Ever find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to so-and-so? We never hear about that MMO in the news any more! Is it still running? Does it still have a loyal community? How will I find out about these things if I am too lazy to Google it?”
Well, that’s what I’m here for, gentle readers. The response back in March to the first column in this series was positive enough that it warranted a follow-up with a different trilogy of games to investigate. In today’s post, we’re going to see what’s going on (if anything) with Alganon, Ryzom, and Forsaken Legends, three titles that haven’t been in the spotlight for a while.
Have suggestions for future installments in this series? That’s what the comments are for, brah.
Probably best known as “The other MMO that’s being run by Internet Warlord Derek Smart,” Alganon has kept a very low profile yet is still in operation. It’s a World of Warcraft clone that’s been around a while now, not really shaking anything up but apparently doing enough traffic to warrant its own existence.
Alganon made the jump onto Steam in the spring of 2016, although it didn’t seem to benefit the free-to-play MMO much, as it was peppered with strongly negative reviews. That June, Smart rose to the game’s defense, saying that “review bombers” would be banned from the community.
Last year a $10 expansion pack, Rise of the Ourobani, was released. This pack included the playable Ourobani race, a Warden companion class, flying mounts, and a streamlined leveling experience.
In late 2016, Smart addressed the game’s existence, saying, “The game is self-sustaining in that we don’t have to do much to keep it running and active for those playing it. There are older MMOs out there still running. This one only went officially live back in 2010. So it has another 20 years to go, I think.”
This beautiful and alien French MMO has been trucking along for a rocky but interesting 12 years now. The game went open source back in 2010 to be developed by the community, with additional guidance and support from Winch Gate Property Ltd.
Continuing with the theme of Steam, Ryzom debuted on Valve’s platform as a F2P title a year ago and has been doing OK for itself ever since. Oh, it might not be the default go-to MMO for most players, but it definitely has a dedicated playerbase and an active development schedule. Regular (if small) patches have been released over the past year, and events are pretty common (there’s even one going on right now in May).
Despite the game’s continued survival, there have been some complaints by players about Ryzom’s stability, its limiting free-to-play business model, and a lower population.
One of the interesting additions to the game in the past year was the Scenographic Editor, which allowed players to create their own landscape scenes and publish them in the game for others to ooh and ahh over. This editor has been receiving updates since its inception.
Usually in this column I’ll be looking at older live MMOs, but let’s change things up for a hot minute and talk about a game still in development. A week ago I was racking my brain trying to remember the name of this game, since we hadn’t heard about it for a while, and it took me far too long to track it down. So I’m going to justify that effort by talking about it here.
So. Remember Forsaken Legends? Probably not, but maybe you do. Last June, Holy Fire Games (a three-person development team) announced this “procedural sandbox” MMO and made some headlines by selling permanent access to the testing content up through launch. Its ambition and scope from such a small studio caught the imagination of some, but it quickly fell off the radar due to a lot of studio silence.
To be fair, there was some chatter through the fall and early winter of 2016, with regular developer update videos as recently as December 3rd. New builds, art assets, character creation, and other features were being shown off on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, and a Patreon page was set up to help fund the project.
Since December, Holy Fire has not talked about the game much on social media or YouTube at all. Digging into the forums, the team has been discussing the development and game patches in 2017. The most recent of these was March 3rd, however. The most recent activity from the team was setting up a new lore forum on April 27th.
Asked on the forums what was going on with the project, one of the devs replied in February, saying, “We are not giving up on the project, and are still working on the game. The biggest hurdle right now is funding. For almost a year I paid for the development of Forsaken Legends out of my own pocket, literally spending tens of thousands of dollars(over $45,000 USD) to keep the project going. My other projects that were funding this slowed down, so I was unable to keep that pace of personal funding up. This caused me to have to have Ben start developing in his spare time, instead of working on the game full time. This is what has slowed the development down to a crawl […] We still have a game plan for moving forward, and are working through our to-do list as fast as we can. This is just a slow period of development right now that will hopefully soon be over.”
Hopefully we’ll see a resurgence of this project in the near future!