Shroud of the Avatar claims move from Portalarium to Catnip will bring ‘positive change’


Honest-to-goodness hope or trying to put a brave face on things? We’ll let you decide when you read Catnip Studios’ letter following the recent sale of Shroud of the Avatar from Portalarium to its new home.

Producer Chris Spears said that the team didn’t change, Episode 2 is still being developed, monthly releases will still happen, “Seed Investor still have an investment in the success of Shroud” (he means SeedInvest), and Richard Garriott and Starr Long “aren’t going away” due to the change in ownership. He cited “cost savings, risk, and company focus” as reasons for the move.┬áSpears did not, however, clarify exactly how Long and Garriott are involved, what is happening to Portalarium, how many people are left on the dev team, or where the company’s missing SEC filings for SeedInvest are, an open question since last spring.

Spears went on to talk about some of the changes that will be coming to the game, starting by saying that Catnip will “have a more open and collaborative game creation process.” This means more community events, tools for player-run events, Lua scripting, player-created NPC dialogue, and the addition of a new member to the development team. The studio is going to do a marketing push with more ads in an attempt to draw in more players.

Oh, and some players will get promoted to pseudo-GMs: “In the future, we will be making some of our dev commands available to a handful of community members who have proven over the years to be highly responsible and trustworthy.” We cannot think of a single way that this could backfire.

The latest newsletter is up to fill you in on the small details of what’s going on this week.

Massively OP contacted the development team earlier this month with many questions about the recent sale and failure to fulfill its Kickstarter obligations. The studio didn’t respond to that press inquiry at all, as we discussed on a recent episode of the Massively OP Podcast.

Tipster sawthelightsota has pointed out to us that a thread on the SOTA official forums from SeedInvest backers trying to get more information has now been locked. As we’ve noted, SeedInvest backers are not Kickstarter donors or crowdfunders in the colloquial sense; they are actual legal investors who participated in the game’s SeedInvest equity crowdfunding round in 2017. SeedInvest rounds carry legal requirements for financial filings with the SEC, access to which investors are entitled.
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