Make My MMO: Chronicles of Elyria becomes the highest-profile MMORPG Kickstarter to crash and burn


This week in MMO crowdfunding, Soulbound Studios, the team behind MMORPG Chronicles of Elyria, announced that the game was on indefinite hold and all staff had been laid off, making it by our count the highest-profile MMORPG Kickstarter to crash and burn to date. That also means the nearly $1.4M Kickstarter money from MMO players – not to mention other funds gamers had poured in since 2017 – just went up in smoke too. You probably aren’t entirely surprised, given the last few years of the game’s “stormy” development, but you can still be appalled.

In happier news, Swords ‘n Magic and Stuff racked up more Kickstarter funding, reaching The Archaeological Society stretch goal. It’s now just about doubled its ask and is set to end next week.

Meanwhile, Crowfall dropped another backer appreciation award, Ashes of Creation previewed its alpha, Shroud of the Avatar’s R76 went live, and Ship of Heroes began its “surprise” temporary open beta.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week, plus our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following!

Saga of Lucimia

Recent MMO crowdfunding news


Campaigns and crowdfunded MMOs we’re watching

3001SQ (Société des Mondes Virtuels) – Kickstarter unsuccessful, dev halted in 2018.
AdventureQuest 3D (Artix Entertainment) – Raised 368k; beta began Oct 2016.
Albion Online (Sandbox) – Launched July 2017, hit Steam May 2018.
Antraxx (Team Antraxx) – Kickstarter canceled.
Ascent: The Space Game (Fluffy Kitten Studios) – Successful KS. Fully launched 2016.
Ashes of Creation (Intrepid Studios) – Successful KS. Alpha zero.
Book of Travels (Might and Delight) – Kickstarted successfully.
Broke Protocol (Cylinder) – Unsuccessful KS. In free early access.
Camelot Unchained
(City State) – Kickstarter successful; open donations/packages.
Caribbean Conquest (Invenio) – First KS canceled, second ended unsuccessfully.
Codename Reality (Orode) – Kickstarter unsuccessful.
Contested Space (Zon)
Crowfall (ArtCraft) – Kickstarter win, open packages, Indiegogo crowdfunding ongoing.
Chronicles of Elyria (Soulbound) – Kickstarter. Abandoned March 2020.
City of Heroes Homecoming (Homecoming) – Monthly donation rounds.
City of Titans (Missing Worlds Media) – Successful KS; Issue 0 delayed into 2019.
Day of Dragons (Beawesome) – Kickstarter successful.
Descent Underground (Descendent Studios) – Successful KS.
Destiny’s Sword (2Dogs) – Kickstarter successful June 2019; demo avail now.
Divergence Online (Stained Glass Llama) – Abandoned in early access.
Dogma: Eternal Night
(Prelude Games Factory): Kickstarter. Probably dead.
Dragon of Legends (Thrive Games) – Successful Kickstarter.
Dual Universe (Novaquark) – Kickstarter funded, donor platform. Backer alpha.
Eco (Strange Loop Games) – Funded, now in alpha.
Edengrad (Huckleberry Games) – Kickstarter funded. Abandoned, then not, then again.
Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments) – Funded and fully launched.
Empyrion Online (Eleon) – Kickstarter canceled; launched on Steam early access.
Endless Trials (Fire Hurts) – Kickstarter canceled.
Epic Space (
EverFeud (PSB) – Kickstarter canceled.
Ever, Jane (3 Turn Productions) – Now in open beta.
Fractured (Dynamight) – Kickstarter successful. Alpha 2.
Global Adventures (SubaGames) – Kickstarter funded.
Gloria Victis (Black Eye Games) – Open donations, no end date; in early access.
Greed Monger (Greed Monger) – Abandoned, now allegedly in refund process.
Grim Dawn (Crate Entertainment) – Funded and launched.
Guardians of Ember (Runewaker) – Funded and launched.
Guns of Icarus (Muse) – Funded and launched.
Hero’s Song (Pixelmage) – KS canceled; Indiegogo. Canceled w/ refunds.
Infinity: Battlescape (I-Novae Studios)
HEX (HEX Entertainment) – Funded and launched.
Legends of Aria (Citadel Studios) – Kickstarted as Shards Online. Early access.
