Remember the tussle over in-dev MMO Oath a while back? A sub-contractor for the game accused the developer of screwing with ’em, it hit YouTube, and then the developer fired back? Apparently another one of those dramabombs went off this past fall in the Day of Dragons community.
You’ll recall that Day of Dragons is the dragon-themed survival sandbox that funded on Kickstarter for half a million bucks back in October. The game entered early access (late) on Steam last week with a $19.99 buy-in, though reviews are mixed right now as players are flocking to the page to relay not just “scam” accusations but the revelation that it is really, truly an early access title with chiefly demo features and not a whole lot else to do. The Reddit seems to be a bit more positive (but not much), while comments on the Kickstarter itself seem to be coming mostly from backers angry over missing keys and invites and rewards.
So here’s the deal: The studio, Beawesome Games, was hit with multiple accusations of misconduct that have divided the game’s community over the course of the fall of 2019. An angry gamer paid to put up an entire website devoted to accusing the game of being an asset flip made by rookies (some of the information is clearly outdated now, though) and picking apart Discord discussions about the status of the company, its alleged use of another game’s artwork, and its apparent attacks on and bans of various community members and YouTubers and even moderators over what the studio deemed slander, toxicity, and leaks. One of our own commenters even accused the studio of a link to the old Trials of Ascension mess – a claim we can’t confirm (we’re not voice experts) and that has been rebuffed by the lead developer in question, who has now multiple times stated this is his first game.
Early on in the debate in October, popular YouTuber IGP posted a lengthy video outlining the accusations by way of explaining to his followers why he won’t be supporting or playing the game.
In spite of the fact that IGP directed his million-and-a-half subbers to not harass the developers, the lead dev, who goes by Jao, says that’s exactly what happened anyway, as the game’s Discord, Steam, and YouTube were raided and somebody tried hacking his email.
Even bigger gaming YouTuber TheGamingBeaver, who apparently did some work on the title, followed up that video to address it, ultimately concluding that it’s merely a “passion project that has got out of hand” after the Kickstarter pulled in far more money than anyone expected.
A third YouTuber, Anthomnia, argued that the concerns and criticism from players have been entirely legitimate and that the developer responded inappropriately, but also that the proof is in the pudding and that it’s not a scam. Anthomnia interviewed multiple people, including a AAA developer, who discusses the game’s quality and complexity potential. He also interviews the lead developer, Jao, who addresses the claims about code and his past coding experience, and says that the “stolen” art wasn’t stolen but purchased with a license. Jao further bashes the IGP video and channel specifically, accusing the YouTuber of malice, deception, and lies to send his followers after Beawesome with reverse psychology. And he states he hopes IGP is deplatformed by Google. (Anthomnia pushes back against that.)
We’re still cracking up over the dramatic music used behind the tax accusations in the video, but the truth is Anthomnia does ask explicit questions about corporate taxes on the half a million Kickstarter bucks, which Jao says he cannot directly answer.
At the time, Anthomnia concluded that there would eventually be a game, but its quality longterm was the big question, and of course, he was right, as his latest video notes: the early access is live.
We surely sound like a broken record at this point, but unless you’re entirely confident about the provenance of the game and the pedigree of the developers, or you’ve got gobs of money to burn, or you don’t mind paying to test a very much unfinished game for a year, maybe keep your wallets shut when it comes to Kickstarter and early access and just hang tight while the developers work their kinks out. A game doesn’t need to be an intentional scam to be something you should skip or just bide your time on while you see how it develops. There are hundreds of live and functional indie MMOs and survival sandboxes that deserve your patronage while you wait.