Whatever happened to those MMOs you – and we – have forgotten all about? We’re going to dig into three of them today.
First up, Pixel Starships – remember that one? It was a cute retro online RTS with an MMO-like persistent world “similar to World of Warcraft,” according to developer Savysoda back when it was running its (successful) Kickstarter in 2015. We’re pleased to say that not only does it still exist, but its developers are proudly now calling it “the world’s first full control starship management strategy sci-fi MMORPG.” FCSMSSFMMORPG? We’ll take it! It launched into early access the same year of its Kickstarter, and in fact, it returned to Kickstarter last year, raising $51,000 for an expansion called Pixel Starships: Galaxy. The current version is flagged as early access on Steam and beta on Android and Apple, though if the reviews are any guide, this one’s worth the download.
Next, we turn our attention to Guns of Icarus, a Muse Games airship combat MMO that actually ran a successful Kickstarter back in 2013 to fund its persistent world. We have good news and bad news for the game. It still exists, and in two formats: PvP-centric Guns of Icarus Online and PvE-friendly Guns of Icarus Alliance. They’re five bucks on Steam, where they both have surprisingly decent reviews for a franchise that is almost a decade old. There was even a big anniversary event last fall. The bad news is that the playerbase seems to have shrunk from a 2018 high of over 100,000 concurrent players to around 100 peak players now, though of course we can’t see how many people are on PS4. Still, the fact that the official Twitter account has been tweeting chiefly about a different game, Embr, since last summer, we doubt it’s a lot. Still – it’s up and playable.
Finally, we come to Otherland aka Otherland Next, which got a lot of coverage back in 2015 when it rolled into early access; at the time, we called it a “wicked hive of synth and vibrancy” in our impressions piece, but that’s just a fancy way of saying “mess.” By 2018 it had rebranded and planned a big expansion, but by mid 2019, it was bogged down in a hardware move and had fallen off our radar, apart from a review of its (“better than expected”) music we did last year. So where is it now? Wallowing the the land of “mostly negative” reviews, I’m afraid. While Drago posted about Easter and double-experience events in 2020 and promised it was working on a patch, it’s been quiet on social media since last June, and its website seems infected by some sketchy links. It’s still up, however, and it’s free-to-play, which has allowed YouTubers like Josh Strife Hayes to wander around in its super weird world. (Thanks, Jake and Kieran!)
Spy another MMO we haven’t covered in a long time? Drop us an email!