Ashes of Creation addresses concerns, localization, pay-to-win, publishing, and regionlocks


Earlier this week, the Ashes of Creation team sparked a wildfire of concern when it announced that it’ll partner with to publish the game in Europe and former Soviet states. In fact, consternation over’s record as publisher of games (including Allods Online, Skyforge, and Revelation Online) even prompted Intrepid’s Steven Sharif to issue a follow-up press blast yesterday afternoon, reminding players that his development team will “remain in full creative control of the game” – including control over its anti-pay-to-win stance.

Sharif further addressed publishing yesterday in a Discord chat, the transcript of which has been posted to the game’s community wiki.

“I do want to say that the processing and exploring out opportunities with Ashes of Creation and publishing in both EU and CIS and Russia we had a very very long search,” he said. “We chatted with pretty much every possible partner that was available to bring the project to those regions. And you know, for us really the focus was being able to have a simultaneous launch globally, and in order to do that with the pace that we are moving at and hitting a target before 2020, it really was not an option for us to publish ourselves. So we knew that finding a partner would require that they not only shared our vision from a anti-pay-to-win standpoint and from a quality of service standpoint but that they were willing to make Ashes of Creation their number-one priority from a published game.”

He acknowledges the community backlash but isn’t concerned about’s performance because, he says, “We have stipulated very particular performance benchmarks in order to publish Ashes of Creation in EU and in Russia and those will be adhered to. We have that in ink. So regardless of the history that may exist and the perception in eyes of our community or in the broader MMORPG community I would ask that… I would ask a bit of leeway and understanding and trust from you guys as a community in the fact that I understand the reputation and history of many publishers, I have run a very large guild.”

Sharif does note that Intrepid will publish the game itself in North America; there’s no definitive answer on whether there will be a region-lock between regions; content rollouts will occur on Intrepid’s own schedule; plans for Oceania and SE Asia aren’t decided yet; Intrepid isn’t concerned about possible Russian sanctions; and will handle billing in its regions.

As for localization, it’s still not crystal clear who exactly is localizating which version of the game, but Sharif does indicate that the game’s been developed with specific tools to make localization easy for other publishers, which hints that localization will be delegated to the publishers themselves.

Finally, several times during the chat, Sharif stresses how big a project Ashes has become, hence the need for a serious business overseas publisher.

“[T]his is no small project for and Ashes of Creation is a very large MMORPG even at this point without being released yet. With the size of our community, with the daily hits on our web, without having not even done marketing yet, we are in a very interesting position from any other MMORPG that’s released, especially for being a brand new IP. This is almost unheard of the level of following and community size that we’ve been able to achieve with still this amount of time yet to launch.”

Source: AOC Wiki. Thanks so much, Lycis!

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Not sure what the drama is about with They are a publisher. As such they can do very little about a game, content or feature or economics. That is why Trion is so limited with Archeage influence or Age of Wushu was this horrendous, western-market incompatible cash shop cow in Europe too before Snail had to take it back.

I’m skeptical about AoC for lots of things but has serious expertise in hosting, processing payment safely , localizing and keeping games online and updated and they have a lot of pull for marketing in both markets as well. AoC could do a lot worse in my opinion. The publisher, hoster, support and payment processing market for games that need dedication and could need scaling isn’t exactly crazy crowded.

Brother Maynard

Errr… what? Are you from some kind of evil parallel universe or something?

Everything in your post is the direct opposite of the reality, it’s like you even took extra effort…


A few months/weeks ago the Ashes of Creation subreddit was taken over by Intrepid. One of the first people Sharif banned was me, for criticising his “project”.

Today I noticed that a fellow (european) redditor asked for insight at how he/she can refund. That motivated me to write the following, which I could not publish at AoC’s reddit. (see above)

In order for fellow europeans to be informed of their rights, I am posting the same text here as well.


With the being announced as the publisher for Ashes of Creation, the EU Ashes of Creation community is raging.

As such, I am making this OP in order to give some insight about how you can refund your pledge (kickstarter or otherwise) if you are a EU citizen.

First things first. The EU, in general, has better laws regarding refunding. “Better” in the sense that they are more to the customer’s benefit. That said not all EU countries and not all banks (within the same country) have the same policies. So, the best and first thing you should do is ask your bank.

That aside, things are getting complicated if you pledged through paypal. Which probably you did. As paypal serves as a layer between your bank and the product’s company, and as paypal falls under US law, things get complicated.

