Since its splashy and successful Kickstarter run back in 2016 that raised $1.36 million from MMO gamers, Chronicles of Elyria developed a reputation for promising the stars, selling non-existent territory, and delivering very little for backers to actually play. While it looked as though a pre-alpha test might finally going to pull the game into viability, any hopes of “bringing the storm” were dashed this week as Soulbound Studios CEO Jeromy “Caspian” Walsh announced that he had ordered a halt in Elyria’s development while laying off all the employees due to a lack of funds.
Walsh’s method of delivering this disappointing news is a journey of backpatting and nonpology. Initially, he touts the great progress that the team had made on the game and the twisty-turny path it took with Elyria’s development so far, but it’s only after dozens of paragraphs that he actually delivers the hard news:
“With the failure of Settlers of Elyria, and five long months of only limited crowdfunding revenue coming in, Soulbound Studios has officially run out of money. Last night I was forced to do something I never thought I’d have to do. I closed the online store, put the SoE map back into read-only mode, and laid off all the employees.”
Instead of apologizing to fans for squandering their money and failing to deliver, Walsh places the blame on investors that wouldn’t bite on the project without trying to wrest control away from the studio and the current worldwide pandemic. He also uses flowery language to suggest that something might still happen for the game. “We believe there’s still a future for Elyria, we’re just not sure in what shape or form it’ll take, and when it’ll be available,” Walsh wrote.
Elyria took our “stormiest future” award back in 2018.