So, we’re back to Dreamworld again. Regular readers already know that this game has been a wild ride ever since it popped up on Kickstarter. It was pitched as massive, content-bedecked “infinite open world MMO” with “millions of players” in a “single world.” It was also being made by a pair of absolute novice developers with piles of prefab assets and supposed YCombinator investment, and those devs sought even more money from MMO gamers through Kickstarter, which they got because, you know, we can’t have nice things. Through it all, endless streams of journalists and YouTube influencers pointed out that it was probably a scam, and even if it wasn’t actually a scam, it was so pie-in-the-sky it would have the same outcome as a scam, so we should probably treat it that way and stop giving it money. Then the ex-fiancee of one of the developers came out with her own video pointing out some of the lies in the original campaign, ultimately concluding that the Kickstarter was predicated on some deception but wasn’t necessarily an intentional scam.
I told you this was wild.
So here we are at the end of May – what did 663 Kickstarter backers buy with their $64K in Kickstarter funds? Alpha. Yes, these dudes actually managed to push out a very early alpha, and it’s playable by people who backed at the right tier! Except… it’s exactly what you’d expect from a couple of amateurs trying to build the best MMORPG ever with only a year of development under their belts.
While the devs on Discord say they’ve implemented a core city, PvP, new assets, and house construction during this phase, the reality is more like a mixture of bugs and purchased assets and distinctly Minecraft-like design. Even folks in the official Discord have called it “AssetWorld.”
Notably, Skiazos, one of the YouTubers who helped promote the Dreamworld developers with a somewhat credulous interview early on, has completely changed sides, with a string of videos over the past week saying he’s “come to reality” believing the game is a “scam” and the “worst alpha game ever.” Apparently he’s decided to troll the game by flooding it with… green peppers? It’s a whole mood really.
Worth noting here is that the Kickstarter never promised more than an alpha; scroll through the tiers and you’ll notice that none of them actually promises a finished, final game or a copy of one. Just the alpha and a bunch of perks. In other words, they’ve either accidentally or cleverly managed to fulfill their key crowdfund promise, making any legal action in the future that much more difficult.
But why would you need legal action? You didn’t back this thing. Right?