Crowfall preps beta, raises another $12M from investors to bring total funding to $35M

    
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Crowfall preps beta, raises another $12M from investors to bring total funding to $35M

Crowfall’s founder update hit the ArtCraft site this afternoon, and it’s a doozy. The studio’s J Todd Coleman says development progress is “fantastic,” and he should be excited, since the team just scored a fresh $12M from investors.

“As we head into 2020, with beta right around the corner, we are excited to announce the final phase of this strategy is now complete,” he says. “ArtCraft closed an additional round of financing, in the amount of $12m, to complete Crowfall, launch it and bring it to market.” Gamers will recall the studio raised $6M from investors at the start of 2018 as well, in addition to $1.7M raised on Kickstarter and $600K in Indiegogo-based equity crowdfunding. That, plus additional investment and several million in pledges on the website, brings the game to a reported $35M in total funding.

Coleman also drops another big stat, asserting that the game’s crowdfunding, Kickstarter and on-site together, prove that they have “more than 65,000 people willing to pay for Crowfall.” This figure appears to refer specifically to almost 64K backers listed; 336K people are registered on the game’s website.

Critically, ArtCraft is turning its attention to beta after several delays and then significant alpha testing throughout 2019; the studio reminds players to register on the site for invite waves, though backers will have automatic access.

“Right now, our team is busy wrapping up the milestone (which we call 5.110, War of the Gods). We’re getting pretty close on that; “pencils down” is not far off. Then we go into bug fixing and polishing mode, which traditionally maps to a pattern of one week of polish for every month of development. At some point during this process, we’ll push the new version up to our TEST server so that we can get some external eyes on it. Once it looks good enough for our general backer audience (not just those of you who are crazy enough to deal with TEST issues), we’ll move it to LIVE and start sending out the beta invitations in waves. Not every feature will be in this version — we still have a few loose ends to tie up — but a LOT of the game will be there. Most of it, in fact.”

Massively OP’s PvP MMO column, Fight or Kite, spent a significant chunk of time in the game reporting back on its progress over 2019; you can check those out below:

Update 01/28/2020
Crowfall’s PR issued on January 28th, 2020, clarifies that the amount raised from this investor round was $11.9M, slightly less than the $12M ArtCraft originally announced. The new PR says this the is “final financial step in completing and launching” the game and boasts “$5.7 million in pledges in addition to the more than $30 million in funding collected from technology licensing, distribution agreements and previous investment rounds.”
Update 01/28/2020 #2
Another update here. “CORRECTION ON TOTAL RAISE TO $11.7 MILLION.”

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Zero_1_Zerum

Wait…they started in 2018, they’ve got 35 million in funding, and it’s just a couple years later and they’re almost ready for beta?

Huh. That’s just a fraction of the time it’s taken Star Citizen to get out of Alpha (and they still aren’t out of Alpha), and SC has had a lot more money thrown at it.

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Adam Russell

Holy cow, I thought this released a long time ago.

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A Bellow From Below

Is this the game with cavy conquistadors and centaurs? I remembered it just last week, briefly wondering what ever happened to it. Good to hear it’s still kicking… for some reason, I thought it was released (and sunset) while I was away. ;)

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mutharex

Cavies (only race that can play Duelist), centaurs, minotaurs and elk men

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My oldest registered account is in Beta Group 6, meaning I will probably get access around 2022 or 2023. I bet the game will release sometime between 2024 and 2025 when nobody cares about it anymore.

Better release a game 1 year after any announcement/teasing into whatever state it is and work with players to develop it rather than wasting 5-10 years to release it when people have lost interest and moved on.

My guess is this game won’t take off and will shut down prematurely and will be another scar on the MMORPG scene.

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mutharex

Have you tried downloading the client? I bought the basic pack yesterday and I am already playing (beta 3 but they seem to have allowed everybody in)

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Buying the pack ensures you immediate access. I never bought anything, I only signed up way back in 2015-2016. I have to wait for the beta to reach phase 6 before I get to play.

I won’t pay 50 bucks for a game I’m not sure I will even like.

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mutharex

Me neither, but seen as they give you 24 hours from the download to get a full refund I decided to try out and so far, I am more than satisfied

Anyway, when the February patch falls they said they will start inviting people who signed for the beta

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Ben Stone

Yeah your estimates are way off. Going into beta means that they are planning to launch within a year. The game is very far along, just needs some work on the siege stuff. Only one class is still missing, out of 11. All other classes and races are in and working. The game is running smoothly and looks good, and it improves dramatically every few months.

Kickstarter games have to let their backers know the progress, its just how they work. This info is for backers, MOP just passes on the info to everyone else. This game (and others) needed Kickstarters to show bigger investors exactly how much interest there is, which succeeded.

If this bothers you just don’t read the articles? A lot of people are interested in seeing the progress.

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Following your own logic, if my opinion bothers you, why do you reply to it? Contrary to popular belief, many people have opinions different from yours, get over yourself.

My opinion is the way it is, because I’m skeptical and jaded with indie kickstarter wannabee MMO projects and so far not a single one has amounted to anything.

