Shroud of the Avatar makes $2M equity crowdfunding pitch, plans 2017 launch

Shroud of the Avatar’s Summer Telethon concluded last night, having raised from players $115,000 and unlocking multiple stretch goal rewards for players, including balloons and special pipe smoke shapes.

Perhaps the most interesting bit of news to emerge from the hoopla is that Portalarium is apparently using the SeedInvest platform to solicit investors in a new $2M equity crowdfunding campaign, akin to the one Crowfall studio ArtCraft carried out late last year.

It’s sent Reddit and the official forums into a tizzy as players and detractors question the game’s $25M valuation, its plans to fully launch in 2017, the story wipe apparently coming, and some of the features touted in the investment briefing that aren’t in the game, like trade routes, a fully player-driven economy, town capture, and console/mobile functionality. The investor pitch notes that the game has more than 64K “volunteer testers” (copies sold?) and over 150,000 “player registrations,” with a cash position of just over half a million dollars and a monthly drain of $230,000 in operational costs.

We have reached out to Portalarium for clarification this morning and will report back when we have better information, but be aware that it’ll be hard to get financial quotes out of them while the equity investment campaign is live.

Source: Telethon, SeedInvest. Thanks, Anon!
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32 Comments on "Shroud of the Avatar makes $2M equity crowdfunding pitch, plans 2017 launch"

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socontrariwise

I can’t believe Garriott lists under “education” an honorary (!) Doctorate . This is even more ridiculous as it is “for his work with Queen Mary in promoting the importance of science, mathematics and space exploration.”
http://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/52659.html
That is just pathetic in my eyes.

Just in case someone is not aware …
“The recipient of an honorary degree may add the degree title postnominally, but it should always be made clear that the degree is honorary by adding “honorary” or “honoris causa” or “h.c.” in parenthesis after the degree title.”
(He does not AND places it under education)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honorary_degree

Reader
Melissa McDonald

Don’t really understand your scorn. Honorary degrees are just that – an honor given for service. What’d he do, kick your dog or something?

“Find the good, and praise it” – Alex Haley

Reader
Fisty

He didn’t earn it by going doing the work. It’s just pompous.

Reader
socontrariwise

Drain of §230,000 per month? For … that?! So they are bankrupt in 2 month basically? Is that a joke or did I misunderstand something?

“while the funds raised through this offering will be used to fund the development of our product (i.e., the game Shroud of the Avatar), we will require additional funding after this offering to complete the development and then launch our product. ”

Wait, they try to get 2 million – to not be able to complete development and THEN launch the product? But they announce launch within maximum 2 month? So they will need more than $2 (but don’t have any) to make it to launch by latest end of July?? Meaning they intend to spend 2 million prior to launch end of July plus extra? On a game that needs for operation alone $230,000 a month, development cost in other words not included? Are they so deep in debt that they need suddenly more than five times the operation cost for less than two month or where is that supposed to go?

The grammar issues and sometimes chopped up sentences in this seedinvest page are troubling as well.

Reader
socontrariwise

Do I understand the Exhibit B correctly in so far that they manage to get roughly the same 7.7 million a year in crowdfunding but took effectively roughly another 3 million in credit/non-equity investment between 2015 and 2016, while basically nobody of those 29 people get paid (accounts payable is negligible)? And they are at a debt by now of roughly 11 million (which could be investment)?
They are effectively loosing $3 million a year with nobody being paid (accounts payable) while equity based income of 7.7 million is fully burned? Since this isn’t on the liabilities sides, where does the money go? The operating expenses mentioned prior are not even listed?
And why did they sell 100k shares for essentially 12 dollar recently?

Reader
Kayweg

Launch announced with just over a month notice, that sort of thing always sets my “rushed release” alarm off.
I took advantage of the “free to play in may” offer, and i did like it enough to play for 3 days or so, well aware that it is very much a work in progress.
From the impressions i got, the idea that a launch day announcement was imminent would never have crossed my mind.
The character animations alone made me think “obvious placeholder”.
Well, good luck, i think they’ll need it.

Reader
Daniel Miller

Holding interest someone stated, or lack of ability to. Well I did buy this back in winter sale. I put two to three hours into this game. Took me an hour to figure out how to make my toon and actually get in the world. Spent another thirty minutes walking and wondering why i couldn’t attack anything. Found a sword on the ground. Killed a few mobs, but unable to kill others. Walked to the real world.

