City of Heroes-inspired MMORPG Ship of Heroes has canceled its Kickstarter bid

The team behind Ship of Heroes has just announced that it’s canceling its Kickstarter. Since the crowdfund’s launch on April 4th, it had raised only $35,138 of its $400,000 goal.

“We’ve had a very successful first day of fundraising, and then a slowdown,” Heroic Games’ Casey McGeever told backers in today’s update. “It does not look to us like we will reach our current goal of $400,000. So we did what we usually do, we listened to you, our supporters, to see what you are thinking. And we have drawn some conclusions. We went to Kickstarter too early. Our goal was high, and surprisingly many potential donors are only hearing about Ship of Heroes for the first time right now; they are understandably confused about some aspects of the game, and hesitant to support it just yet.”

Consequently, the team has vowed to cancel the Kickstarter and return to development while “raising awareness of the game.” A donation option will eventually be available on the game’s website for those who want to chip in.

The game is an Unreal 4 engine, full-scale MMORPG heavily inspired by City of Heroes, but with a bit more sci-fi flair as its core city is literally on a massive starship. Alpha was expected to begin later this year, though the team says it’s rejiggering its development plans a bit:

“Meanwhile, we’ll focus on core features, scaling our development to the amount of money available. We’ll limit the initial Ship of Heroes launch to missions and enemies in the already-built level, Apotheosis City, and to the first 20 levels of character advancement. […] We’ve built enough of the game that we expect to launch the revised version around the end of 2018. So we are working towards a more tightly-defined game, one with an earlier release date. Our long-term vision of a large ship with multiple levels visiting planets has not changed; we just need to link our schedule and scope to our revenues.”

Source: Kickstarter. Thank you, Nathaniel!
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67 Comments on "City of Heroes-inspired MMORPG Ship of Heroes has canceled its Kickstarter bid"

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Chris Riggs

This game has shown the most complete progress. I hope it continues to push hard till beta launch so all of the negative whiners will shut up and read their CoT lore. I think it will be interesting to go down to a planet, beat up some bad guys and jump back on the city/ship. Or go to a planet and PvP and jump back on the ship. The best part is that it’s not a mix of companies that will pull out of their commitment and let the project fail. I’m stoked.

April-Rain
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Kickstarter Donor
April-Rain

fond memories of city of hero’s but they lost me when I heard you live in a city in a spaceship, that lost a lot any immersion right there, I am a fan of the sub model though so that would be the only temptation to try it.

Reader
kelvar

I think a number of companies just use Kickstarter to gauge interest in the community for free. Perhaps they got the information they wanted but I think the impression it leaves behind may not be worth it.

Some people applaud them for doing the right thing, being honest, not BSing them… I think it’s quite the opposite. If you can’t even do enough research for your capital raising exercises and you fail mere days at the outset how credible are you as a studio? Not very.

Reader
Ken K

Interesting concept, but a number of concerns I had:

1. Having a spaceship pretty much locks characters into a sci-fi realm. My heroes tended to be magical in origin, which just wouldn’t fit on a space ship setting. I think they need to rethink the concept – maybe have an earth bound city, and have arcs/quests for those who want sci fi – much like the Moon base we almost had in CoH.

2. A LOT of empty space on their ship in their videos. CoH felt like a real city. with proper building spacing – things just looked a bit too spread out IMO on their ship.

3. They need to rethink starting out with just the vanilla classes. I loved the controller class in CoH, and having to wait a long time after launch would kill it for me.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

They should rethink using classes altogether. The tanker was one of the more ridiculous things I’ve seen in a superhero game; take hits from a supervillain but hit with the strength of a 15 year old? Come on. It’s a dumb carryover from fantasy MMOs, and it was already a silly thing there.

Reader
Ken K

From what I’ve read, CoH started out in alpha with a classless system, and it became clear it wouldn’t work – you could make some grossly over or under powered toons with zero restrictions. I think a class/archtype system of some kind is necessary to put bounds on what can be created.

Reader
Denice J. Cook

City of Titans had the earliest kickstarter, right after the CoX shutdown, so they got the most money, simple as that.

Reader
Ken from Chicago

Including mine. One of the few kickstarters I’ve contributed to. I was stunned SoH was asking for FOUR hundred grand. One hundred grand was stretching it IMHO, esp for a game I had just heard of a month prior.

Reader
Alodarn

wha? I was planning on backing them, but been too busy to have a look until now, and they pulled it? Bleh. Should of kept it running, and made a bit more noise.

Reader
Tony Porter

City of titans killed and attempt at a CoH successor. Years gave gone by and nothing materialised :(

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

The typical MMORPG development time is measured in years. It also is typically measured in tens of millions of dollars.

Reader
Ken from Chicago

Exactly, CoT is made by folk who have day jobs. That said, there has been progress:
https://cityoftitans.com/

Moreoever, Valiance Online has made a lot of progress also.

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

Do I show the behind the scenes progress or no…..

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

I know what you mean. I have had people just a week ago tell me to my face that CoT never showed off its character generator progress. The only part we haven’t shown is the final UI and what it looks like when fully assembled.

