Titan Reach addresses early access funding – and its partly unpaid staff

    
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Remember when the worst thing this game did was nonsense about avoiding auction houses?

If you are working on an MMO, you should be getting paid to do so. Please, developers, do not work for free in an industry worth billions – that goes for the devs of Titan Reach too, some of whom are apparently working volunteer on the unreleased MMO, according to the latest Titan Reach developer dispatch:

“The majority of our team works 40 hours a week, and some even work unpaid out of passion.”

This comes from an explanation of the game’s finances in the latest dispatch; Square Root studios discusses how much money is being spent on development costs and where the money is going. “We have currently paid out three fortnightly payments to our developers since we started on the 10th of January,” the team writes. “We said we needed US$ 15K for our team of 10 developers, and other costs. In our first month we achieved 11 developers with a fortnightly expenditure of US$ 7,150.”

If you were thinking that the game’s early access state would be functionally the same as the demo, know that the main thrust of the post is that this is not the case, with a large number of store-bought assets replaced and features like trading, friend lists, and running water implemented. Other systems (like combat) have not yet been addressed due to more time required for creating animations.

As readers will recall, Titan Reach’s unsuccessful Kickstarter last year was followed by a stated plan for Indiegogo that devs later vehemently told skeptical press would be an all-or-nothing endeavor, but that campaign never happened. Instead, the team opened piecemeal private crowdfunding through its own website and told fans in December that more funding was needed to keep the game from collapse.

“Without raising the money, we have raised over the last two months, this game would be dead, and a large part of that money was raised to play in Early Access,” the studio says in this latest missive. “It is easy to say that it is too expensive and that we should make it cheaper. But if we reduced the price, the game would not be around right now. Please wait until the Alpha if you cannot afford it. By then our game will be cheaper and overall, much better.”

Update 2/19
As commenters have brought to our attention, the Titan Reach team appears to have edited its dev blog without disclosing the edits, such that it no longer says “The majority of our team works 40 hours a week, and some even work unpaid out of passion.” The edited version now says “The majority of our team work 40 hours a week, with some doing more than that, unpaid for the extra. because passion.” These are obviously substantive edits that drastically alter the studio’s claims about pay. You can view the original version that we quoted on the Wayback Machine because the internet is forever. As are side-eyes.
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Jack Pipsam

They seem to be a remote operating studio if their team page is anything to go by, their twitter profile seems to indicate they’re based in Adelaide, but their co-founder and another web developer says they’re living in Brisbane (which is very far away, like half a country away), but they also list foreign devs living in the USA and UK etc.

I’m assuming they don’t even have an office, I am curious if they’ve received any kind of state funding, perhaps that’s something they can’t get if their developers are just all over the place.

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TaifurinPriscilla

Nobody at Square Root Studios is unpaid lol. That sentence literally means “some work MORE than 40 hours out of passion, the extra hours unpaid.”

(Edited by mod to remove ad hom. Please review our commenting code.)

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Christer Solvik

This is the actual quote from the blog post linked: “This is not just a bunch of developers doing a few hours here and there. The majority of our team work 40 hours a week, with some doing more than that, unpaid for the extra. because passion.”

As you said overtime is not paid.

Eliot skipped a piece of text that is crucial…

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Eliot didn’t skip anything. The Titan Reach people edited their dev blog after our post went live, without disclosure, apparently. Our quote is exactly what was on their site originally.

Edit: As the internet wayback machine confirms.

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Christer Solvik

Oooooohhhh, okay! I am sorry for not doublechecking! 😔

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

It’s all good. The fact that they didn’t disclose it (or contact us with a correction once they had amended their post – because that’s what a normal studio does when it makes an erroneous statement that gets picked up by media) only makes us more suspicious, and it’s certainly prompted a bunch of their fans to come here and harass us, so it seems they haven’t disclosed the alteration to their fans either. So thank you for checking back, and for letting us know about the new text in the first place – if you hadn’t, we might never have known they had stealth-edited it.

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Connor

Passion for not being fired, maybe.

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Bryan Correll

I could use some passion in my life, but I’d still need money.