In early 2020, Chronicles of Elyria stunned MMO gamers by announcing it was out of money, had laid off the devs, had closed Soulbound Studio, and had ended development on the game. And though CEO Jeromy Walsh later retracted much of that and said the game was still in production with volunteer staff, the gamers who’d backed it for $14M+ in crowdfunds pressed onward with legal action. By the end of 2020, Walsh began releasing new videos to reconfirm ongoing production: The December video discussed changes to scope and communication, while the the January edition focused on timelines and development phases.
That brings us to the February video, which just launched and homes in on the game’s 2020 outlook and more specifically the strategy-centric Kingdoms of Elyria gameplay, which is “moving from a test-only platform to a fully-fledged stand-alone product.” Existing backers will receive access for free, and it will launch in four stages, the first of which arrives late in 2021 and will be limited to the colony sim and settlement management game where “the focus will be on keeping your citizens alive and happy as you grow from a hamlet to a large capital-sized settlement.” More deep-dives into Kingdoms are promised for the future monthly videos.
“I can’t stress this enough – development of Kingdoms of Elyria doesn’t prevent development on CoE,” Walsh says. “Quite the opposite: All the engineering work and design decisions feed directly into CoE’s future development and is a necessary step in bringing both sides of the game together. The systems we are creating in Kingdoms will be integrated with Chronicles later down the line, meaning this release provides an opportunity to experience part of Chronicles of Elyria now.”
As we’ve previously noted, the class-action lawsuit against both the studio and payment processor Xsolla continues for now; the plaintiffs have stated they believe their lawsuit will “likely get [them] access to a lot more behind the scenes information about the true status of the game.”
The new video is below.