Things looked very bleak for SkySaga and its parent company Radiant Worlds last August when the upcoming multiplayer game shut down production following Smilegate’s decision to pull out as publisher and leave Radiant without funds to finish the game. However, hope for the studio blossomed following a statement today by UK media developer and publisher Rebellion, in which it was announced that the company had acquired Radiant Worlds for an undisclosed sum.
The publisher said that Radiant Worlds will now become a sister studio called Rebellion Warwick and “will immediately transition on to current projects including the 1930s co-op adventure Strange Brigade.”
Unfortunately, this acquisition did not include SkySaga, so don’t put too much stock in a resurrection. “As much as we loved working on SkySaga, the game belongs to Smilegate, so any future development plans would be from them, not us,” Radiant tweeted.
It’s true that we lost a lot of MMOs in 2016 — bigger and more important ones than in 2014 and 2015. 2017, however, has been a different sort of beast. The list is long, and while it’s painful for those whose games are gone, the genre didn’t lose many major MMOs this past year. And that startles me.
Marvel Heroes was surely the most dramatic of all the sunsets, given that it shut down early without notice. Earlier in the year, we saw Daybreak put an end to Landmark after less than a year of live operation, while Turbine let the Asheron’s Call franchise go, Firefall formally closed, Club Penguin’s sunset broke the internet, and NCsoft called it quits with Master X Master. A number of other MMOs simply halted development – Perpetuum, Sword Coast Legends, and SkySaga being the most prominent of those. And on a more positive note, there were a few sunsetted MMOs that were revivified, including Otherland, Uncharted Waters Online, and RaiderZ.
Farewell, old friends.
Just in case you were wondering, it’s still a puddle of sadness and despair over at SkySaga. Following the online game’s abrupt development halt in August due to its publishing partner pulling out, fans have held on to a thin thread of hope that, somehow, the project would be revived.
It’s not looking exactly promising right now. The official site was recently locked down, cutting off access to the forums and other content. Only a reprise of the announcement is able to be read:
Smilegate apologises for any confusion caused due to recent events. The development of SkySaga has been put on hold for now. We would like to extend our gratitude to all the fans of SkySaga who have participated in the development of the game. As to the future of SkySaga, all we can say is that nothing can be said for certain at this moment. We will be sure to let all of our dedicated fans know as soon as there is any update on this front.
Many players, including some of those here at Massively OP, were crushed to hear last month that the colorful MMO Skysaga had to shut down development due to its publisher pulling out of the deal. While the game wasn’t canceled outright, it certainly looked dire for the project, and developer Radiant Worlds said that it had to lay off a great deal of its staff.
But is there hope for the beleaguered title? While it is wise to be wary of false hope, there might be a glimmer of a path forward for Skysaga. Yesterday, the team posed a cryptic note to the game’s Facebook page, saying, “Please note that the beta pre-registration and few website functions will be temporarily disabled as we are working on some changes.” The official site also changed its beta registration banner to a note that stated, “Stay tuned for more updates!”
The community is understandably confused, anxious, and cautiously excited, begging the studio to come out and share more information. We’re going to keep our ear to the ground on this one and cross our fingers that Skysaga has found a way to continue development even after being dealt that critical financial blow.
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree shovel through the mountain of Gamescom reveals, including a trip to World of Warcraft’s Argus and Star Citizen’s elaborate Alpha 3.0 tease. The duo also mourn the premature demise of SkySaga, a promising-looking MMO that got a raw deal from its publisher.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
Very sad news today out of Radiant Worlds, which announced that Smilegate, its publishing partner, ordered that SkySaga’s development be shut down immediately and pulled support from the project. While the studio said that the game is only “on hold” and that Radiant is in a “strong financial position,” it doesn’t look good for the multiplayer title. It also sounds like there will be some serious layoffs at Radiant Worlds as a result.
Radiant Worlds is sad to announce that its work on PC-based creative sandbox and adventure game SkySaga: Infinite Isles will now cease, following the decision of its publishing partner Smilegate Entertainment to put the game on hold for an unknown period of time.
This has resulted in the failure to renew our recently expired contract, and as SkySaga is currently our only project, this has inevitably meant that we now have no ongoing source of income.
This unfortunately means that all positions at Radiant Worlds are now under threat and we expect to shortly enter a period of consultation with all staff, which is likely to lead to a large number of redundancies across the board, potentially affecting everyone.
The business has made every effort to negotiate an alternative outcome, but without success.
Have you ever noticed that while there’s an entire world out there, most all of the MMORPGs we discuss and play tend to either be ones crafted in the USA or imports from China or Korea? We even have a shorthand for this: “western” and “eastern” MMOs. We’re usually not talking about entire hemispheres with these references, but rather about categorizing three countries that are big into the MMORPG business.
But what about the rest of the world? Are all of these other countries so uncaring about this genre that they’ve never tried their hand at making an MMO? Of course not; as I’m about to show you, there are plenty of online RPGs that have been made in countries other than China, the USA, and South Korea. It’s just that for various reasons, those three countries ended up fostering concentrations of video game developers who knew how to create these types of games.
