This week we’ve been abuzz about Smed’s Hero’s Song Kickstarter cancellation – the KS more than the game, mostly because the game is happening regardless, but the Kickstarter might be more a window into the genre and the wider gaming industry than the game itself.
Our audience has seemed particularly prickly lately about so-called “rockstar devs” taking “AAA games” to Kickstarter for “no-strings” money and promotion instead of to investors or publishers, which might be leading to the corporatization of Kickstarter and squeezing out of smaller studios. We talked about that last month too when we asked our readers whether they planned to Kickstart anything in the new year.
So let’s talk about the present and future of crowdfunding. Are you over it? Is it dead? Is it being killed off by so-called “rockstar” devs, or is that sour grapes? If you’ve backed games, how many have delivered? What are your criteria for backing games in 2016? These are the questions I posed to the team for this week’s Massively Overthinking.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, former SOE/Daybreak CEO John Smedley revealed his new company, Pixelmage Games, and its first game, sandboxy OARPG Hero’s Song, whose Kickstarter is live now and will run until February 18th. In fact, it’s already added new pledge tiers to entice backers; a $25 pledge scores two copies of the $20 game at launch.
Dragon of Legends, Overpower, and Planet Nomads join Hero’s Song in the list of new Kickstarters this week.
We also heard Eternal Crusade reject the idea that its early access Steam launch is a “cashgrab,” witnessed Elite: Dangerous fend off confusion about its Oculus Rift support, learned Crowfall is putting an end to refunds, and saw Gillian Anderson describe her role in Star Citizen’s Squadron 42.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week.
Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs is getting out in front of “Snowniño,” the massive blizzard bearing down on the a large swath of the Eastern US this weekend, with an early weekly update on the game’s status. (And Friday Night Fights is off as well.)
First up is the new website, now “in its final state of testing.” Expect it on Monday if the weather allows the studio to reopen. The game’s animation system is now in too:
“Over the next few weeks, we will be slowly adding new animations to the system and seeing how things go. We have a huge list of animations that we will need for the game, and not just for combat, but also for fun things such as emotes.”
Jacobs notes that the full crafting system won’t be in for beta one, but it will be partially playable by testers.
All right, we’ve had just about a month of 2016 now, and I’m writing this on my birthday. Odds are good that I’m going to be writing about MMOs for at least a little while longer now, probably through next week at least. So it would be really wonderful if all of the stuff I’m about to list could make like a tree and go away forever, erasing itself from the face of the Earth.
That will not happen, of course, because we’re about a month into the year and all of this has already happened. Again.
The odds of this year marking an improvement in the listed fields are basically nil. Nonetheless, I’m writing this list just the same, so that you all can hopefully nod in agreement, and perhaps next year we can be rid of all this nonsense. In all likelihood little to nothing is actually going to change in 2017, too, but at least if something does change, I can be happy I stood vaguely near something sort of shifting.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the Oculus Rift, once a crowdfunded venture, is now asking a whopping $599 for its final product, befuddling market analysts.
Meanwhile, Greed Monger returned from the dead, Divergence Online staggered to Steam early access, and TUG picked up a cool $8.5 million in funding to start over in a new engine, meaning a year’s delay to content updates.
Check out the rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding news below.
If there’s one thing that you should know about City State Entertainment’s Mark Jacobs is that the man likes to talk at great length, especially about projects that inspire his passion. So don’t be surprised to see him gleefully tackle questions about Camelot Unchained on an hour-long episode of the Opposition Podcast.
Jacobs used his time on the show to address topics such as PvP balance, crafting, the game engine, and Camelot Unchained’s massive class line-up. He said that there are a lot of classes that haven’t been announced yet as needing more work.
You can watch the hour-long discussion after the break!
This year, we’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2016.
December has been a surprisingly busy month in spite of the holidays, and rising to the occasion was Star Citizen, which launched its 2.0 alpha, passed the $100 million mark, and offered up trailer for its procedurally generated planet system that surprised even its stalwart supporters.
Meanwhile, Camelot Unchained revealed its crafting, Elder Scrolls Online and Firefall dealt with financial issues, and The Repopulation’s Hero Engine saga came to a head. Here’s a look at all the top MMORPG stories of December in our last Year in Review entry for 2015.
A long time ago on another website far, far away, I held a tradition of kicking off the new year by listing the top 10 MMOs that deserved attention and were likely to launch that year. These days, however, the industry has changed quite a bit, most notably with early access, open development, soft launches, and crowdfunding blurring the lines of testing and play.
Therefore, I felt that a slight change was needed with 2016’s list. Instead of rattling off 10 titles that I think are going to release in the following 12 months, I’m going to mention games that strongly bear watching in the new year. Some of them will undoubtedly release, while the rest remain in alpha or beta testing, but all could have an impact on the industry and in our online communities.
Because I’m limiting the list to just 10 entries, some up-and-coming games won’t be mentioned. I have my reasons (secret, dusky reasons), but if you disagree about these or the exclusion of any title, pipe up in the comments!
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, The Repopulation suspended its test servers thanks to the HeroEngine fiasco, though Above & Beyond says it is working on a solution and isn’t giving up.
Meanwhile, Dogma: Eternal Night’s Kickstarter came to a close unfulfilled, Project Gorgon was delayed on Steam, and Camelot Unchained delivered a massive crafting reveal and interview for the Massively OP community.
Check out the rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding news below.
Happy holidays to those celebrating a holiday today! Happy just today for everyone else! And an extra-special dose of happy for people who like their crafting systems to have ornate depth, because Camelot Unchained has previewed its crafting system and there’s plenty for you to explore. Most of you can’t actually play with it yet, no, but you sure can dream.
Other beta news? Not a whole lot, you know, what with other things happening this week. But there’s still some!
Oh, yes, we totally have other things down there in the list. Have a good one, folks, and we’ll see you again on the other side of the new year! Really, it’ll be 2016 before the next installment runs. Freaky, huh?
Massively OP’s end-of-the-year awards continue today with our blooper award for Longest MMO Newsletter. And the winner is…
You guys. These things are epic. I gave up counting when one approached 11,000 words. Teach us to ask for design transparency!
Want to nominate another winner? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to check out our serious MMO awards while you’re at it.
Every week for the last few years, we’ve expanded on our “Daily Grind” theme with a Leaderboard poll. On the one hand, seeing the numbers and bar graphs is a quantitative sort of magic that we don’t often get from our other articles. On the other hand, it’s really obvious when a certain game’s community is swarming and brigading a vote.
Let’s take a look back at the best MMO polls of 2015.
We gave out a lot of awards this month for things games did in 2015, and we talked about what we think will happen in 2016. But what about what we wish would happen next year? Do you have hopes and dreams about our genre’s upcoming year? If you could make one single wish about the coming year of MMOs, what would it be?
I posed these questions to the Massively OP team for this week’s Massively Overthinking, and we’d love for you to join in.