Where Are they Now: Crowdfunded MMOs in 2019

There have been a lot of crowdfunded MMOs throughout the years and keeping track of them all can be somewhat daunting. That’s why from time to time we like to check in with those games and see how they’re doing. This is a look at 11 crowdfunded MMOs and where they are now.

 

Ashes of Creation

Ashes of Creation

Crowdfunded: May 2017

In 2018 Ashes of Creation became two different projects. There’s the main MMORPG, but they also now have a Battle Royale game which is currently the focus of beta testing. Last year they also announced that My.com would be publishing Ashes of Creation in Europe. This move was met with a lot of concern from fans. There was also a bit of controversy on the Ashes of Creation subreddit, where the CEO amongs other developers took control of the subreddit. This resulted in the concern that censorship would be a major problem for the group. Even after they got a new community manager the CEO continued to be a mod, which was, of course, an unpopular move.

 

Camelot Unchained

Camelot Unchained

Crowdfunded: April 2013

After 6 years you would be forgiven if you had forgotten Camelot Unchained.  For diehard fans, the developers give weekly updates on how development is going. They cover topics ranging from rubble animation to moss covered ground assets. It wasn’t until mid-2018 that the game finally hit the Beta 1 phase and while they are currently saying it will launch in 2019, previous delays make that seem unlikely.

 

Chronicles of Elyria

Crowdfunded: May 2016

File Chronicles of Elyria under “the campaign was HOW long ago?!” We can’t believe that we’re already approaching 3 years since we first started talking about Chronicles of Elyria and its idea of your character aging as you play. All in all, the game seems to have lost sight of where and what it is though. Their end of the year blog post was more community focused than anything else. They talked about various community events that they have going on and really didn’t talk about the game that much at all. Right now it just doesn’t look great for the game.

 

City of Titans

City of Titans

Crowdfunded: October 2013

Late in December 2018, City of Titans announced that it would be pushing Issue 0 launch into 2019. At that point with just a little over a week left in the year, that seemed pretty obvious though. Throughout 2018 they updated fans about the game, including the announcement that they would not use lockboxes in their business model. It seems that the indie development team had a bit of a rough year, which has resulted in them being behind but wanting to remind people that they are still around.

 

Crowfall

Crowdfunded: February 2015

Development on Crowfall is still trucking along. They launched patch 5.8 in mid-December. Earlier in the year they also reached the 50,000 backer milestone, but there isn’t a whole lot more to say about the game right now. The developers are still working hard and official campaign testing has begun.

 

Dual Universe

Crowdfunded: September 2016

Right at the end of 2018 Dual Universe moved into alpha testing. They also released a roadmap that gives them a launch date in the second half of 2020. They’re anticipating moving into alpha 2 sometime in the first half of 2019. That will be followed by alpha 3 which will contain PvP. Then in the first half of 2020, they’ll have a much larger beta before they launch, and funds have been secured that allowed them to hire more developers. So it’s all good new for Dual Universe fans!

 

Ever, Jane

Ever, Jane

Crowdfunded: October 2013

We’ll admit, things aren’t looking great for Ever, Jane. The development team doesn’t make updates on their official site much and the forums are looking a bit abandoned. The game went into closed beta in 2015, in 2016 it went into open beta, and that is where it has been ever since. In early 2018 they gave the website and forums an overhaul but it was a really quiet year for the game. The only real newsworthy story was the introduction of a personal butler.

 

Novus AEterno, aka Hades 9

Crowdfunded: December 2013

Unfortunately, Novus AEterno, which then became Hades 9, seems to have been abandoned. There haven’t been any updates on the game since the middle of 2018. This usually only means one of two things.
1. They got a new publisher and are going to wow us with a big surprise reveal in the future.
2. The developers have moved on.

Sadly, most of the time the second is the case. After they lost their funding for Novus AEterno the development team decided to make some changes and create Hades 9 instead. That game never really went anywhere though. So, even though we’ve been following Novus AEterno since it was one kid’s dream being presented at Gamescom we’re going to officially call this game dead.

 

Pathfinder Online

Crowdfunded: November 2012

Life has never been certain for Pathfinder Online. It has already crashed and burned once but then, much to everyone’s surprise, it came back. While the development of the game is still slowly trucking along its legs seem to be pretty unsteady under it. Those of us at MMOGames would certainly say that Pathfinder Online’s future is…uncertain at best.

 

Star Citizen

Crowdfunded: Constantly since October 2012

At this point, most of what people are talking about around Star Citizen is the money. So far it has raised more than $200 million from fans. With that being said, we did see a lot of development in 2018 on the game. The game is currently in alpha 3.4 and just like other games, they make regular updates. Throughout 2019 their road plan has them getting up to alpha 3.6

 

Temtem

Crowdfunded: May 2018

We wanted to end this article on a high note. Temtem launched its backer alpha at the end of November 2018. That may just be the best example of sticking to the timeline of any crowdfunded MMO. Things are looking very bright for Temtem right now, especially as Pokemon as a brand is enjoying more popularity than it has in a long time. That’s sure to spill over to the adorable Temtem.

