So, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there’s a Dragon’s Prophet emulator out there that’s been running for several years, so if you’re really desperate to play the Runewaker MMO that first Daybreak and then Gamigo sunsetted, that option remains available to you.
The bad news is that the newer Dragon’s Prophet emulator that popped up a few weeks ago on Steam is kaput, kablammo, kablooey.
At the time, we were suspicious of the game’s entry on Steam, as we couldn’t find anything relevant on the supposed developer, BOBYGAME, or its relationship to Runewaker, and we were fairly certain that that was just an emulator misrepresenting its status. So along with Connor from MMO Fallout, we went digging for more information. The new game’s administrator claimed to MOP that he had “trademarks and patents” for the game and provided us with scans of documents in Mandarin that he said he had submitted to Valve as part of Steam’s approval process. Using those docs, Connor finally got an answer from an international sales rep at Runewaker who told him categorically that “BOBYGAME is not [Runewaker’s] partner.” The rep further confirmed that the Chinese documents we were sent had nothing to do with BOBYGAME (in fact, they most likely came from a previous source code leak).
And yet, until yesterday, Valve and Steam left the game’s coming soon page up, as hungry Discord participants eagerly awaited the supposed launch of the game. But once the launch hour came and went – and then the date changed – even the fans became suspicious. By evening last night, somebody – we assume Valve – had apparently nuked the game’s Steam page. And by this morning, the game’s Discord had been deleted, along with the game’s website. “We are sorry that we stopped Publishing and Developing the Dragon’s Prophet,” the only remaining message on the site says. “The reactions bothered us a lot. Our team does not want to continue this way and has permanently closed.”
One of the reps from the other Dragon’s Prophet rogue server added some more clarity in our comments last week, noting that a group of Turkish gamers attempted to “buy files and source code” from his team “about a month ago” and advertised themselves as “a new private server” to the players.
It’s a sad ending for a rogue server for a decent and well-loved MMO, unfortunately. Along with many of our readers, we’re generally in favor of game preservation especially for dead MMORPGs, but this particular developer was banning journalists on Discord, openly lying about the nature of his relationship with the IP owner, and issuing fraudulent “proof” of his legitimacy, not just to us but to Valve, making it impossible to support, especially when it was planning to charge for currency. If nothing else, it ought to be a lesson in how to navigate the tricky waters of running trustworthy rogue servers.
It should also be a lesson to Runewaker that there are a lot of desperate fans for Dragon’s Prophet, such that opening up a legitimate server would be welcomed indeed.