Richard de Leon III
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Kickstarter Donor
Richard de Leon III

I still cant wrap my head around the concept of heroes fighting villains on a ship. If anything all it would take is one particularly determined villain to destroy the ship and kill the entire crew in one fell swoop.

Reader
Ken from Chicago

It’s a really massive ship, with lots of safeguards, redundancies and also superheroes. Plus, most villains aren’t trying to kill themselves or even take over the world.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Nordavind

Planets are space ships travelling through space! :D

(But yeah, I know what you mean)

Reader
Yoshi Senpai

Despite my meme making fun of this; it does suck.

I really want a sci-fi or mech MMO to come out that isn’t EVE or SWTOR. Sorry, Wildstar, but you are on borrowed time. So out of all the CoH revivals this one was the one I was looking forward to, but too many people are fighting for a slot so culling is bound to happen.

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

It had a novel concept, and looks very promising. I’m very disappointed.

Reader
Ken from Chicago

Exactly. Frankly I’m tired of YET ANOTHER fantasy mmorpg. I can’t even find a decent sicifi single player rpg much less pve mmo. The scifi ones tend to be either mostly shooters in mmo clothing or sandboxes. Sorry, I’m not looking to be ganked, TYVM.
(Sorry, Bree, I know, I know, sandboxes are more than gankboxes, but I’d like a more more point to my game than “do anything”.)

Reader
MesaSage

3 days and it’s over? “Too early” is right. For the record, any day from here on out is “too early”.

Reader
Utakata

/bleh

styopa
Reader
styopa

“We went to Kickstarter too early.”
No. You and the umpteen other CoH legacy projects are all sucking the air out of the (already small) room, and you’re all going to suffocate unless you all collectively get your shat together.

Sorry if that’s too blunt.

Reader
Athena Lawrence

Hey not a bad idea. A ship as the world? No. A ship as a zone? Rad. CoT should absorb SoH as an expansion.

ceder
Reader
ceder

I think more aptly they made very unprofessional mistakes with how they did this KS attempt. The didn’t pay attention to how successful projects launched KS’s prior to this, marketed them etc. to the point of starting then while they were doing it etc. But this makes their situation painfully worse because now, this undermines confidence in their project and causes others to question the feasibility for them to actually produce let alone later maintain such a game.

This is a deep hole they’ve dug for themselves and may not be possible for them to climb out of.

Only time(ie their efforts) will tell.

Reader
Ken from Chicago

I just heard clips of an interview made on MMO Reporter about 2 weeks ago with a SoH dev about how SoH was going to launh sub-only and there weren’t worried about a lot of new content because they saw it more of a community thing, like when you go to a bar to hang out with your friends, not worry if there’s new beer. The host reporter and co-podcaster were … surprised … at that kinda of “innocent” / naive understand of the mmo field in 2017.

I came home after work to check the stats of the kickstarter, cuz it was about 30 k on day one, and 31k on day 2, and 32k on day 3 and for a 30-day campaign, that wasn’t going to come close to the $400 k that was their goal. I was still stunned at seeing that goal. I had only paid attention to the KS video first time I saw it.

Reader
Athena Lawrence

It’s weird that they thought they would have a tight knit community without having had time and a place for a community to like, form until just so recently. I think that’s a reason why CoT’s supporters are as loyal as they are. Plus the devs have been listening and working with the community’s input from the start. … which is why it’s not on a ship.

Reader
Duane Does not check email

Too soon. Too bad, it’s been a busy week and I wanted to read up more this weekend.

Reader
William Tweed

So much negativity in the comments :( I was bummed when I got the email

Reader
Yoshi Senpai

comment image

Reader
kidwithknife

Not terribly surprising. Getting an indie superhero MMORPG off the ground is a bit of a long shot to begin with; I do think there’s a market out there, but there’s a difference between me thinking there’s a market and anyone actually getting the money together to make one. And let’s not be cute here and pretend we aren’t all thinking the same thing… a superhero city, only it’s on a space ship? I mean, it could be good, but really? A space ship? Sure, it sets them apart from the other would-be CoH successors, but not in a good way.

Reader
Darkthunder

Cancelling the Kickstarter funding after only 3 days seems a bit premature, but I understand the decision to do so…

Going back into focus on full development, and running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo might be a better path forward.

Reader
jay

I think more than anything, it’s the fact that the market is already flooded with floundering Super hero MMO crowdfunded games, adding another to the mix isn’t business savvy.

Clearly they were unprepared in many other ways, and a lot of their mistakes show how inexperienced their team might be in the fact of what they want to do. But more than all of those mistakes, I think my previous statement is the foundation for their lack of funding. Nothing they are doing sets them far apart from any of the other super hero MMO”s already asking for funding.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

What the what?

Ya cancelled after three days?

Really?

I was planning to kick some cash in about a week when my personal life settled down.

Honestly, they should have done an AMA on Reddit. Hit up the social media sites. Done some interviews. You didn’t get backers cause outside of a few websites, no one knew who or what you guys were doing.

That was too soon.

