Vanguard creative director Steve Danuser has penned a eulogy for the fantasy MMO on his personal blog. Danuser describes a nightmare of a development environment featuring a lack of version control, "a database awash in the detritus of years of half-finished work," and significant bugs.
Despite all that, Danuser grew to love the game and was part of a post-F2P SOE dev team who worked to see the game succeed. He attributes the game's ultimate demise to a combination of "many gaping holes to patch" and an MMO industry that exploded, "taking the genre in different directions (or at least featuring significantly higher production values) while Vanguard stood still."
Danuser also mentions SOE's decision to keep the game alive for over seven years, when "most other companies would have pulled the plug after the initial downturn in subscriptions."