Whatever happened to Astellia and Astellia Royal?

    
9
The shine is off.

So it’s been quite some time since we heard anything about Astellia (which is buy-to-play) or its free-to-play cousin Astellia Royal, hasn’t it? And unfortunately, sometimes looking into the questions of what might be happening doesn’t actually result in a happy story.

Longtime friend of MOP Connor over at MMO Fallout noted that both games have been pulled from Steam, with neither one offering any explanation or statement regarding the removal. This is particularly noteworthy as it’s rare for a free-to-play game to get pulled from Steam without explanation. Checking today confirms that neither is available for purchase from Steam without explanation on an account that does not have either one installed or purchased.

The official forums for Astellia have all the signs of an abandoned forum, with no moderation taking care of transparent scam marketing ads filling up responses to topics, while the game’s social media accounts have been silent since January 2021. While the official forums for Astellia Royal continue to see official postings, they are also light on activity. They promise a version update on August 11th, but details are scarce to say the least; the game has no forward-facing social media in English, but the Korean Twitter for the game appears to have been silent since September 2020.

It’s also worth noting that neither game on Steam Charts has posted even three digits’ worth of players since May 2021, with both below 50 players on average during the last 30 days. As always, take these numbers with a grain of salt, but it’s certainly not good.

What the heck is happening? It’s impossible to be entirely sure, but all indicators seem to point to some for of quiet shutdown or scaling back, especially with the buy-to-play Astellia. It’s not even entirely clear if anyone is left to announce something to the community there; the game’s community managers do not appear to have been active on the forums since May at the latest. Astellia Royal seems to still be promising an update this week, but it remains to be seen if that will materialize.

None of this is what would be construed as “good news” for the games.

Source: Official Site (1, 2) via MMO Fallout
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Leyaa
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Leyaa

Never played the game, but apparently, the game shuts down on October 29th, according to the official site: https://www.astellia-mmo.com/news/info/183/all/1

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

I was intrigued by Astellia, and when they said they would remove all gender-locked classes for the western release I decided to give it a try. They unlocked half of them (the ones formerly locked to only male characters) shortly after their launch, but despite their promise they left the mage and healer gender-locked to female and NEVER unlocked them.

I stopped playing until they made good on that promise which means I never played again. Good riddance, as far as I’m concerned.

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squid
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Loopy

Wow, had no idea it was going so poorly for Astellia. I personally did not enjoy the generic storyline and the super linear leveling, so i ended up abandoning it.

Looking at its subreddit, the last post it has was from 2 months ago. Yikes.

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Hikari Kenzaki

The story of Astellia is pretty much the story of Bless but a lot worse.
They constantly shutdown or create new versions of the game to get people to rebuy everything.

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Vanquesse V

I played Astellia at launch, but bounced as soon as I realized what the endgame was like. I checked in on the steam page and looked at recent reviews every once in a while.
It seemed like the game didn’t really get much in terms of meaningful updates, then the f2p version hit and split the community and around that time server quality got really bad as well with everybody complaining about lag.

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Arktouros

Pretty much the same story for all these generic Korean game exports. Honestly have lost track of them all because there were so many and all of them basically faded to obscurity. Big for 30 seconds at their release, then once they’ve farmed as much money as they’re going to get with their English conversion the game basically dies. Once in a great while you see an ArcheAge or Black Desert that manages to stay relevant.

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psytic

Super generic. Bless Unleashed to follow the same path soon unless the console release saves it. Even Terra fell off a cliff and it used to be super popular at one point. You can make better Waifus in Black Desert and FFXIV and that’s really all these type of generic grinders had going for them. Or at least that’s what I kept reading in chat and on the Steam reviews was the appeal for these games.

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Greaterdivinity

Huh, when did this happen? Astellia Royal showed up while I was browsing around MMO’s on Steam and reminded me it exists, I think it was still downloadable as of the weekend at least.

The budgets may be higher and the games much prettier, but it seems that the import MMO’s still mostly seem to struggle out in the west. Sure there are great successes like Black Desert and FFXIV (which we’ll count, it’s not Korean but it’s technically an import MMO!), but most still seem to achieve moderate success at best, usually seemingly just via localizing and releasing updates from the more successful domestic versions.

I think I saw this in related to the Bless re-release recently, but there was a comment somewhere about games like it. They’re “fine”, they’re serviceable games that are competently enough designed, things work as they should, they’ve got most of what you’d expect out of a MMO, and increasingly they’re quite nice to look at. But, at least for the commenter and me, that’s about it…there’s no real real to jump in and play these MMO’s compared to other MMO’s on the market. They’ll try some small feature (Astellia had the little pet things, IIRC), but it’s a tiny hook trying to land a fairly large fish (that’d be us!).

It almost feels a bit like the mid-2000’s again, except with a far, far more crowded and competitive market and a more sophisticated (for lack of a better word, I need more coffee) audience.