Perpetuum Online developer: MMO felt like a ‘no-win scenario’

    
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At the end of the game’s life, when the lights are going out and the developers drifting off to different positions, the most interesting thing that can be said of Perpetuum Online is that it was a minor miracle this MMO made it out the door in the first place.

One of the lead developers of this indie project posted a farewell notice on the site this week, looking back over the past 14 years of the game’s creation and operation.

“We started working on the game (then just called “GenXY”) in around 2004 — we genuinely had no idea what we were doing, we had no idea of the scope of it, we had no idea what it’d become or what we’d WANT it to become; we just had a faint idea that it was possible, and we started on it because we didn’t know better. Turns out, that was kinda really we needed to get it done — because if we would’ve known what’s coming, we probably never would’ve started.”

There are some humorous and honest anecdotes in the post, such as how a server got shut down because of a pastry and how the team was drunk during early access. Yet in the end, this statement really serves Perpetuum as a eulogy:

“It often felt like a no-win scenario, but we soldiered on, because we were desperate to make this work. There’s a delicate balance between listening enough and not listening too much, and we often missed that balance — but we always tried.”

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bomocho
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bomocho

Worth noting that the game community has since rallied around the standalone server and source release and established the OpenPerpetuum Project.

So if you didn’t have a chance to get into the game when official was live, you will still have a chance to try.
Come join us!

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Al_Bundy

Sadly I didn’t realize this game even existend until it was too late. I think I first read about this game some time in early 2017 when it’s fate had already been decided… I didn’t really feel like starting to play a dead game. Even though it looked interesting and I propably would have liked it.

I think this shows once more how important it is t have an active and competent marketing department. And invest money in ads and have magazines cover your game. I’ve always been looking for interesting MMO titles over the past years and never noticed this one until it was too late. None of the websites and magazines I read ever mentioned it. Steam also never suggested it to me, it was never on the store frontpage as far as i rememver. None of my several mmo-affine friends ever played or mentioned it, either…

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Dug From The Earth

I dont have a very high opinion of anyone who basically says, “had I known id fail, I wouldnt have tried in the first place”

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Alex Willis

I’d qualify this game as a success, if you look at its longevity and its uniqueness. Neither of those qualities are “givens” in this climate.

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Rheem Octuris

I really wanted to like this game, I did. But it was just so slooow.

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Armsbend

…”and some of them pretty miserable (like the cease-and-desist letter – guess who!)”

Does anyone know who? I couldn’t find it.

Also: it was a really interesting epilogue. A bit somber and could certainly serve as a warning. I hope these guys land on their feet and find success somewhere.

Also (also): It is a shame they couldn’t truly capitalize on the Eve monoclegate exodus but it sounds like they didn’t have the funds and maybe lacked a bit of knowledge to really hold on to CCP’s losses. I remember everyone on Eve’s forums excited about this game at the time but I don’t think it captured many long term. Which is a shame because CCP sucks.

Xijit
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Xijit

My guess would be either Derrick Smart, because why wouldn’t he for some reason or another, or CCP, because … Well, I can think of several justifications they may have for trying to bully a smaller competitor after losing a significant portion of their player base to them.

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Armsbend

I don’t see how either would have any cause for a C and D.

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Peter Couse

I played at launch and if memory serves there was a saying ‘like Eve with mechs’, now whether that came from them or the internet I don’t remember. In hindsight I can see how that might have gotten some extra attention.

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Melissa McDonald

Making it up as you go along isn’t always the best battle plan. Just ask George Lucas about that (haha).

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Armsbend

Not sure I’d use someone who built a multi-billion dollar empire as an example of failure.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

I guess it depends what your definition of successful is. Is making a really bad movie but raking in a million successful? Or making an amazing movie and making a couple thousand from it? Or both?

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Pandalulz

And more importantly, does anybody actually remember the true failures?

Xijit
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Xijit

Only if they go down in flames so spectacularly that someone else can profit from popularizing the disaster.

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Rheem Octuris

Yes. It was called Million Dollar Hotel, starring Mel Gibson with screenplay written by Bono from U2.

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Sally Bowls

Thirty-two years later, Howard the Duck still comes to mind.

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Armsbend

One definition of success is George Lucas. Money, fame, critical appeal, cult status…you name it he has achieved it in some form or another. If anyone claims he is unsuccessful in life then it is apparent that person has never had, and will probably never have, anything in their own life.

I don’t even like his movies very much. But I can say the man is incredibly successful. Has he had some bombs? Some failures? Sure everyone has. Doesn’t mean you aren’t a roaring success.

Xijit
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Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

Lucas was an abysmal failure at everything except “surrounding himself with talented people” … Go do some research on Marcia Lucas / why lucas arts could never get games finished and shipped.

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Armsbend

Then I suppose Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Thomas Edison were/are also “abysmal failures”. check. gotcha partner.