Additionally, if you backed their kickstarter, you are in a bad spot. As a rule of thumb, I’d say that at EU you can refund within 1 month with no questions asked. You may be able to refund a product bought as far as 6 months before, but the latter would require more effort and may be subject to more “questions”. As their kickstarter ended like a year ago…..things get very difficult for those of you who are kickstarter backers.

BUT, there is hope! Someone at /r/MMORPG, once told me, that they had refunded BDO after a long time. I can’t recall if they were European or not, but that doesn’t really matter. Remember? EU has better laws protecting the customer. The refund was issued based at misinformation that BDO had spread and specifically about BDO’s p2w.

Think of it that way. When you buy a product, for example when you were buying a game at physical form 15 years ago, you are buying what is described on the box.

15-20 years ago, I was going to computer stores and I was looking for the latest games. There was barely the Internet back then and I was relying at reviews at PC magazines (physical yes!) and the box description. By law (I am not sure about the details and its extent) the box description should be sufficient/good enough for you to decide whether to buy a product or not. This applies to tomato sauce in a can, PC games and anything else.

Nowadays, this has evolved, alongside the fact that there are rarely physical boxes for games. In our times, the “box description” is primarily the game’s site for instance, or in your case, the kickstarter description.

At their kickstarter, at their initial twitch interviews etc etc, they were clear that they would self publish and that there would be no p2w. When you bought their product, you bought their product because they would self publish. They will not. They lied to you. They lied to you in order to take your money. They can’t do that.

So, under law (EU/US/International, I can’t be sure), regardless if it is paypal or your bank, they should refund you, because you bought a self published game and the game you bought is no longer self published. And you have every legitimate reason not to like the new publisher that is involved into p2w.

If you fall in this category (and not the “1 month no questions asked” one) then you will need to push things and fight for your rights. It won’t be easy, but it is feasible.

Best of luck to everyone.


I’d encourage people to save information (such as videos) at which Sharif explicitly says/mentions that they will self-publish and that there will be no p2w.

These are the evidence you will require in order to make your case.

It is likely that they (Intrepid) will try to remove all relevant information in order for you not to be able to fight them.


If you are so kind, please spread the word to those who are in the same predicament as you.


Sorry mates, I am a petty man and I can’t hold myself…..

“I told you so”!

I was one of those who were telling you so since day 1. In any way I could.

Once more, best of luck mates!


Some very relevant information

Under EU rules, a trader must repair, replace, reduce the price or give you a refund if goods you bought turn out to be faulty or do not look or work as advertised.

This is where you are aiming at.

If you bought a good or a service online or outside of a shop (by telephone, mail order, from a door-to-door salesperson), you also have the right to cancel and return your order within 14 days, for any reason and with no justification.

Apparently I was wrong, the “no questions asked refund” is for orders within 14 days not a month.

Loyal Patron
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Feeling the same disappointment I felt when Everquest II chose ProSiebenStat.1 as their European Publisher! Even if you forget the data sercuity issues it’s still not the same if there’s a separate publisher.


Only thing I pulled from this, launch before 2020?

Nemui Byakko

Guys, please name just one GOOD publisher? Can you?


NCsoft is not so bad, same for GameForge.

Nemui Byakko

Not “50 shades of bad”, but good ones?


What’s your definition of a good publisher?

Nemui Byakko

Okay, if you want to go that deep – let everybody tell the definition AND the example of good one (because I don’t pretend my definition is “true” :)))



– Paradox
– Frontier (the Elite: Dangerous people who were talking about publishing)
– Even Wargaming is better than

Nemui Byakko

thank you )


NA servers. Only NA servers.

Daniel Miller

This is funny: Lets take Archeage…..

Xl owns game rights and makes the game. The pub, charges for all. Dev no choice. They should of waited to put it out them self

To be fair when it comes to western mmos, i have no confidence they can deliver on anything worth while. Sure they made WOW but that was ages ago and nothing new since..

Shroud of Avataer, Wild west online, Crowfall, CoE, Many west games can sell digital goods, but deliver crap games. But hey, the west can make shooters.

Kickstarter Donor

They’ll regret it.


Got one question in all this, will be handeling the EU Customer Support?

And if they are what are Intrepid doing to secure EU players a fair an good CS?

As’s trackrecord in that department is bad.

Or will it be up to to deside as they are the publisher?


Being in North America I suppose I’m indifferent but the managing a large guild comment seems a bit boggle worthy. That has little to do with almost anything.