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2018 in Battle Royale Games

There is no denying that 2018 was the year of the Battle Royale. It has dominated just about every conversation about gaming the entire year. For a good reason too, the genre is insanely popular. But, while it has been a great year there have also been more than a few Battle Royale titles shut down. So grab yourself a drink and sit back as we take a look at 2018 in Battle Royale games.

The year had a bit of a rough start as the news came out that H1Z1 had lost 90% of its player base since July 2017. Of course, a lot of the blame for that can be placed on the success of Fortnite and PUBG, so really as far as the genre goes it wasn’t a terrible thing. As the year progressed H1Z1 would go on to have the part of the game that wasn’t a Battle Royale shut down after the game moved to a new internal studio at Daybreak.

This was also the year that Ninja and Drake broke the record on Twitch for the most-viewed stream while playing Fortnite. At its peak, it was watched by 628,000 people around the world. As of this month, Ninja is the most followed Streamer on Twitch. He has more than 12 million followers and each time he streams he averages 53,000 viewers. For those wondering, Ninja started out the year making approximately $500,000 a month from streaming and later told ESPN that he’s now making nearly 7 figures a month. Oh to be Ninja just for a month.

2018 was also the year of lawsuits in the Battle Royale genre. PUBG sued NetEase for copyright infringement with their games Knives Out and Rules of Survival. In turn just a few days later NetEase threatened to sue everyone who wasn’t PUBG because…well, we’re still not really sure what they were thinking about there actually. Basically, their argument boiled down to “you took the idea that we took and made it a little different and hurt the market in doing so.” Which is exactly as stupid as it sounds. PUBG then went and sued Fortnite for plagiarizing its UI and items. Then, because 2018 wasn’t crazy enough already three stars are now suing Fortnite over the sale of emotes of their dances. Backpack Kid, Milly 2, and Alfonso Ribeiro are all going after Fortnite in a move that is seen by many to be nothing more than an attempt at getting some of that sweet Fortnite cash.

Speaking of Fortnite cash, in March Fortnite became the largest free to play console game of all time both in revenue generated and monthly active users. The game is currently sitting at the number 4 spot in terms of monthly revenue for both console and PC games. Towards the end of the year, it looked as though Fortnite had hit its peak in revenue as revenue growth slowed significantly. Of course, when you talk about revenue slowing down you have to take into consideration that Fortnite makes $2 million a day just on iOS. The last number we had was in October stating that Fortnite on iOS made $300 million worldwide just on iOS…in 200 days. Oh to be Epic just for a day.

How are they doing this? Well, according to a study done by Newzoo, Battle Royale players are more likely to spend money on games. In fact, they’re more invested all around than other competitive gamers. They’re more likely to watch esports, spend money, and spend more than 6 hours a week in game. Does that 6 hours a week number feel a bit low to anyone else?

While Fortnite is helping Tim Sweeney live everyone’s dream of swimming in money the Battle Royale genre has suffered a few losses this year. The first Battle Royale to die was Radical Heights, the 80s themed Battle Royale game that was supposed to save Boss Key Studios. Unfortunately what was released was incomplete and, according to those who played it, not all that great. The game closed not long after it was released as the studio collapsed. The result of which made founder CliffyB, of Gears of War fame, declare he would never make another game. He isn’t the first developer to have said this though, so we’ll wait and see if he follows through.

Radical Heights

SOS, upon seeing the massive success of the Battle Royale genre decided to switch gears and transition into a Battle Royale game. It was a complete disaster as none of the fans actually wanted that. So the game was review bombed and it didn’t take long for the game to shut down. They did try to fix things by bringing back the classic game, but for many fans, it was already too late. The Culling 2 was canceled after a less than stellar reception. It was a game that no one really wanted, and even the developers admitted this. Islands of Nyne also recently announced that they can no longer continue to develop the game and it is now in maintenance mode on Steam. The game is free to play and will continue to be available for the time being. With the market being largely dominated by a couple of big games it is an undeniable fact that we will see more Battle Royale games close in 2019, we just have to wait and see which ones it will be.

Much to our surprise, only a few MMOs have jumped on the Battle Royale bandwagon. For a while, those of us at MMOGames feared that every MMO would come out with a Battle Royale mode. Thankfully, at this point only a few have. Skyforge, Mortal Online, Wild West Online, and Ashes of Creation are the most notable. Though you also have it in games like Trove.

Mortal Royale

It was quite a year for the Battle Royale genre and this was barely a look at the surface. There were a vast amount of games we didn’t mention like Rapture Rejects and we didn’t even discuss how many divorces there were because of Fortnite. But now it is time to start looking ahead to 2019. We already know that Planetside Arena is on its way, what else will 2019 bring us? Next week we’ll look at a few predictions.

If you want another look back at 2018 in Battle Royale games take a look at this list of our Battle Royale roundups. They haven’t been running all year, but they will give you a bit of an idea on how the year has gone.

