Last week, Soulbound Studios announced that in spite of just reaching a semblance of pre-alpha for Chronicles of Elyria, it was out of money and would be halting all work on the game, effectively canceling it, and laying off what remained of the entire staff (though apparently some of them are still working on it for free).
Canceled MMOs are nothing new. The trouble here is that Soulbound had raised more than a million dollars on Kickstarter back in 2016, and millions more in the last few years, chiefly from players pouring money into their hopes for the game. As we noted this weekend, that makes it the highest-profile crowdfunding MMO to go completely belly-up.
Gamer reactions have been… let’s call them mixed. Some have urged Soulbound’s Jeromy Walsh to pursue an Epic Games bailout and wondering why that’s not yet been pursued. Some folks are shrugging it off as just another dead Kickstarter. Some are in pure denial. Some are now calling “scam.” And as MOP reader Olivier pointed out, others are so upset they’re organizing in a Discord channel to explore a class-action lawsuit and give advice on how to pursue chargebacks through Xsolla. Here’s the server’s intro:
As I type this, there’s even trouble brewing over the official COE forums and Discord, whereby Soulbound staff were accusing the company’s own moderators of “misinformation,” resulting in the (temporary?) removal of the forum and the public Discord channel and the removal of all of the forums’ moderators (thanks to HolyAvengerOne for pointing me to this one).
Are you upset about the demise of Chronicles of Elyria? Upset enough to actually do something about it? What do you think gamers who are out thousands of dollars ought to do?