ArtCraft says ‘the purpose of Crowfall is to destroy’ the themepark model

Crowfall’s J. Todd Coleman on beta and the MMO genre


Crowfall is in beta. If that statement reads a bit reverently, that is perhaps one’s cynicism that a crowdfunded anything can reach a finish line, let alone a milestone, and it’s an event that has caused creative director J. Todd Coleman to wax poetic and philosophical about the game’s latest step forward.

“The process is terrifying and exhilarating in equal parts,” writes Coleman in the blog. “It is a leap of faith. Faith that you’ll find the resources you need along the way, faith that your team will stick with you, faith that the technology you are banking on will solidify in time, faith that your idea will be fun. And, most of all, faith that the game will find an audience.”

With that faith in reaching an audience in mind, Coleman also goes on to opine for a return to the earlier days of MMO gaming as many others have, with a sense of heels digging in to make Crowfall a niche title that speaks to very specific sensibilities.

“A player recently asked me, ‘Now that you are nearing release, will you change the vision of Crowfall to appeal to a broader audience?’ Hell, no, I told him. That would defeat the entire purpose.

“Have you ever considered why they call them Theme Park games? It is because a theme park never changes. This is the central conceit of Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland: in this place, nothing changes. This world is a bubble in time; a curated and homogeneous experience for the masses. Each ride is designed to provide exactly 5.4 units of fun per customer (no more and no less!) and it will reset for the next visitor as soon as you are done. The audience is not permitted to affect the world – by design – to protect the experience of the next person in line.

“The purpose of Crowfall is to destroy this model. To obliterate it. The world is not the point; the world has never been the point. YOU are the point. These worlds exist only for you, as a canvas to paint on. As a lump of clay to mold and shape as you see fit.”

For anyone looking for more thoughts and details on Crowfall’s big step, make sure to check out our discussion with ArtCraft about the game, the beta, and a whole lot more.


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I don’t take this to mean they are attacking the theme park model in greater gaming, but that the way Crowfall is designed is intentionally antithetical to what a themepark is and won’t change to broaden the game’s appeal.

Each world is deployed, then shaped by user battles, and eventually destroyed. A player that joins in 2022 will never experience the worlds of 2021 because of the way the game is designed, and that’s OK.

Match Austin

I wish ArtCraft luck. A vast majority of MMO players don’t have the patience for the sort of gameplay that they’re saying they’re going to do and are apparently sticking to their guns on.


It is a lot like EVE online but with Elves and Dwarves instead of spaceships.
The sooner people understand that, the better.

All of the Pluses of EVE’s deep systems, but with modern MMO action combat instead of faux naval combat. No spreadsheets. No little red dots representing ships. Insead of a clone pod, you get a Crow that is a spirit. Like a ghost you can enter different fantasy bodies; elves, dwarves, minotaurs ect. (called vessels) to use them, instead of the clone pod entering different ships in EVE.

There is a lot to like in Idea of Crowfall, but you have to go into it knowing, like in EVE, not everyday is going to be a W(in). You are going to take a L(oss) sometimes.

The war for control of the game worlds is going to be a little more in your face than the more quiet, slower shapings of guild space in EVE, but it’s difficult to complain about more action.

Some people just won’t care for Crowfall, and that is OK.
I feel a modern update to EVE’s systems could be a fascinating playground to explore, even as I realize it will be a more niche game and need time to grow and prosper.

The base game at launch will be like when you first bring the Christmas tree into the house, it is what is added on later that makes it special.

Anthony Clark

While I appreciate their goal, coming from a themepark history of mmorpg gaming I find it hard to figure out just how to play crowfall.

I want to love it, but I have no idea what I’m doing at all.


The goals are up to you.

I intend to amass wealth, use that wealth to attain power and use that power to pull strings and manipulate the game worlds. I’ll leave leadership and it’s headaches to someone else.

I don’t want to be the General, I want to be General Motors.

I don’t want to run the guilds, I want to supply them with high powered weapons. (For an example.)


“…The world is not the point; the world has never been the point. YOU are the point. These worlds exist only for you, as a canvas to paint on. As a lump of clay to mold and shape as you see fit.”

I like this idea. I just don’t like their game, lol! That and I don’t care for some of Gordon Walton’s take on MMORPGs. Sorry Raph, I know he’s your bud and you have ties to this game. /shrug. There are just some folks from that old SOE team I’m not ever going to trust again.

Chosenxeno .

Yes and Guild Wars 2 is going to kill Quest Hubs lol

Kickstarter Donor

Honestly there can’t be this many dense people that think Todd meant he was going to crush theme park games. I mean it’s quite obvious that the point he is making is that for Crowfall he’s basically destroyed that model for the vision of the game and flipped it upside down.

He has quite literally said in the past that he is not here to compete with theme parks, he’s run big theme parks, and not once talks about business or destroying other games. So funny how people get so defensive of what they like they don’t even take the time to think about the wording lol


Heard it before, still haven’t seen it happen yet.


lol good luck with that


I don’t know that I’ll play it – I’m hardly a competitive PvP gamer. But I do admire them for trying to do something different for a large-scale open-world PvP game than “make a theme park but with PvP.”

I don’t know if their ideas will *work* – but at least they’re trying something different than assuming “It’ll all just work out this time, unlike every other time someone has tried the same thing before.”


I plan to play as a builder.
Yes, I will have to do some PVP, and that doesn’t bother me.
I am looking at it as EVE Online with elves and dwarves instead of spaceships.
I want to play more as the power behind the scenes and a master builder/crafter will allow this gameplay type.


DAMN!!! i was really looking forward to fresh new Theme Park to play in for a month, or two, hasn’t been one released in years, many years in fact, a huge audience of Theme Park players out there looking for a new home. What could have been. Sad really.