What Gaming Looks Like One Year After Fortnite
August Battle Royale Weekly 1 – SOS Classic Tries to Save the Game
The Battle Royale Games of Gamescom 2018
August Battle Royale Weekly 2 – Gamescom and New Games
August Battle Royale Weekly 3 – Epic Android Security Issues for Fortnite
September Battle Royale Weekly 1 – Firestorm Info Dump
September Battle Royale Weekly 2 – Adult Arrested After Threatening Kid Over Fortnite
October Battle Royale Weekly 1 – Fortnite makes $300 Million in 200 Days
October Battle Royale Weekly 2 – PUG Makes $100 Million and Goodbye SOS
November Battle Royale Weekly 1 – PUBG on PS4
November Battle Royale Weekly 2 – 200 Million Fortnite Players and Totally Accurate Battlegrounds goes F2P
December Battle Royale Weekly – Goodbye Islands of Nyne

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Ashes of Creation Battle Royale is Coming

In a live stream event, yesterday Intrepid Studios announced that “Alpha One, Phase One” is being renamed and focus is turning to the Ashes of Creation Battle Royale mode called Ashes of Creation: Apocalypse. It will be F2P and is set to be available to everyone starting in December.

This also means that the castle siege, horde, and Battle Royale portions will be moving away to be separate from the Ashes of Creation MMO. But, they won’t be entirely without a link. Apocalypse players will be able to unlock achievements, furniture, and cosmetics that will be usable in the MMO. Character builds will also be available in both games.

Current Ashes of Creation backers are enjoying a month’s head start on Apocalypse before it is opened to the general public.

At the moment there haven’t really been many reactions to the news from fans and what little discussion there has been on social media seems to be mixed. Looking at the industry as a whole though you start to see instances where this sort of transition didn’t go well. SOS, for example, transitioned away from being a survival game into Battle Royale during development. Fans didn’t take the change well, many demanding refunds and taking issue with the shift away from what they had been emotionally and financially invested in. Now SOS is less than 2 weeks away from shutting down. The Steam page for the game shows that in the last 30 days just 13% of reviews were positive, giving them the distinction of being called Overwhelmingly Negative.

While this isn’t exactly what Ashes of Creation is doing the fact that they’re making a game before a game increases the odds that Ashes of Creation the MMO will never be made. We have seen things like this happen time and time again in the industry. Will that for sure happen in the case of Ashes of Creation? I sure hope not.

 

Source: MMORPG

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10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released

There are some awfully good MMOs in the making right now. Some of them are nearing release, while others are probably going through their very own development hell, possibly never to be seen again. No matter what, I want to believe that the following games will eventually make their way into North America and Europe, even if some of them take a few more years of work. In no particular order, here is my list of 10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released.

And no, Phantasy Star Online 2 is not included here. The English version of that game is dead and buried, you need to let go.

Lost Ark

10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released - Lost Ark

Lost Ark is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most anticipated MMORPGs in recent history. Everything about it screams AAA quality, which is a nice change from the rushed, me-too MMOs that we have suffered through during the last five years of so. I don’t know if it’s my inner Diablo fan speaking, or if the huge scope of this MMORPG just seems to scratch my itch, but I think Lost Ark is going to please every MMO fan, even the most insensitive brutes among you.

Developed by Smilegate, the Korean studio that is now swimming in CrossFire money – still one of the top grossing titles worldwide, surprisingly beating Fortnite Battle Royale and PUBG on PC –, Lost Ark represents a huge investment and a solid bet for the South Korean studio.

Let’s just say things as they are – Lost Ark isn’t the Diablo MMORPG that everyone is dreaming of, but it sure is the closest thing that you can get, even considering the likes of the excellent Path of Exile. The diverse character classes offer such a vast array of combat choices that you will be hard-pressed to pick one and stick with it for days, and I’m not even counting with the Tripod system, which allows you to customize the skills in a unique way that suits your playstyle. Combat feels impactful and crunchy, and the amazing animations and skill effects are the cherry on top of this lip-smacking fantasy cake.

Even if graphics aren’t everything, I’m not the one to say that I don’t like my games with some impressive visuals. For a game that runs on the old-fashioned but heavily modified Unreal Engine 3, Lost Ark looks remarkable for our day and age. Just as with Black Desert Online, this is a game where I will often stop and take my time to look at the details in the environment – there is one island where you become microscopic and seeing every bug and blade of grass so huge makes quite an impact.

With the Korean open beta coming later this year, my only regret is that there is no western release officially announced, despite rumors and datamining that point to it.

Peria Chronicles

10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released - Peria Chronicles

Imagine the most beautiful anime game ever made, then mix with it a hefty dose of wacky creature design that would stand proudly among the best from Pokémon. That’s Peria Chronicles in a nutshell, but there is so much more to this game. In fact, it’s obvious that developer Thingsoft was shooting for the skies, as this beautiful anime sandbox MMORPG is now going through development hell, and it is likely that some features are being toned down or entirely removed.

