Make My MMO: The biggest MMO crowdfunding news of 2017

    
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Welcome to a special edition of Make My MMO, Massively OP’s regular recap of what’s going on in crowdfunded MMOs, which we do specifically for those of you who are convinced Kickstarter is the absolute worst (it’s not) and that no crowdfunded MMOs ever launch (they do). Plus, somebody’s got to keep an eye on what your money’s up to! Tonight’s edition isn’t going to be our usual recap of the last couple of weeks, however; we’re going to look at the most important MMO crowdfunding news of the entire year. Lock up your wallets and let’s get to it.

Ashes of Creation, Shadow’s Kiss, and Ship of Heroes tried Kickstarter

While Kickstarter is smaller than ever, we saw several new MMORPGs make a go at fundraising on the platform this year. Ashes of Creation was by far the biggest, bringing in over $3M, though vampire MMO Shadow’s Kiss also funded late in the year and far exceeded its goal. Ship of Heroes, on the other hand, canceled its Kickstarter, believing it wouldn’t succeed, and has since turned to on-site crowdfunding.

Crowfall, Shroud of the Avatar, and Camelot Unchained didn’t make it out the door

They’re not in trouble, but the original trifecta of crowdfunded throwback MMORPGs had some setbacks. Camelot Unchained has yet to move into beta one since the opening of its Seattle studio last year, though it’s spilled plenty of ink on its plans for when it does, while both Shroud of the Avatar and Crowfall delayed soft launches this year, and both turned to now-legal small-scale equity crowdfunding to raise additional money to see the games to launch next year. (SOTA also has a formal March launch date for 2018.) Project Gorgon continues to poke along too; we’re still expecting Steam early access soon.

Star Citizen’s dramas vs. Elite Dangerous’ plots

Probably between the time I write this and it goes live, we’ll see even more wild stories coming from the massive sci-fi MMO known as Star Citizen – from the lingering alpha 3.0 launch and the Crytek lawsuit to poop and even good stuff like procedural cities, this game just can’t avoid controversy. Is it the nature of sci-fi MMOs? Nope. Over in Elite Dangerous, Frontier has been quietly humming along with an intriguing alien plotline, launching Commanders, and porting to PS4.

They did what to The Repopulation and Shards Online?

Early on in the year, we were all startled to learn that The Repopulation had been sold by its original studio, Above & Beyond, to Idea Fabrik, the same HeroEngine company whose feud with A&B had allegedly driven the game offline in the first place. While Idea Fabrik has been working on the game all year and did return it to playability on Steam, confidence among former players, at least on Massively OP, seems deflated.

Shards Online also got a massive rebrand as Legends of Aria, but it’s a good thing, as the game is much more a full-blown MMORPG now and just wrapped up its alpha testing this fall.

Albion Online and The Exiled launched

Two crowdfunded PvP-centric MMO sandboxes formally launched this year. The Exiled – you might remember it better from development when it was called Das Tal – unfortunately couldn’t gather much of a playerbase, and its devs ultimately put the game into an unlimited free trial while working on other projects. Albion Online, on the other hand, appears to have summoned a more healthy launch population that was nevertheless stymied by weeks of DDOS attacks from extortionists.

And don’t forget about all the alphas

What would you argue was the biggest MMO crowdfunding story of the year?

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Pingly

OrbusVR is in alpha. I Kickstarted them.

Just a little bare-bones fledgling MMO but a great entry into VR MMOs with basic grouping, fishing, crafting, etc.

I get a real early-MMO vibe from it and love it.

Yesterday I was trying to figure out how to place the lure on my fishing pole and somebody just walked up beside me at the lake, started fishing and casually showed me how to do it while he was fishing.

Then as soon as I caught a fish my client crashed. Early days! Still fun.

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Nick

I wish Shadows Kiss and Star Citizen could trade budgets.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

I wish Shadows Kiss’ studio just gave away whatever budget they have to Chris and shut itself down cuz noone will notice their disappearance anyway. And Chris could use those additional 200k for pizza deliveries

Reader
Nick

Probably wouldn’t be the first time those making Star Citizem set fire to other people’s money.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Money spent on pizza is better investment then money spent on Shadows Kiss

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Nick

I’d rather have the 30 pizzas I can buy over a Star Citizen tank concept but that’s just me. Anyway getting bored now so have at it.

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Bryan Correll

+1 for pizza deliveries.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

#AllAboutStarCitizen

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Sally Bowls

I tend to agree:
If SC is a big disappointment, then IMO it will hurt crowdfunding.
If SC is a big success, then IMO it will hurt crowdfunding. (What credibility does a $2M crowdfunding campaign have? Why would you want to fund something 1% of the size of a successful SC?)

IMO, YMMV, I don’t think any of the rest matter much. I know some people thought the Future is the Ouya not Playstation or desktop Linux not Windows or ….

For me, “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet.

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Kickstarter Donor
Dividion

And I highly recommend the “Director’s Commentary” version of the Squadron 42 vertical slice they showed during the holiday stream. #NotAScam

edangerous
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edangerous

I think after 5 years of listening to Roberts babble on about BDSSE, saving PC gaming, making promise after promise (and not delivering on them) the last thing most people want to do is hear him rambling on or making platitudes for his Sq42 vertical slice.

A good article about shitty marketing practices, Vertical Slice being on the list http://www.pcgamer.com/five-reasons-game-marketing-can-be-misleading/