With less than a week to go in its fundraising campaign, Ashes of Creation has raised over $2.5 million and become the most successful Kickstarted MMORPG of all time. This milestone also means that another stretch goal has been crossed, prompting the development of a “beast-like” Underrealm race to go with those boring humans, Elves, Orcs, and Dwarves.
One aspect of the campaign that the studio is being quiet about concerns its slightly controversial referral program. PC Gamer noted that the system originally factored in pledges and reached out to Kickstarter to see if this was allowed. Kickstarter examined the situation and determined that Ashes of Creation was in the wrong and had to separate referrals from crowdfunding.
If all of Ashes of Creation’s ambitious claims come to life in the finished product, then it does’t seem like players will wont for things to do. And if adventuring, farming, and trading gets old, there’s always the opportunity to take a vacation in the skin of a monster.
Calling it “fresh to the MMO experience,” the team at Ashes of Creation says that the game’s monster play will allow players to use special coins to take over a mobile boss for a dynamic event. Both the monster attacker and player defenders are judged based on their performance, with all sorts of cosmetics as potential rewards.
In addition to the monster coin system, Intrepid Studios announced the addition of yet another stretch goal: variant spell FX if 16,000 Kickstarter backers are reached. As it stands, Ashes of Creation has raised $2.35M with the help of over 13,200 backers so far.
“I think in a couple of days we may be the number one Kickstarted MMORPG ever.”
Dream big, Intrepid Studios! As Ashes of Creation bears down on its crowdfunding home stretch with 10 days to go, the fantasy MMO just crossed the 12,000 backers line (granting exclusive dyes to all backers) and already has $2.23 million in its virtual pockets. Upcoming stretch goals include the Underrealm race ($2.5M), unique mount barding (13,500 backers), and an in-game stock exchange ($3M).
The developers aren’t keeping to themselves during this crazy time. Intrepid team members were on hand this past weekend for an hour-long livestream during which they answered community questions and showed off more Ashes of Creation gameplay. We’ve got that video after the jump (the gameplay starts at the 29-minute mark) as well as a new environmental video from the project!
Now that Ashes of Creation has surpassed $2 million in community fundraising, how far will the game go before its Kickstarter campaign draws to a conclusion? It might seem far-fetched that it will add on another million by the end, but the team is ready for this if it happens.
Optimistically, Intrepid Studios revealed its stretch goal for $3 million raised, saying that it would factor in a stock exchange if this milestone is reached:
[The stock exchange] is a very in-depth system that relates to how Nodes, Player Guilds and Social Organizations perform in the world. This will allow players to invest those communities through the form of a stock exchange that will measure certain metrics to determine success or failure around the world. If a guild fails in a raid, shareholders in that guild may see a drop in it’s value. Or if a node advances in activities and trade routes leading to it, the shareholders may see a spike in their dividends. Social organizations such as the Thieves Guild may see community quest points achieved throughout the world and different chapters being built in nodes across the realm, resulting in a higher valuation.
With all of the hullabaloo going on concerning Ashes of Creation and its Kickstarter campaign, a few bloggers are asking themselves whether or not this is an MMO worth backing, especially if they’ve been burned before by grand promises and poor execution.
“All of this adds up to an enticing package and ought to spark the embers of hope that maybe there will be something new under the sun when it comes to the fantasy MMORPG genre,” The Ancient Gaming Noob wrote. “So why am I not excited about this? Why isn’t this helping me shake off the MMO malaise?”
“I’m not on the hype train by a long shot. Not that I see anything particularly wrong with the game, it’s just way, way too early to even think about commenting on it,” Endgame Viable said.
“Am I going to pony up? Mmmm. Maybe,” mulls Inventory Full. “I’m still thinking about it, although, after reading the Kickstarter page, I’m actually less interested in the game than I was.”
For Ashes of Creation, May 16th will go down as one of its best days. For starters, the title was featured on Kickstarter’s front page as the project of the day. This honor probably helped to push the game past not one but two significant milestones.
The same day, the sandbox MMO hit $2 million in crowdfunding, a feat that has only been done by two other MMORPGs (Star Citizen and Camelot Unchained). And to put a cap on it, a second stretch goal, 11,000 backers, was also achieved. Not too shabby for a Tuesday!
Thanks to these met stretch goals, social organizations will be included in Ashes of Creation’s feature set and all backers will receive the exclusive Tidesnapper underwater mount. There’s a little over two weeks left in the campaign, which is plenty of time to hit another stretch goal or two. Next up is a playable Underrealm beast race (unlocked at $2.5M), exclusive dye colors (12,000 backers), and unique mount barding (13,500 backers).
Is Kickstarter dead? With Ashes of Creation’s incredible success this spring and several other MMO projects still attempting at drawing in that sweet crowdfunding money, it’s hard to say “yes” to that question. Perhaps the better question is whether Kickstarter is entering in a new phase after seeing a large boom and contraction over the past few years.
Eurogamer has an interesting think piece about the use of Kickstarter in an age when some people have become disillusioned with the platform (and early access in general) and others have turned to actual investment platforms like Fig instead. While there were 456 fully funded Kickstarter video game campaigns in 2016, the collective total of $17.7M was less than half of that from the year prior.
Remember kids, only devs can prevent virtual forest fires! And it’s probably a good thing that they do because apparently there are some Ashes of Creation fans who actually want the ability to light acres of in-game property ablaze for… reasons.
The bizarre query to program in firebugs came out of a wild-and-woolly community Q&A session that Intrepid CEO Steven Sharif did yesterday. Sharif fielded all sorts of questions about the game including practical (nodes, progression) and goofy (metal band music, a troll class for trolling).
The session is a little difficult to follow, what with all of the Discord pings and rambling questions from the community, but there are some interesting nuggets of info in it concerning the weather system, wider possibilities for caravans, and the depth of the crafting system. Check it out for yourself below!
With well over two weeks to go in its Kickstarter campaign, Ashes of Creation has already outpaced similar efforts from Chronicles of Elyria ($1.36M raised) and Crowfall ($1.76M). In fact, with over $1.84M raised so far and 19 days to go, it looks increasingly probable that the project is going to easily clear two million and surpass the Kickstarters of Shroud of the Avatar ($1.91M) and Camelot Unchained ($2.23M).
This also means that the $1.75M stretch goal to include an underground area is now sealed in stone. The team teased this subterranian zone by saying, “The Underrealm will be a rich environment where bioluminescence abounds in the fauna and flora that exist here. These deep caverns and underground valleys will provide new destinations for civilization to develop. Bringing the node system into the depths of the world, may awaken darker creatures than the surface. Be careful…”
The next funding stretch goal is to include social organizations such as thieves guilds at $2M. If you missed our Friday livestream interview with the Ashes of Creation team, make sure you rectify that!
The Ashes of Creation Kickstarter is in full swing, steam rolling ahead with new stretch goals reached again and again. And there’s new news rolling our regularly as well. But there’s still plenty more backers and MMORPG fans want to know about the game, so Massively OP’s MJ is joining the team on their official livestream to ask some questions. Tune in live at 6:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a live interview of …
What: Ashes of Creation
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 12th, 2017
MMORPG blogger and MOP commenter Isarii (@ethanmacfie) recently published an excellent video positing that the MMO industry is facing a “massive identity crisis.”
“The MMO genre has sort of walked away from the things that made it unique and has faced an identity crisis since then as MMOs have reinvented themselves as these big giant titles trying to appeal to as many people as possible,” he argues. “As a result, you end up with MMOs that try to do things that smaller scale games tend to do better while not doing any of the things that make MMOs themselves unique.”
The whole video is worth a look-and-listen as he pins down what exactly does make MMOs unique and which MMOs have excelled as actual MMOs (protip: It’s everything from EVE to SWG to WoW, so don’t think this is about subgenre elitism at all). What do you think? Is Isarii right? Is the genre facing an identity crisis? And how do we solve it? That’s what our writers will be debating in this week’s Massively Overthinking.
Over 9,600 fans have donated to Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter so far this May, which is more than enough to put the campaign over another stretch goal. All backers, regardless of funding tier, will now receive an unique armor skin set for their patronage.
Next up for the backer stretch goals? An underwater Tidesnapper mount that will be given to all supporters if 11,000 or more people back the project. This mount should pair well with the underwater exploration that was added to the feature set thanks to an earlier stretch goal. The campaign is nearing the $1.7 million mark as of the time of this writing.
Need another jolt of excitement to power your inner hype? The team posted a new video yesterday that shows off Ashes of Creation’s stealthy Predator class in action as he infiltrates a city and snags a special relic.
Is Ashes of Creation destined to be the Kickstarter event of the year? Today on the ‘cast, Bree and Justin talk about this crowdfunding tsunami, several MMO patches, a superhero preview, and even a launch. Also, Bree is selling the entire contents of her virtual garage. It was a busy week!
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