But what is Peria Chronicles all about? It is, plain and simple, one of the most ambitious projects coming out of South Korea, backed up by the powerhouse that is Nexon. The goal is to create a community-driven world where players can build their own towns, manage the economy and social system that drives these towns, and even design their own quests, dungeons and NPCs. It’s a daunting task and Peria Chronicles’ design has often been compared to Minecraft, in the sense that you could build anything, design anything – but with wonderful graphics to go along.

They are not just bragging either; we’ve been shown a gigantic Tetris machine created in-game, as well as some impressive terraforming. This is obviously a nightmare to develop, and the similarly ambitious and canceled EverQuest Next surely agrees.

Then we have the combat phase. Your character finds and collects Kirana – let’s not call them Pokémon for copyright reasons – and uses them in battle. This was one of the aspects that needed a lot of extra work, based on feedback from the 2016 demo.

In theory, Peria Chronicles is like an MMORPG player’s dream. It looks like heaven, gives you almost full control to do what you want, and tasks you with being as creative as you can. In practice, it could turn out to be a broken, bugged, exploit-ridden mess of a game. If it is ever released, of course. This would definitely be my top contender for this list of 10 exciting MMOs that are yet to be released.

Lineage Eternal (Project TL)

10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released - Lineage Eternal Project TL

The Lineage series remains as NCSoft’s cash cow for several years, with the first game bringing the most revenue to the Korean publisher. It’s no surprise then that they want to keep the money rolling, first with a popular mobile release and now with the third official game in the series.

Lineage Eternal was announced in 2011 and has gone through some rough times, with development team changes and a renewed focus. The 2016 beta revealed a multi-character system that is now completely scrapped in favor of a more traditional character control approach. To be honest, this system seemed a bit weird, as you could only control/see one character at a time and swapped between them with the push of a button.

With the new team and focus, Project TL is shaping up to be a very different game. Even the game engine was changed, from a proprietary engine to Unreal Engine 4. The revamp retains some of the ideas from the previous iteration – environmental destruction, dynamic weather, large-scale battles, physics… but it looks like the design was streamlined, to say the least.

Seven years have passed since its announcement and the new Lineage is still some time away from a closed beta. Again.

Kingdom Under Fire 2

10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released - Kingdom Under Fire 2

There is no way of knowing what is happening at Blueside’s headquarters. They have this ambitious, one-of-a-kind action MMORPG and yet, a decade has passed since its announcement and there is no western release in sight.

I remember playing Kingdom Under Fire 2 in 2014 during the first Asian beta test and I was impressed with the scope of the battles and mostly with the way that your character sliced and diced through hundreds of troops and creatures. There was something unique to it, a clever mix of action and strategy that was rarely seen.

Your character, carefully picked from a batch of five (Elementalist, Ranger, Gunslinger, Spellsword and Berserker), would not just take active part in battles with a deeply satisfying action MMORPG feel, they would also be the one to command troops and outline the tactical approach when the clashes became more demanding. There was a clever real-time strategy hook to Kingdom Under Fire 2, providing a delicate balance that very few online games ever dared to try.

In all honesty, I would prefer such a game instead of the deluge of Battle Royale copycats that we are getting every other week. And yet, developer Blueside is utterly failing to give us a proper update for quite some time. The last we heard from them was over a year ago, unconvincingly reassuring us (again) that the western release was happening and that is was planned for late 2017 or early 2018 on PC and PlayStation 4.

Sure, guys.

Kurtzpel

10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released - Kurtzpel

Kurtzpel is probably a mystery to a lot of you, but it deserves more recognition as it isn’t without potential. First, it is developed by KOG Studio, who you should know as the creators of Grand Chase and Elsword, two cherished MMO games. Secondly, it looks and feels like the spiritual sequel of both games, taking some characters from the former and the style of the latter, mixing it all up in a third-person blend that is colorful, frantic and thrilling.

The focus of Kurtzpel is clearly on PvP, while leaving PvE as something of an afterthought. It’s not that they are ignoring a story mode – there is one and you can play the boss battles in co-op with a friend – but they are evidently aiming for the competitive side of things. Kurtzpel runs on the always reliable Unreal Engine 4, but the team tweaked it to make it more suited to the cel-shaded anime graphics of the game.

KOG Studio aims to create a fighting experience that ditches character levels and stats almost entirely; their goal is to provide action combat mechanics where timing, situation assessment and swift reactions are vital to succeed.

An alpha or beta is purportedly coming before the end of 2018, but it should be exclusive to Korean territories.

Age of Wushu 2

10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released - Age of Wushu 2

If you like your martial arts games with a side dish of fantasy, then you probably enjoyed Age of Wushu. There was something compelling about this Wuxia-inspired MMORPG, with several systems contributing to a game of commendable depth. Combat was also interesting, being more tactical than most, while still featuring some of those outlandish moves that you are used to see in Chinese films. But there was room for improvement, and a sequel was the right thing to do…

… After the mandatory mobile version Age of Wushu Dynasty, of course, which was released in 2016.