Reader
Armsman

IMO – I think the following comment from one of their Backers means these guys need to do better at Marketing:

Brett Ritter Superbacker about 1 hour ago
FWIW – I signed up on your website 11 days before the KS, but never received an email saying it had started. Even with the relatively recent “reveal” of SoH, this means that those people you DID reach might not have been reminded that the KS actually started.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

I wonder how many backers were people who never played CoH.

Im guessing probably not many. Thats the problem with designing a game that caters to ex-players of an older game.

More exposure is certainly going to be helpful, assuming you can convince non-CoH players to be interested in a game that is built largely around dated and unoriginal work.

Ill state this again.. Its clear the dev team has talent. Its just a shame they didnt use that talent to make a completely new and original super hero mmo, rather than trying to build off the existing theme and spirit of an older, dated game.

Reader
Witches

Not surprising, i never saw any indication that there was enough interest to reach their goal, and i say this as someone who is interested.

I may have my numbers wrong but i believe the City of Titans KS was for 700k, and this was closer to the end of CoH and in a time when KS games had a better reputation than they have now.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Legend Of Vinny T

CoT’s goal was $320K, and it closed at over $675K

Reader
chriskovo .

To many projects of this time and not enough people to support it. Add that to the face that people are more and more burning out on mmos in general and you got a stuttering project that wont go anywhere.

Reader
Bryan Correll

Other than the spaceship angle (and I can’t recall many people being thrilled by that concept) SoH didn’t seem to be offering anything that City of Titans and Valiance weren’t already bringing to the table. People who were going to back a CoH “spiritual successor” were already supporting one or both of those games.

Reader
BDJ

Yea. I was never sold on it. Its like these guys saw the show “The 100” and ran with it.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
BalsBigBrother

Everyone is obviously too busy playing Master X Master, too soon ?
hehe :-)

Reader
Ken from Chicago

Stupid computer! You can’t tell me I “already” voted for that comment. I vote for it as many times as I want! That’s the Chicago way! ;-)

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

I see what you did there.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Good move on their part, they weren’t anywhere near on pace to hit their goal (they’d have needed to hit 6 digits on day one, as funding usually drops off pretty steeply after the first few days, even moreso if it’s not off to a super strong start).

Still think all these spiritual successors are doing far more harm to themselves collectively than any external forces – between splitting up the potential audience and causing confusion about which project is which etc.

Hopefully they’ll take this time to do a bit more work on the game and overhaul their rewards tiers, IMO that was a big stumbling point for them.

Reader
BDJ

Yea. Its a fluster cluck at this point. Its like all of the SWG emulators out. There are like 10. When the swgemu finally releases, you will have 100 servers with 5 people in each one. These “spiritual successors” to CoH are going the same exact way. There are 4-5 of them. It will split the community horribly. All of them will die. Its almost a certainty. The only chance they got is if they all band together and make one game… and honestly, thats not going to happen.

Reader
Skai R

Yup, what they need to do is get together and work out one good game.

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

That would require setting aside egos and working together. Sadly, that seems to be difficult to accomplish based on my experience.

ceder
Reader
ceder

Kickstarter working as intended. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Reader
GoJammit

Kinda dumb to know at least wait through payday to see what happens, right? As much as I loved City of Heroes, I think the genre has evolved past what this game seems to be offering. They needed someone to put a better foot forward in that video. Action combat is the way to go with something like this. And maybe I’m wrong and it is, but it sure as hell didn’t look like it. Visuals may not be everything, but you need to come with something that looks better than the decade old game you are emulating.

Reader
Wakkander

It’s a fairly common trend among video game kickstarters that if a project doesnt reach a third of its goal with a short time period (I want to say it was 48 hours) it is highly unlikely to succeed.

Video games on kickstarter don’t operate the way some other projects do on there, slowly reaching the goal over time. It almost universally spikes at the start and end. And if you don’t get that initial bump it is better to cancel and relaunch or after some changes.

Reader
Skai R

No offense, but the game looked like it was made when 3d was just becoming a thing. There is no way that was the unreal 4 engine, it just looked so Mehhh.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Legend Of Vinny T

They were kit-bashing a bunch of free and low-cost assets from the Unreal Marketplace and other sources so they could have a “complete” environment for their sizzle reel. Just a different kind of grey-boxing in the end, but it looks better than the actual grey boxes used behind the scenes.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

And of all the CoH inspired games in the works, this one actually had the best looking visuals so far….

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Witches

The engine doesn’t make models or textures, it just renders them.

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Wakkander

Art and assets are not engine dependant. Unreal 4 is likely being used, but it doesn’t magically generate the assets.

Reader
Skai R

Then the art and asset are bad. Yes, it’s pre alpha but I doubt it was gonna change m,uch.

Reader
Bannex

((Don’t troll please.))

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McGuffn

The genre is kind of bloated with in-development and kicstarter titles at the moment. You have to assume Ship of Super Heroes, Ship of Villains, and Ship of Titans all fragment the potential player and financial base.

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Roger Christie

Wow, is it two for one strawman day?

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