Life is Feudal (Bitbox): Indiegogo ended. Currently in beta.
LUX (Chimera) – Kickstarter canceled.
Maestros of the Anthymn (String Theory) – Kickstarter canceled.
Maguss (Maguss) – Indiegogo successful; open beta.
Mekria (Infinity Online Studios) – Kickstarter canceled.
Midair (Archetype Studios) – Kickstarter successful.
Nebula Online (Mizar Games) Kickstarter canceled; launched in November.
Neo’s Land (NeoJac Entertainment) – Open donations, no end date.
Novus AEterno (Taitale Studios)
Oath (Ready-Up) – Kickstarter funded.
Occupy White Walls (Stikipixels) – Kickstarter ends April 21.
OrbusVR (Ad Alternum) – KS funded March 2017. In early access.
Overpower (Hydrant Games) – Kickstarter unfunded; heading to early access.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen (Visionary Realms) – Open donations. Pre-alpha.
Pantropy (Brain Stone GmbH): First Kickstarter canceled, second funded.
Past Fate (Icy North): Kickstarter unsuccessful.
Pathfinder Online (GoblinWorks) – Doom, mostly.
Path of Titans (Alderon) – Indiegogo.
Planet Nomads (Craneballs) – Kickstarted, early access launched sans multiplayer.
Playcraft (Bebop Games) – Kickstarter funded May 2019.
Pixel Starships (SavySoda)
Project Gorgon (Elder Game) – Kickstarted in three tries + Indiegogo. Early access.
Project Oasis World (POW) – Kickstarter unsuccessful.
Pumpkin Online (Monique) – Downgrading from MMORPG.
RAW (Killerwhale) – Kickstarter canceled by Kickstarter.
ROKH (Darewise) – Kickstarter canceled; in  early access but not active dev.
RUiN (Tarhead Studio) – Kickstarter successful.
Sacrament (Ferocity Unbound) – Kickstarter failed; Patreon ongoing.
Saga of Lucimia (Stormhaven) – Indiegogo. Intermittent pre-alphas.
Seed (Klang Games) – Kickstarter launching in 2020.
Shadow’s Kiss (Clockwork Throne) – Ongoing Patreon, Kickstarter funded.
Ship of Heroes (Heroic) – Kickstarter canceled, beta expected before 2020.
Shroud of the Avatar (Portalarium) – Soft launch July 2016. Launch March 2018.
Spycursion (Defun) – Kickstarter unsuccessful.
Squadron 42 (Cloud Imperium) – Beta delayed until at least 2020.
Star Citizen (Cloud Imperium) – Ongoing donations/packages. Backer alpha.
Starfighter Infinity (Ben Olding) – Kickstarter funded. Early access.
Temtem (Crema) – Kickstarter fully funded; now in early access.
The Exiled (Fairytale Distillery) – fka Das Tal; KS unsuccessful. Early access.
The Flower of KnighthoodKickstarter canceled.
The Realm: Reawakened (Stephen Nichols) – Ongoing GoFundMe.
The Repopulation (Idea Fabrik) – Kickstarted twice by A&B. Back in alpha.
The Stomping Land (Alex Fundora) – Abandoned.
Trials of Ascension (Dragonfire) – Again! Kickstarter ends April 1st.
TUG (Nerd Kingdom) – Totally abandoned without a word. Now considered a scam.
Vigor Roads (NeuronHaze) – Kickstarter unsuccessful; early access planned for 2017.
War of Rights (Campfire Games) – Successful Kickstarter; in early access.
Zenith (Ramen) – Kickstarter successfully funded.

Ashes of Creation

Yes, some crowdfunded MMOs most definitely do succeed. But others crash and burn, and you need to hear about the whole spectrum of games that sought your money early in exchange for the promise of input and transparency. And that’s exactly what Make My MMO does every Saturday. Help us keep ’em accountable, would ya?

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Kickstarter Donor

I’ve been calling Vaporware on this one for a LONG time. It was pretty obvious the way the wind was blowing if you’ve been watching the updates. They were becoming more and more erratic and non-nonsensical.

I remember an update two or three years ago when they posted some weird voxal-based block models for the characters. I knew after that one that the game was never coming out. It’s just been a long slow spiral down since it’s initial KS.


Reminds me of that one southpark episode ….