If and when the time comes where an indie MMO that’s worth something comes out, I will admit it, so far I stand by my opinion.

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mutharex

I’ll never understand people who don’t care about something but feel the urge to talk negatively about it.

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Alberto

That’s not how ANY KS works what your talking about is a Traditional Model where a Publisher pays the costs of a game the Devs work on it in total silence for years then announce a year out to build up hype and awareness before what they hope is the release. In order to get the Money to make the game without a Publisher you have to Advertise EARLY very Early or the game never gets made period.

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Solaris

You’ll be in this year.

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Buddy Barlow

They’re smoking Camelot Unchained dev team

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Buddy Barlow

Which isn’t a huge shot at them but goes to show that the creation of CU’s engine has put them pretty far behind which i’m hoping it pays off in the next 2 years when the game releases.

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Arktouros

Does “beta” mean they’re finally done wiping or are they just transitioning from the Q&A team that paid to work for them to the Q&A team that will just work for free? I have a tough time keeping up with a company who said they only see a game release as a pay day and they’re already getting paid so they had no reason to release the game.

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boredlol

dunno, but ladder resets are a big part of crowfall’s design soooo basically always gonna have wipes

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Arktouros

My understanding is that character progression or your “crow” continues over time and passively progresses even if campaigns/ladders/etc reset.

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mutharex

Correct, the worlds reset but your vessels no

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Mark Jacobs

Well done Artcraft! Congrats to the team and looking forward to seeing what you do with the money!

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Greaterdivinity

I’m mixed on this…

On the one hand, great! More money means they need less from backers and they can do more with the game.

On the other, it’s functionally treating crowdfunding as “pre-orders” to secure additional investment much more easily then they otherwise would have, giving up some of the “control” that crowdfunding provides and now being partially beholden to investors.

I’ll hope for the best, but this is always such a mess.

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PanagiotisLial1

You nailed it there, the amounts secured for crowdfunding in most games do not seem enough for development(example go Dual Universe website and see on their crowdfunding “bar” how much of the money is crowdfunding and how much investment). As it has become is to build an initial playerbase that will hopefully follow to launch, and show investors the game does have traction

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Arktouros

I don’t even hope for the best anymore. I just assume nothing and ignore games until they say they’re done wiping their game (which release regardless what they call it) and then judge it as is. Paying early is for suckers and always has been.

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Killerham

You guys have to realize that without the crowd funding they would never have been able acquire the additional funds raised from investors. It’s more than just pre-orders. It’s saying “Hey, we want this product! Let’s make it happen!”.

The money they ask for isn’t to fund full development, it’s to make sure there is demand.

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Eamil

While I agree that that’s a valid reason to crowdfund games, I’m conflicted because it also seems to go against the spirit of crowdfunding as a way to fund games that aren’t beholden to the whims of investors.

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Killerham

I guess I can understand that … though I don’t think the point of crowdfunding was ever to free people of investors.

In a sense It’s the worst case of getting thousands of investors, each with their own vision of what they think the completed product should be like.

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Alberto

The POINT of Crowdfunding is to get a Game made that would otherwise NOT get Made at all Publisher or NO Publisher. Some games proudly proclaim no Publishers while others USE Crowdfunding to get the Initial game made and Prove to a PUBLISHER that there is interest in an IP to then get additional Funding.

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Anstalt

2020 is definitely going to be an interesting year for indie MMOs. We’ve had years watching them in development, but hopefully this is the year they start releasing.

I’m particularly interested in seeing how CF and CU do compared to one another. Both took significantly different approaches to development. CF took an off-the-shelf engine which allowed them to start developing content quickly, at the expense of having an engine they would need to “hack” to make work for new systems and massively multiplayer.

CU developed their own engine to ensure it could actually support massively multiplayer as well as their own systems, but this has meant a long delay before they can start developing content.

So, I’m curious to see how it works out. I’m hoping both succeed, but I am worried that Crowfall might end up in a WAR situation: a game designed for large scale PvP, but without an engine capable of supporting it.

Also very curious to see the end product of their progression systems.

Both games have professed a desire to get rid of power gaps and adopt a more horizontal approach to progression (which I am fully in support of), but I also know that this is a concept that is hard to get across to the general public, who have had decades of conditioning towards vertical progression through single player RPGs and board games. If either game caves and switches to vertical, that’ll be a nail in the coffin for that game and will immediately drive me away.

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tiltowait

“Both games have professed a desire to get rid of power gaps and adopt a more horizontal approach to progression”

Ugg, I hope not, I backed Crowfall but I’m not going to be playing another game like guild wars with no progression. Boring.

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Eamil

You must not have paid attention to what you were backing because they were pretty clear about the nature of the skill system.

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tiltowait

Have you played it? I have. It’s not currently a horizontal progress system.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Good for them, but 35 million $ from development to marketing (assuming part of 12 million $ goes to that) is not that much (that said, STO cost just 15 million $ to develop). Hopefully it is enough for them.