In the real world the housing and town system seems ok, but the player towns can be individual owned it seems or guild owned, weekly, or monthly tax. I didn’t see one mob in the real world, one npc, and so on. So after the third hour i just loogged off again.

I also tried chatting in their discord but got few answers. lots of referrals to one hour videos. o while i may have to bunker down to learn the game, even what a skill tree is where a real city is and such. I can’t recommend it right now.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

A successful MMO will need more hand-holding than that.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
squidgod2000

I haven’t been following SoTA very closely, but one thing I hear repeatedly is that it is in major need of combat system polish/overhaul. Is it really wise to ‘launch’ with that not accomplished? Or are the devs comfortable with current combat functionality?

For all the lore and fluff they’re putting into the game, most people are going to approach it from a classic “kill mobs, get loot, level up” perspective.

Reader
Paul

Oh dear… this game is so far away from ready for launch I was checking if April 1st had been slotted in at the end of May…

Reader
A Dad Supreme

“It’s sent Reddit and the official forums into a tizzy as players and detractors question the game’s $25M valuation, its plans to fully launch in July 2017, the story wipe apparently coming, and some of the features touted in the investment briefing that aren’t in the game, like trade routes, a fully player-driven economy, town capture, and console/mobile functionality. “
==========
Makes me wonder how this pitch would do on Shark Tank. I know Mark Cuban would be out after he heard this.

Reader
Armsbend

“Imagine the year is 2003. Picture a world of cutting edge graphics and gameplay. In this world you’ll level up by fighting monsters and you get to pay $30 or so for a different colored hat than you…”

“I’ll stop you there. I’m out.”

Reader
Patreon Donor
Schlag Sweetleaf

$

neverending grift.png
Reader
Melissa McDonald

“with a cash position of just over half a million dollars and a monthly drain of $230,000 in operational costs.”

So they have 2 months to live?

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
BalsBigBrother

Seems we see a SotA telethon every other month

images.jpg
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Dividion

Close. They’re quarterly (spring, summer, autumn, winter), so ever 3 months.
I would’ve contributed $5 yesterday to get all the extras, but I was off in Morrowind.

Reader
Armsbend

Just when I think I’m out! They pull me back in!

Reader
Van

I love the concept of Sota. I actually put in a hundred $$ myself.

I’m getting some major low budget MMORPG fatigue. The constant campaigning for more fundraising, promised and broken deadlines, low budget quality.

Sota, Crowfall, Pantheon, Gloria Victus, Camelot Unchained I’m looking at you… I will keep to my big budget, high quality games like ESO, WoW, FF14

Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

You think those games won’t be high quality? All of those except maybe Sota aren’t even in beta yet, how can you judge their quality?

Reader
Van

I follow them all fairly closely and am not overly impressed with any of them. I’m not making some sort of final judgement and who knows I will likely try them out at launch.

But they all look very niche and low budget and there is something to be said for having larger budgets and development teams.

All the quality MMORPG’s out right now have (or have had) larger budgets and private funding. Name one successful indie MMORPG that has the amount of depth and features of WoW, ESO, FF14, GW2 and SWTOR.

My point is the hype fatigue gets real for these crowdfunding games.

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

And yet, I have seen people complain about City of Titans who have purposefully *not* engaged in continuing crowdfunding in order to avoid this issue.

Reader
Armsbend

Stop throwing money at these snapperheads then. If you say one thing and do another then…

Reader
Van

I have. I gave the money during my initial excitement. Sota’s player run towns is a pretty cool idea, but the game will probably end up being a ghost town by the time it releases.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Dividion

So… Next month? :)

Overall I like SotA. The design is old school, yet unique. The community is excellent. The world graphics, creatures and animations are definitely acceptable. It has a nice variety of skills, and you can learn anything you want.

But I’d recommend a bucket full of polish before officially launching. The UI needs some modernization, and less clipping on the cloaks would be appreciated. There’s still a pretty significant learning curve compared to other MMOs, and that makes it harder to hold new players.

Reader
Paul

I agree – the game actually has a lot of potential. Trouble is its still largely unrealised potential. Just last week they were introducing a major new combat mechanic – that’s not the kind of changes to be experimenting with 2 months from ‘release’…

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

What do you mean? It’s not like they added a whole new world 30 days before launch!! #tabularasa

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