Arnold Hendrick

The failure of Soulbound Studios and Chronicles of Elyria is another sad example of how much money it really takes to make an MMO. A $1.4M kickstarter is a mere drop in the ocean.

As of last October, the studio has raised $7.7M (, and freely admitted that they needed additional cash from a publisher to finish. Unfortunately, the business model publishers wanted they could not accept.

Given the amount of money involved, I suspect that those with legal responsibility for the studio probably have a lot of “financial overhang.” That is, stuff they owe, but cannot pay. Enthusiastic game developers easily get in over their head. After they close the company, they discovered that they STILL owe all sorts of money on leases, ongoing state fees or penalties, rental agreements, etc. Riding a failed business into the ground is never pleasant.

Bruno Brito

To me, it’s just a sad example of bad heads using money badly.

Jon Wax

It’s big but is it Rhode Island big?


Yeah it actually makes Curt Shilling look like a minor bump in the road.


Elyria taught me a great lesson…never to back a kick-starter project, and to assume every single one is a scam to liberate the customer from their dollars without providing a product.

Also I think Walsh will continue his quarantine long after COVID is over, he seems to have unleashed the weaponized autism that is 8 chan. I would feel bad for him if he wasn’t such a lying bastard.


Theres already a class action lawsuit discord exploring potential legal avenues to take if any against SBS and their merry band of thieves.

And a reddit thread where people suggested filing a complaint with the AG in Washington which has already gone after some other kickstarters that never delivered and walked with money .

Honestly the whole thing is just sad and clearly mr Walsh aka caspian should never have been in charge of such a massive project now that his professional background has come to light.

Good read here

Thankfully his time in the industry is likely done no matter what ends up happening. He will never get another kickstartered dollar again.


Elyria isn’t the biggest Kickstarter gaming flop. From what I see Star Citizen is crashing and burning for 6+ years, with the team incapable to create anything but $200M+ tech demo. At best there will be minuscule buggy and boring product which any other company would create for 1/10 cost.


A bit forced. 2/10.


…the word we’re looking for is “contrived”? o.O

Bruno Brito

I’m all for bashing SC, god knows they deserve it…but SC didn’t crash and burn. They have a playable alpha. They have money. They have backers.

They’re miles ahead of a project that just goes belly up and runs away with all the money.


I mean they’ve failed to deliver anything even remotely resembling a working game after $10M, $20M, 50M, 100M, 250M and I bet we won’t see a half of promised functionality after 300-350-400M (since they clearly don’t have capability to release anything but a tech demo) thus someone should have stopped them long ago, after $50M wasted mark probably. Like an attorney general and a proper criminal investigation for promising stuff they clearly unable to deliver for the funds they have. They’d be bankrupt a year+ ago if Chris Roberts wouldn’t dump his share to the $67M sucker they’ve found.

By this time even a 90 IQ person should be convinced they are unable to deliver anything resembling their plans without wasting 10x normal cost and all their promises are a textbook case of con / fraud.

Bruno Brito

They have a playable alpha. I’m not arguing if it’s worth 200million. They have a playable alpha. Which is way more anything Elyria had.

Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Until it releases I’m more apt to view it as “crash and burn” honestly.

Bruno Brito

But that’s a subjective view. As of right now, SC didn’t crash, nor did it burn.

It’s a cashgrab, sure. But they have something to show.


OK: It’s in the process of crashing and burning. It’s just taking a long time because of the backers being willing to pump in hundreds of millions of dollars. Something will release, but my bet is on it being a disappointing disaster.


Sucks, but not surprising I guess. Hopefully it will stay that way as the highest-profile one to fail.


Oof. I missed the news about this before. Unsurprising, but still regrettable.

I was impressed by the Ashes of Creation stream yesterday. I remain cautiously optimistic about that one.


I really don’t get these companies that do Kickstarter these days.

I thought the point of doing Kickstarter was to raise the money to make whatever you want to make.

But, clearly, some of these aren’t getting enough money to complete production, much less actually ship a product.


In many cases, and almost always in the case of MMOs, the amount being asked for is enough for them to ramp up development and show potential investors that a market exists for the game they want to make.

Does not check email

I am building a garage. I have no experience building. I should not even hold a hammer, but I know a guy who can install the garage door. I will hold a kickstarter for $120, what can go wrong ?