Remember back in July, when Wild West Online starting murmuring about a soft relaunch and rework of major game systems? The game had only been officially launched since May, but was, as we put it, “wildly unready for launch,” and the negative reviews began pouring in as the game sank to an average of 20 peak players in the last couple of months.
Turns out that the lack of communication over the last few months was a result of the studio nearly imploding. One developer, who goes by MrBlack on the forums, says new development on the game actually stopped in August as the company more or less closed down after it couldn’t meet payroll, in fact missing it for “over three months.”
Apparently, the game has now been bailed out by Free Reign Entertainment, which is helping develop the game now, with a new team working on the game. That new team reportedly includes only three of the original team, so it seems like a bit more than a soft reboot now.
Indeed, the new version of Wild West Online will keep old account but require a new client download from the game’s official site. And it’ll be free-to-play, with compensation doled out to existing players who paid into the game.
“From this new client you will have access to two games effectively from one launcher – Frontier and Magnificent 5. Frontier is an wild west themed survival/exploration/PVP game. You will explore world ( yes full game an the North will be available ), build your own housing and settlements, craft items, hunt animals, etc. This is basically evolution of the WWO as you know it. It’ll be much more focused on building and crafting than WWO though. Magnificent 5 is our ‘obligatory’ take on Battle Royale :). It’s based on work Free Reign Entertainment have made with it’s Chinese partners. up to 20 team of 5 players each are fighting in a dynamic world, build fortifications, trying to get best loot and artifacts. Monetization of the game is VERY SIMILAR to Fortnite, with Season Passes that opens challenges and access to cosmetic items.”
The game rep says to expect the battle royale mode for testing “in a week or so,” with Frontier launching in November. Total coincidence that this news is coming on Red Dead Redemption 2’s launch day, we’re sure.
Here’s the whole saga up to now: