Chronicles of Elyria clarifies art and comms as players vow their lawsuit will go forward

    
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One of the biggest MMO stories from 2020 was surely the collapse of Soulbound Studios and its MMORPG Chronicles of Elyria, which at one point appeared dead in the water when it ran out of money and all staff were laid off. After angry crowdfunders began litigation efforts, Soulbound changed direction, with CEO Jeromy Walsh saying that the game was still in production after all, just under a volunteer staff.

Just before the new year, Walsh resurfaced with a new video for the game and more details on its cadence, its staff, and its communication, once again reiterating that work on the MMO continues and that it will indeed release. And now, this week the team posted to Kickstarter backers additional details; the studio touches on the planned new video episodes, changes to the production roadmap, and questions on the game’s discussion channels and art.

The art style for the game, Soulbound assures players, has not changed, and the team once again pointed out that some of its videos intentionally show low-quality graybox assets that shouldn’t be taken as the final product. The Discord is also still due to return as soon as the team has installed community teams and tools to manage it.

Over on the player-run Discord, however, backers are still pretty riled, and apparently, their class-action lawsuit is still proceeding “regardless of the state of the game.”

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Loopy

I hope this becomes a wake up call for all indie devs out there working on their “dream game”:

Other people’s money is not a free toy to play with

There are consequences for not delivering on your promises. Do not go into game development if you think you will not be able to produce a quality game. This isn’t a mickey mouse school project where you get a lower grade when you half ass something – this is people’s livelihoods, hard earned money.

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Ragemaster9999

In a day and age where journalism integrity is practically non existent it is ESPECIALLY important that MOP covers all sides of the issue both the good side and the bad side and let its readers come to a conclusion.

This guy screwed up royally and I hope he either makes amends by releasing a game however doubtful or gets a judgment in court.

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2Ton Gamer

It’s pretty sad when you can’t even muster up the resources or know-how to toss a Discord channel together within a day. I see better Guild run Discords pop up within hours, lol. This dude’s life is just pathetic. Just another person not able to own their mistakes, just what the world needs.

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Rndomuser

I’m sure that person knows how to run the Discord server, most likely he just doesn’t want to spend own time on it and he can’t find enough people who will want to be server moderators and will be willing to keep it as an “echo chamber for fans where criticism is not allowed”, as it is usual with these types of failed projects ;-)

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Rndomuser

Nice to see backers proceeding with class action lawsuit. Dishonest game developers and companies which support their behavior need to be brought to justice. I wish more people would commit to such action instead of being indifferent and be like “well, I lost some money, no big deal, I’ll just suck it up” (of course I do understand that some people may not be able to participate in lawsuits for many reasons, which is perfectly fine).

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Ironwu

” . . . some of its videos intentionally show low-quality graybox assets . . .”

I mean, really? If you cannot even produce a high quality video promoting your product then how can you EVER be expected to deliver anything of actual value?

It looks like to me that he glanced over and saw how Star Citizen is able to keep going without producing anything of real substance or value and realized he could dodge this bullet with just a lot of smoke and mirror tricks.

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Jo Watt

Well at the very least star citizen does have a functioning game with a few things to do in it… So there is actually visible progress there, imo that makes a big difference.

Not to say it will ever actually go anywhere though. Maybe we will see one day.

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Ironwu

Difference between producing nothing of real value for 350 million dollars and producing nothing of real value for a small fraction of that amount.

Result is the same. No playable game. Just junk in varying degrees of completion.

Relmharver
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Relmharver

You know, there’s nothing requiring MOP to cover this scam. It would be better if you guys refused to give them any air time at all. If anything needs to be said, just cover the lawsuit and leave the developer hype out.

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Jo Watt

Well.. I mean it’s something they should report on.. wether it’s a scam or not it’s good to see news on this and what’s happening. It also shows people who might not know this developer has serious issues and even pending lawsuit.

Plus it’s an ongoing shit show circus why not report on it just for that fact.

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2Ton Gamer

Again though, reporting on the lawsuit is one thing, but giving them any stories for any new “features” or “progress” is pushing it. Let’s be clear, this sham isn’t ever going to represent a fraction of what they promised when they sought funding. Whatever Jeromy releases will just be some laughable mod of a game.

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Kickstarter Donor
NecroFox4

I couldn’t disagree more – I believe that it is essential for MOP to cover this scam, so that it won’t simply be forgotten in the vast hollow emptiness of cyberspace.

Folks lost money, time, and worst of all for some, hope – all due to, as far as we can tell, terrible mismanagement of staff, funds, and expectations.

I believe that covering this subject is critical for the sake of keeping a spotlight shining on the perpetrators of what amounts to basically a scam, as well as keeping interested parties abreast of the efforts of those backers who are seeking relief through the courts.

And if nothing else, it’s also interesting to folks like me, who are on the outside looking in, and have seen MMO scams come and go more times than they care to count (Dawn, anyone?).

So keep on reporting on this saga, Bree. I appreciate the time and effort you continue to put into it. I really do.

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Kickstarter Donor
NecroFox4

Maybe MOP could do an annual history lesson. Feature Dawn, and others like it, as a reminder of the pitfalls of buying into (literally) a dream.

If we don’t learn from history, we’re doomed to repeat it!

Thanks again for keeping the spotlight on this, and all the rest that you folks at MOP do. I love this place that you all have built, and what you do here day after day. Keep on fighting the good fight.

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Bruno Brito

So? They’re a MMO news site. They should cover everything, including the fake hype, until it shatters completely and the scammers running this shitshow get fucked.

Why are you guys telling journalists how to make journalism is beyond me.