Snail Games started development on Age of Wushu 2 in 2014, but in the meantime, it looks like Dark and Light became the priority. The latest news point to a 2018 reveal, but the lack of recent news is disheartening. This is quite a shame, as for Age of Wushu 2 we were promised a sandbox game with a focus on survival elements – dynamic weather, resource gathering, day and night cycle, non-target combat and even the ability to build your own school, a.k.a. faction. All of this powered by the Unreal Engine 4.

Fantasy martial arts games are always a big question mark when it comes to North America and Europe. However, Blade & Soul seems to be doing fine for itself, so I wouldn’t mind a bit of quality competition.

Ascent: Infinite Realm

10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released - Ascent Infinite Realm

TERA set the bar really high for developer Bluehole; it was a tough act to follow on one of the better MMORPGs still running nowadays. While they managed to fool everyone with the unexpected release of PUBG and sparked the latest trend – Battle Royale –, everyone was expecting their next move in the MMORPG genre.

Late 2017, Bluehole reveals Ascent: Infinite Realm, an incredibly ambitious steampunk MMORPG with a heavy focus on aerial combat and an impressive disregard for frame rate. Yes, because the announcement trailer was torn apart due to the frame drops and lack of optimization – players are always quick to destroy a game based on what is obviously a very raw, early version of a game.

Still, the ambition was there, the aerial battles look like Cloud Pirates but way more chaotic, and absolutely needed a lot of work, as the airships felt weightless, physics be damned. While on foot, Ascent: Infinite Realm doesn’t seem to evolve on the acclaimed TERA action combat system, instead feeling dull and unexciting. Maybe the fun begins when you reach the endgame and its Realm versus Realm PvP, right?

I’m being too critical of Ascent: Infinite Realm, but I admit that we have been treated to a very early, very rough build. Showing this game so soon probably harmed it in more ways than one, and it clearly needed more time to fully shine. I’m guessing that Bluehole still has a lot of work to do before a proper, polished version is ready for beta.

Moonlight Blade

10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released - Moonlight Blade

Moonlight Blade is one of several fantasy martial arts games coming from Eastern developers. This one hails from China, more specifically from Tencent, the gigantic corporation that seems to have a tight grip on everything, from League of Legends’ Riot Games to Path of Exile’s Grinding Gear Games.

As for Moonlight Blade, it’s been around for a while in Korea and China, featuring a world that is said to be 18 times larger than Skyrim. While it won’t win any awards for originality, Moonlight Blade looks good, sometimes truly great, and those flying skills have to be seen to be believed.

After a couple of years of uncertainty, Nexon has unofficially confirmed – twice – that Moonlight Blade is indeed getting an English release. Even if this isn’t in anyone’s top MMORPG list, it is definitely worth looking into.

Dual Universe

10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released - Dual Universe

Is Dual Universe trying to go where No Man’s Sky has gone before? This is the kind of game that seems too good to be true, and we know what usually happens with that, right? However, maybe  French developer Novaquark really knows what they are doing.

The way that it is shaping up, this sci-fi MMORPG could turn out to be the perfect mix of Minecraft and EVE Online. There is a scale to Dual Universe, an ambition that seems unrivaled and a game that will only prosper if one thing happens – a big… no, a galactic player base is willing to populate the game and build the civilization that this single-shard sandbox MMORPG needs and hopefully deserves.

Dual Universe is an intimidating game. It could fail in so many ways, and it could also never be feature-complete, judging by the scope of it. With a roadmap to be strictly followed and a release planned for the second half of 2020, maybe we will in fact get to explore this brave new world. We only have to build it first.

Ashes of Creation

10 Exciting MMOs That Are Yet to Be Released - Ashes of Creation

Ashes of Creation may look like your classic high fantasy MMORPG, but there is much more to it, at least in theory. The idea of an experience where every player will live something entirely different is extremely appealing. Depending on the actions of the players, the population size and other aspects, the dynamic game world will change and unlock new quests. The AI is also said to be adaptive, with the same creature reacting differently according to the player.

It almost sounds too good, right? In fact, it reminds me a lot of this game called EverQuest Next, which also had some revolutionary plans for its AI and world building, and where is it now? Exactly, canceled without ever showing a hint of what was promised, unless we include the failed Landmark in the equation.

You can easily tell that I am a little wary of Ashes of Creation, and selling a $375.00 Founder’s Pack makes me question if everyone is rich except for me. With a monthly subscription fee of $15, it really needs to be special to motivate players to stick around for long. The release is scheduled to happen before 2020, but this game has a lot to prove if it plans on living up to its developer’s claims.

These are 10 exciting MMOs that are yet to be released, most likely a couple of years away from launch, or even beta. However, it’s hard to forget about them and the incredible potential that they hold. If you had to pick only one game from this list, what would it be?

