The timing for this bit of Lusternia news couldn’t be worse, to be completely frank. The MUD’s producer, Robb “Estarra” French, has been ejected from his position as producer right at the moment when the text-based MMO/MUD was kicking off its 15th anniversary celebration.
Information on what happened is sparse, but French’s farewell address, which meshes in-character remarks as Estarra with out-of-character references, makes it seem that this was out of his control:
“As I have pledged before that I would never abandon Lusternia, please know that this is not my choice and if there were any way I could stay in any capacity, I would. My great hope would be to return one day as a creative consultant to oversee lore and story, but alas for now I must drift into the Void.”
Estarra’s goodbye was quickly followed by a post from Jeremy Saunders, executive producer of Iron Realms Entertainment, who thanked French for 15 years of service in Lusternia and over 20 years at the studio. The producer position will now be taken over by two people, Orael and Ianir, who previously were coders for the MUD. A post from Ianir attempted to assuage the vocal players expressing deep concern over the future of the game in the context of some of IRE’s other MUDs:
“We are aware what it looks like, having two people previously serving primarily as coders in the producer seat where a storyteller once was, in a world which was about the lore. We have many volunteers here who were involved in the creation of story and events here, including myself, and promise to you that none of us intend to let the story of Lusternia die or falter in any way.”
Ianir’s post further promises that the devs of Lusternia will shake their bad habit of starting on new projects without finishing or refining older projects, as well as share a roadmap of updates in the coming weeks. For now, the 15th anniversary celebration continues with a number of events running through the entire month of October.