So let’s take a tour around the world and see if we can’t give some credit to other countries for their contributions to the MMORPG genre past, present, and future. Before you click the link, see how many you can name off the top of your head!
Good news, The Elder Scrolls Online fans: Morrowind is now in beta testing! It’s in closed beta, so you probably don’t get to take part in it, but if you do, you still can’t tell us about it. You can, however, tell us about any and all funerals you are holding for your Templar. A moment of silence will be observed.
Other beta news? Aw, shucks, why not?
- The next Starfall Tactics test starts up on April 24th. It does not, in fact, feature any tactics based around falling stars, because physics does not work that way. Instead, it has character creation, limited progression, and a new ship class.
- Everyone gets a prize for participating in the SkySaga Alpha 10 test! You get a prize! And you get a prize! The prize is probably not a humpback whale, but you never know.
- The next round of testing for Life is Feudal‘s MMO side of things is starting on April 26th and should run for around 10 days. Clear your calendar for Wednesday, then.
- Project Gorgon is looking good these days. Seriously, the latest round of graphical updates makes it like that nerdy but shy girl from school who suddenly turned immensely hot, or something. You know your movie cliches, fill them in on your own time.
- Want to hunt some trolls in Saga of Lucimia in an early test version? That’s a thing that’s happening. No word yet on whether or not they’re actual in-game trolls or more general trolls, but make sure to designate someone as “torch-monkey” if you’re going out at night.
- Last but not least, the Marvel Heroes console version is starting its beta today, and it features local co-op. That’s unlikely to ever come to the PC version, although why you would need it is a different discussion altogether.
For those of you not delighted by the above stories (and those who are delighted), we also have a list just below. Isn’t that lovely? Let us know if there are errors within the list down in the comments. Or let us know what betas you’re playing and can be discussed without an NDA. Or let us know if you want to buy the Laser Prime redeco from the most recent Transformers box set. We have an extra.
It’s very rare that this job allows us to use the terms “shutdown” and “good” in the same sentence, but the upcoming alpha shutdown for SkySaga is one of those rare instances. After all, the only reason the alpha test is shutting down is so that the game can move into its open beta, which will serve as a de facto soft launch. See? That’s a good thing.
Other betas were doing stuff this week, too, so that’s also a good thing.
And we’ve got our full list of games just below if you’d like a more rundown-style update. As always, we appreciate it if you let us know what stuff has jumped to another phase of testing or might otherwise be erroneous; we do our best to keep up with changes, but we do miss things from time to time.
Take a last long look at SkySaga’s alpha servers because they won’t be around much longer. In a good way! Smilegate announced today that the alpha will come to an end ahead of schedule on April 27th as the game is prepped for its “full beta release,” which will act as an open beta soft launch as it won’t be wiped from that point onward.
“We’ve always planned to turn off the lights for a spell before we hit Beta; when we’d done all we could while Alpha was still live,” says the studio. “But the dev team have done such an amazing job that we’ve hit that point a little earlier than we were expecting.”
It’s not clear when beta will launch. “There’s a lot to do so we don’t have a fixed date for this just yet, but we’ll let you know when you’ll be able to come back in and explore the Infinite Isles some more,” says the FAQ.
After over a month of voting and counting down, we’ve arrived at the final six picks for your favorite MMORPG theme songs of all time. It’s been absolutely illuminating seeing the formation of this list and the placement of certain tracks, and I’m glad that everyone who wanted to got to participate.
Before I reveal the top six themes, here are a few honorable mentions:
Are you ready? I know I am! Here we go!
If, like me, your spring break plans have been thwarted by frigid weather in the forecast, maybe you’re looking for something new to do this weekend. If so, take a peek at SkySaga, which last week hit alpha 10. The voxel sandbox updated the floating City of Last Light, buffed character customization, improved the UI and atlas, added new components, and made it so much easier to search and visit other players’ homes. Crafting and the economy have seen a major simplification overhaul as well:
“Intermediate components have been removed from the crafting process, which means you can get straight to building what you need. For example – to craft a chair you no longer craft wooden planks on a sawbench and iron bolts in a forge, then combine these parts on a workbench, keeping track of the recipe with a mental shopping list – now you use the raw wood and metal directly in a single crafting device, and immediately hit craft. Simplifying this way means that inventory management gets much simpler, as there are fewer leftover parts. You can batch craft a stack, too – as many as you have materials for. The crafting UI has been drastically simplified and now focuses on the important parts of the process. The item recipe will auto populate if you have the right materials to complete the build.”
More recently, the team posted a video walkthrough of cave gameplay. Check them out below.
It’s time to get all snuggly in front of a crackling fire, roast up some chestnuts, down a gallon of hot chocolate, and log into your favorite online RPGs for seasonal festivities! Or you could “bah humbug!” your way through the season and ignore all of the silly, free, and rewarding events if you so desire. We’re not here to tell you what to do, after all!
With extra time off of work and school, many gamers have the opportunity to take advantage of all of the winter holiday events that are running across MMORPGs, MOBAs, and other online games. Feeling at a loss about where to start? Board the Massively OP sleigh and join us as we take you on a tour of all of the Christmas events going on right now!