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Ashes of Creation’s Alpha 1 Starts Today

If you’re the right level of big spender on Ashes of Creation, then today is a very good day for you. Ashes of Creation Alpha 1 will officially be underway, or at least a bit of a stress test of alpha before alpha begins. So a pre-alpha for alpha. It’s kind of weird.

ashes of creation alpha 1

Here’s the word directly from the digital mouth of the most recent forum posting:

“Starting on September 7th, 2018 at 6 PM PDT we will be starting a series of stress tests to prepare our servers for your arrival to Alpha 1 Phase 1. Admission to this stress test will be incremental and based on package tier. We cannot even begin to express how grateful and excited we are to include you all in this amazing journey!”

From there, Alpha 1 will enter its first phase at some point later in September. These tests will be PvP-focused, offering open world battlegrounds, castle sieges and city defense “horde mode”. Phase 2 will begin at some point during the first quarter of 2019, with progression to level 20; four races and eight archetypes; Node progression to Stage 4; and a variety of other basic advancement features.

All of these tests have Ashes of Creation on-track for a persistent alpha build in the third quarter of 2019, beta testing at some point later in that same year, and full-on launch projected for some time before 2020. Of course, all of these are extremely broad-stroke estimates and so anything and everything could change.

Our Thoughts

Yay! We are extremely ready for this particular sandbox MMO to be put through its paces. Here’s hoping that things go about as smoothly as they can and these projected phase release windows can be met. Honestly, we are very eager to watch this Node develop. Hah. See what I did there?

Source: official forums

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My.com Speaks Candidly About Pay-to-Win and Customer Service

It would seem that very few assurances from Ashes of Creation‘s Steven Sharif are falling on deaf ears for the most part. So perhaps some My.com statements can offer solace. Enter Volker Boenigk, who entered the in-development MMO’s Discord to address community concerns about the publisher’s pay-to-win policies and customer service among others.

my.com statements

Our friends at MMORPG.com offered up several chunks of statements from Boenigk pulled from the game’s Discord server, where he spoke about pay-to-win accusations, poor customer service, quality assurance and more.

Regarding pay-to-win practices, Boenigk had this to say:

“In the past, My.com has published and developed primarily titles that were, from the ground up, built around a Free-To-Play model. This is not the case with Ashes of Creation, which is fully tailored towards a subscription-based business model. We are fully supporting the Non-Pay-to-Win vision that Steven and Intrepid Studios have, and we will implement the same model for the My.com version as they implement for their version.”

Boenigk also admitted that the company has problems with meeting customer service expectations, but is working on improving on that front. A baseline for customer service in the regions My.com will be handling will be laid down at the beginning of September in hopes of meeting expected demand.

He also offered up some words on server quality for the game. promising a “solid and robust infrastructure” in coordination with Intrepid Studios.

“In addition to the close consultation with Intrepid, our IT teams are already now beginning our technical planning. Working with our five, globally distributed data centers, we will be able to provide local servers that allow for the best possible connectivity, while working with cloud server providers such as Google and Amazon we are investigating possibilities for quick and efficient scaling of resources to quickly react to changes in demand of computing power.”

Our Thoughts

It’s not likely that these worries will ease anytime soon, but we absolutely hope to be proven wrong and still appreciate Mr. Boenigk’s candor in addressing these problems. Now hopefully people will consider waiting and seeing a bit before losing their cool. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of skepticism. Emphasis: healthy.

Source: MMORPG.com

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Steven Sharif Further Addresses Ashes of Creation’s My.com Partnership

If you’ve been following community circles for Ashes of Creation, you’re fully aware of the community backlash regarding the game’s partnership with My.com for publishing in EU and CIS territories. That partnership was part of an extensive discussion in the Ashes of Creation Discord recently, where Intrepid Studio’s Steven Sharif took the matter head-on.

ashes of creation discordr

According to Sharif, the decision to look for a partner was not something that came lightly, particularly since the team want to have a simultaneous global release for the final game.

“We chatted with pretty much every possible partner that was available to bring the project to those regions,” said Sharif. “The focus was being able to have a simultaneous launch globally, and in order to do that with the pace that we are moving at and hitting a target before 2020 it really was not an option for us to publish ourselves.”

As Sharif puts it, My.com rose to the top as a result of their alignment with Intrepid’s stance on pay-to-win as well as the publisher’s desire to break the mold of games monetization practices in the area:

“We felt most confident and sincere that their company was focused on sharing our vision from not just a design standpoint and a monetization standpoint, in turning the page on what has previously been a market dominated by Eastern developers with particular monetization tactics that are more acceptable in their regions, but that they wanted to share the course forward with a Western developer like Intrepid Studios and emphasize a different path, kind of less traveled over the past decade.”

In addition, Sharif assured fans that Ashes of Creation’s standards for monetization and customer service will be adhered to as they have it “in ink”, and that Intrepid will continue to handle publishing of the game to Western territories.

The complete transcript of the discussion, including a Q&A session, can be read here.

