Now that we all know that Kingdoms of Elyria – the recently announced standalone game that runs parallel to the development and release of the MMO Chronicles of Elyria – is a thing, how is that thing going to come out? According to a dev blog from Soulbound CEO Jeromy Walsh, it’s arriving over the course of four different release stages.
The first release will be called KoE: Settlements and will focus primarily on the colony building sim mechanics that have been talked about for several months. The initial release won’t feature any interaction with neighboring settlements or the county a settlement resides in, but it still promises gameplay mechanics like economy balancing, structure building, hunting and gathering management, and managing citizen needs. KoE: Settlements is due to release later this year.
Once this base game is laid out, the next release, KoE: Domains, introduces more strategy elements thanks to interactions with neighboring settlements via trade agreements, alliance forming, or non-aggression pacts. This release is planned to arrive sometime in 2022.
After that, there’s KoE: Online, which will introduce large-scale multiplayer to the Domains formula, promising the ability to build up a hamlet alongside as many as 5,000 other players. Finally, KoE: Legacies will “[take] the online experience in KoE: Online and [tie] it more closely to Chronicles of Elyria” by way of four backer-specific servers based on the original four servers of CoE.
KoE: Settlements will release over the course of eight development milestones and will be available to backers in three different alpha stages and one beta stage. The first two milestones of development — and subsequently the first alpha test — will be sometime in April of this year. Furthermore, Walsh insists that development of KoE will not harm CoE, writing, “Kingdoms and CoE share a singular development roadmap, and development on the former directly ‘moves the needle’ on the latter.”
As we’ve previously noted, original Elyria backers are still pursuing a class-action lawsuit against both the studio and payment processor Xsolla, arguing that they are entitled to refunds following last spring’s announcement that development on the game had ended. Though Soulbound now says development has resumed, the lead 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.”