Pathfinder Online, Kickstarted for $1M in 2012, will sunset in November

    
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Uh, no.

I’m sorry to report that Paizo has announced the end of Pathfinder Online. MOP readers know that the MMO was Kickstarted for over a million dollars back in 2012, but its development and staffing struggles led to mass Goblinworks layoffs in 2015, followed by several years of Paizo attempting to salvage the game and find new investors. Since then, the studio pushed the game into “open enrollment” last year and was still auctioning land early in 2021, though it appears that wasn’t enough to keep the lights on, if the sunset announcement is any judge.

“A little over six and a half years ago, Pathfinder Online launched into Early Enrollment and Pharasma’s Chosen began settling the Echo Wood. Since then, just as the Gray Lady’s intervention allowed the heroes of the Echo Wood to escape death over and over again, the amazing support from all our wonderful backers and players allowed our tiny team to stay online and keep improving the game year after year. It has been a privilege to see this world and this story brought to life through the dedicated players adventuring in it, but now the epic finale of Pathfinder Online draws near. In October, Nhur Athemon’s own Chosen will arrive to finish the war between death and undeath, with both the story of Pharasma’s Chosen and the online world they adventure in scheduled to end at Daily Maintenance on November 28. After that, the servers won’t be coming back up[.]”

Hopefully, anyway. “[I]t’s possible that we won’t be able to keep the servers running right up to November 28,” the studio admits. “The servers are getting quite old, and we won’t be able to switch over to the cloud before then.” Paizo does say it will offer refunds for “recently purchased” items and that it’ll construct a storyline based on the history of the game as it stands at the sunset, so maybe there’s a bit of point to playing to the end.

Our condolences to the remaining players and devs.

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Darko Petrović

Never heard of this game till now…

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Cory James Hill

Shocker.

This was the first MMORPG Kickstarter I ever backed. I went on to back several more. Not a single one of them succeeded. I don’t back video games anymore.

Fisty
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Fisty

F. What a f up this was. They had the IP, the classic D&D feel.. Such a chance.

F.

Gipfeli
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Gipfeli

they’ll try again in 2 years

Relmharver
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Relmharver

Thank goodness they finally had the sense to let this game end, rather than keep a few remaining believers holding out hope. If only all developers (Caspian cough Caspian) had at least that much integrity.

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Paragon Lost

I’m shocked.

shocked face.gif
Leo
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Leo

Maybe they can give out some of the game assets to help someone else make something of all that money

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NeoWolf

I was a day one backer of Pathfinder Online and am and have been a huge fan of Pathfinder since its creation it has been my PnP Rule system of choice for many years.

And I can say myself and MANY others raised concern over the direction of this game from day one to Goblinworks. PvP made no sense to RPG pen and paper gamers who made up a majority of its backers. More so with the game being set among the hotly contested River Kingdoms which is the place the I.p most successful Adventure Path Kingmaker it seemed odd to us they wouldn’t seek some sort of tie-in rather than an open pvp battlefield.. it made no sense, and makes no sense to this day.

But I supported the brand so I threw money at it anyway, even though I never downloaded or played it in the end for those reasons.

All I can say is the developers were very pro PvP, they had this idea thought it would work and ignored ALL commentary and feedback to suggest otherwise.

Its not even that open PvP games can’t succeed it’s just this I.p’s appeal was not those people, the people they were appealing to pnp gamers and pvp is just not a pen and paper concept, parties work together, not against each other. This was just totally alien.

So no, I’m not surprised this game is sunsetting, (I’m a little surprised it took this long tbh) but I am sad it is, it could and more importantly “should” have been SO much more than it was.

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Paragon Lost

Nicely summed up.

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Crowe

You said it a lot more eloquently (and politely) than I would have.
/salute

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moizeus

How long was the game playable to the general population and not those who paid for closed beta or kickstarter? did the game even make it to Steam or an Open beta status?. I feel sad for anyone that wasted more than 10$ on it for kickstarter

SirUrza
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SirUrza

When you think about pen & paper roleplaying games, do you honestly think about Player vs player? I never understood the direction or the weak minded clueless development that went into this game. I’m so glad I got the paper products from the kickstarter and this wasn’t a complete waste.

Atleast we have Kingmaker and very soon Wrath of the Righteous to enjoy. I’m really glad CRPGs were able to make a come back and I’m looking forward to see what else there is to come.

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Arktouros

If only they designed the game as not open world PvP and all PvE. It would have been successful as World of Warcraft like all the other PvE games.

When will these PvP game developers learn?

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Jim Bergevin Jr

There is a very vocal segment of the gaming community pining away for these types of games. A lot of the indie studios making them are people from that segment.

The problem is that this segment doesn’t understand that they are a very small portion of the community. Kudos for them raising that million, but there’s simply not enough community out there to keep these games viable as niche audience products.

It’s different when you look at single player games developed for the hardcore to recapture those days of yore. A million gets it out the door. But there’s no worries about long term costs like we have with online/multi-player games.

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Munchmeat2

PVP MMOs are pretty popular though. Albion is crushing it right now. Eve has had an active community for a long ass time.

PVP MMOs might not attract WoW type numbers, but that doesn’t mean they are not popular.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

Yes, they are popular within that niche. Eve being the WoW of the genre. But even taking that into consideration, Eve isn’t strictly open world PvP like some of these more recent offerings have been. Plus it has been established for a long time and has grown within that niche during that time. The original point still stands.

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lispychicken

This was going to be an open world PvP-focused title? That would not fly with casual people at all, and sorry, the hardcore PvP people dont exist in a number large enough to warrant a full game of this type to exist. Also, after a certain point, PvP-only games make it really hard for new people or casuals to get into at all, never mind people new to the genre from the get go

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Vanquesse V

I think there’s a place for a few well designed open world pvp mmos.
But making one with the Pathfinder license never made any sense to me.
When your IP is for all intents and purposes a 100% pve co-op experience it makes no sense to use it for a game where most of the world is FFA pvp rule set.
I played it 4 years ago for a couple of weeks. It was pretty bare bones, and both gear and progression was *very* non-standard to the point where if the pvp didn’t scare you away, the game systems most likely would.
I also don’t think I saw more than 30 people online at the same time.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

What you did there. I see it.

Speaking only for myself: The issue wasn’t just “PVP.” It was that it was PVP and *also* had almost nothing in common with the rules for the tabletop game it was based on… which is a cooperative storytelling PVE game. Unless you have a really competitive GM or “one of those players” who insists on trying to kill the rest of the party until everyone gets fed up and tries to stuff them face first into their bottle of Mountain Dew.

Do open PVP games exist? Yes.
Are some of them successful? Yes.
Do I personally think of “open world gankbox PVP” when I’m thinking of anything related to the Pathfinder tabletop game? Not even a little.

I just don’t think the choice of “PVP game” was a good idea based on the existing audience for that IP. Just like how it turned out to be somewhat less than ideal for another company to launch an online, multiplayer, partially PVP based game set in an IP known for being offline, PVE and sort of story based. Is “crossing genre lines” always a bad idea? Again, no, not always. But it’s a *risky* idea, if you can’t get the existing audience to buy in (or find a new audience to replace them.) In this specific case, it looks like the audience wasn’t there for it.

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