Our Thoughts

Folks have extremely long memories when it comes to publishing companies that they feel are aggressive, so we’re not terribly sure that Mr. Sharif’s words will stem that tide. All said, however, the only thing anyone can do is to wait and see what will happen and try to trust that the folks at Intrepid Studios have done as much of their homework as they can.

Source: Ashes of Creation Wiki via Massively Overpowered

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My.com Takes Up Ashes of Creation Publishing Duties in Europe

Ashes of Creation hasn’t even released yet, but when it does, it has its global distribution needs covered. The team at Intrepid Studios will be joining forces with My.com for the Ashes of Creation European release when the time comes.

ashes of creation european release

Both My.com and Mail.ru will be solely responsible for the sandbox MMO’s arrival to the European and CIS regions respectively. The announcement didn’t offer any release timing as one would expect from an MMO still in alpha, but it was full of the usual effusive statements from both parties.

The only ones not terribly excited by the news, however, were the members of the Ashes of Creation community, who reportedly voiced concern that the partnership would steer the sandbox into unwanted monetization directions. To that point, Intrepid Studios’ Steven Sharif took to the game’s Discord to attempt to ease those fears.

“I would like everyone in our community to be aware. Intrepid will maintain 100% creative control over Ashes and our partners My.com and Mail.ru share our vision for Ashes, as this was very important to us. This means our stance on P2W for the game <3 This partnership allows us as a studio to focus on the development of the game and allows us to feel comfortable with the level of service we know My.com and Mail.ru can provide our glorious community."

Our Thoughts

We definitely hope that the partnership won’t interfere with Ashes of Creation’s plans. Joining hands with a huge publisher like this is a great thing to make sure the game is open to more people, but there’s always going to be the concern that the more predatory monetization requests of said publisher will hang over the game like a sword of Damocles.

Sources: press release, MMORPG.com

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Ashes of Creation Brings on Former Daybreak Developers

It seems that Intrepid Studios has once again expanded its ranks with developers who have experience working with other major studios in the industry. The independent developer behind upcoming MMORPG Ashes of Creation now has more than 100 people working on the game.

ashes of creation

Ashes of Creation made waves last year with its controversial crowdfunding strategies and ‘Make MMOs great again” slogan. The company behind the game has received a mix of funding between founder Steven Sharif, crowdfunding, and other outside investors. Some of the main concept selling points include dynamic world events, large-scale PvP sieges, and no pay-to-win mechanics.

The new additions to the team include:

  • Michael Roca – Senior Gameplay Programmer (Formerly of Disney, Daybreak, SOE, and EA)
  • Grat Crabtree – Senior Software Engineer (Formerly of Daybreak and SOE)
  • Devin Lafontaine – Senior Artist (Formerly Daybreak, SOE, Sigil Games)
  • Tad Ehrlich – Senior Artist (Formerly, Daybreak, SOE, Midway Games)
  • Garrett Fern – Senior Game Designer (Formerly Daybreak and SOE)
  • Zin Chiang – Senior Producer (Formerly Travian Games and Publishing)
  • Midori Bond – Executive Assistant (Formerly Senior GM and Customer Service at SOE)

“In the last year, we have grown incredibly fast and have been fortunate to bring aboard some very talented MMO veterans.” said Creative Director and Founder, Steven Sharif. “It’s pretty exciting to watch your dreams become a reality, and at the end of the day, creating an MMORPG that players can be proud of.”

According to Intrepid Studios, Ashes of Creation is still expected to begin Alpha Phase 1 testing during the 4th quarter of 2018.

 

Our Thoughts

Like many Kickstarter games, Ashes of Creation made a lot of noise at first and has been relatively silent ever since. Hopefully, this means that the team is spending more time on developing assets instead of looking for ways to get funding.

Source: Press Release

Articles Related to Ashes of Creation

Where Are They Now? Kickstarter Edition
Ashes of Creation PAX East 2018: The Nodes Are Life
Ashes of Creation Tours the UnderRealm

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Where Are They Now? Kickstarter Edition

Game development is not a quick process. Conception, design, execution, they all take vast amounts of time and money. Of course these days there are more options open to people between the range of engines out there to encourage hobbyists and professionals to try them out and alternative funding methods like Fig and Kickstarter.

So while sometimes people can get their hands on the tools and the funds easier, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire process of making an MMO is faster, just run slightly differently. With that in mind, let’s look back over some of the Kickstarter funded MMOs that have caught our eyes in recent years and ask, where are they now?

 

Chronicles of Elyria

Kickstarter funded MMOs

Project launched: May 3rd, 2016

10,752 backers pledged $1,361,435.

Still in Development.

Chronicles of Elyria hopes to fashion a world for you to be in. Taking the best, as they see it, of sandbox and theme park MMOs they have tried to coin a Multiplayer Evolving Online World or MEOW. Certainly, the approach to aging and joining families is a unique take on characters and progression. Happily, they’re still hard at work on things and pledge packages are available through their website which themselves are also tied to more in-game rewards for people. The draw with their tailored story engine here is very strong for me at least and it certainly is a game worth keeping an eye on if you ever wanted to get out of the theme park grind and spend some time following a new destiny. The projected release date is in the second half of 2019.

