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
- Pathfinder Online isn’t dead!
- Dual Universe raised a ton of investment money and entered pre-alpha this fall.
- Brad McQuaid’s Pantheon just launched its own pre-alpha.
- Chronicles of Elyria moved into friends and family alpha.
- City of Titans spoke out against lockboxes as it plans its pre-alpha.
- Not to be outdone, Valiance Online launched its investor alpha, which is ongoing.
- And finally, there’s War of Rights, which has been showing impressive development in its alpha as well.
What would you argue was the biggest MMO crowdfunding story of the year?