated fantasy MMO sphere.
Hearing all this noise about 38 Studios is a little frustrating, because everything we've heard from the people involved has been overwhelmingly optimistic and enthusiastic. We have to make sure to check our expectations at the door though, because we don't know a damn thing about the game. Good games, and MMOs especially, don't succeed on the pedigree of their management alone. Still, they've got a pretty captive audience at this point, it's only a matter of having something to show off.