 

Ashes of Creation

Project launched: May 1st, 2017

19,576 backers pledged $3,271,809.

Still in Development.

Ashes of Creation is a fantasy sandbox that is touting a new take on the approach. They are designing the world structure to be dynamic and building it to react to the actions of players. As they have said, cities will rise and fall, their populations based on the history of the world as the players create it. Certainly, the idea of helping mold a world is attractive, and work is continuing apace on both PvE and PvP as Chris Hughes reported in March. If you have a large amount of money burning a hole in your pocket, the $500 Intrepid Pre-Order pack is available and will get you into both Alpha builds of the game, the Beta still being a little ways off.

 

Shadow’s Kiss

Project launched: October 31st, 2017 (Of course)

884 backers pledged $80,414.

Still in Development.

Shadow’s Kiss is the first of two on our list trying to fund ongoing development through Patreon. Ever since CCP passed up on going ahead with the World of Darkness MMO, night dwellers and gothically inclined types have been devoid of dark modern fantasy MMO options. Vampires wouldn’t cope well in the bright shiny world of Secret World Legends after all….well Agartha at least. The goals for Shadow’s Kiss were considerably more modest than the rest of this list. Not every MMO needs the bells and whistles Blizzard-level of polish, but the rougher work here may be off-putting for some potential fans. Only time will tell if it does claw its way out of the grave and lurches into unlife for us all to try our hand at some neck biting.

 

Novus AEterno

Project launched: December 10th 2013

3,900 backers pledged $268,875.

Still in a lot of Development.

Novus AEterno is an odd duck on this list. It’s been kicking around for more than four years and also has undergone a name change to Hades 9. It’s the second on the list here to turn to Patreon to fund ongoing development though pledge packages and store bonds are available through their website. Originally billed as a sci-fi MMORTS I remember seeing it in action in an early form way back in 2012 at Gamescom. Since then it appears to still be a labor of love but not one that appears to be coming out any time soon. Perhaps showing an indie core more than anything else on this list, you can also apply to help build the game no matter your skill level. That if nothing else is a unique approach to fan engagement.

 

Project: Gorgon

Project launched: July 25th, 2015

1,318 backers pledged $74,781

Still in Development

Project: Gorgon is being brought to you by Elder Game Studios which rather nicely is led by husband and wife duo Eric Heimburg and Sandra Powers. Available now via Steam Early Access and a small amount of cash this is ready for you to jump into and experience, though with the normal caveats of an Early Access game. The team at Elder Game Studios certainly hopes to put together a different feeling game letting you pursue skills entirely at your own choosing and thus how you interact with the world. How well that works or how complex it turns out to be depends on how much you crave the ability to use psychology on bad guys or turn into a… werecow?

 

Crowfall

Project launched: February 24th, 2015

16,936 backers pledged $1,766,204

Still in Development

While Crowfall started with a nice chunk of change from Kickstarter, ongoing funding and pack purchases have helped them earn over $20 million. In fact, if you want to throw another $50 in the pot you can get your hands on the Pioneer Starter Pack and get your copy of Crowfall with a month of VIP access and immediate access to the 24×7 LIVE pre-alpha testing environment. Is that worth it? Well, you’ll get to play a burrowing sneaky dashing Guinecean. That’s worth an awful lot to me. They’re too adorable to win against so please look the other way while I ambush you. Crowfall is certainly a game that has flourished under the crowdfunding approach and the “new” way to interact with fans and backers. How well the throne war aspect of Crowfall works, in the end, depends on how many of us all rush in to get to grips with the game when it finally goes live. For now, though, everything looks to be going its way.

 

Star Citizen

star citizen like eve online

Project launched: October 18th, 2012

34,397 backers pledged $2,134,374

In Development Until The End Of Time

Star Citizen, you knew it was going to be on the list. According to their website, they have earned $185,689,880. According to Polygon earlier this year Star Citizen raised more money than every other video game on Kickstarter combined in 2017 and that’s for the second year in a row. Star Citizen doesn’t just have enough money to make an MMO, it has enough money to buy several islands, install Chris Roberts as Dictator for Life and make a genuine start on a navy. It continues to gain funds despite the occasional lawsuit or controversy that comes its way. How? Who knows? Will it ever come out? Who knows? All we can do is keep an open mind, though some clearly are keeping open wallets. Whatever ultimately happens with the game, there will be no mistaking its impact on the crowdfunding sphere or denying its fallout should it stumble at the last.

Don’t be surprised if all the RSI staff do go with the buy an island/get a navy route to fend off annoyed fans. Nearly six years on, that’s probably more likely than the game launching.

 

So there are seven random Kickstarter MMOs picked. All of them are still working on coming out in one way or another. Of course, there will be games that strived and failed. Games that never made funding or games that just couldn’t get over development. Why not share the ones you are most looking forward to or miss dearly?

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