Time to add another game to the acquisition heap this week: Blue Monster Games has apparently purchased Citadel Studios and Legends of Aria, along with the Shards Engine. Citadel’s Derek Brinkmann will become Blue Monster’s CTO as part of the deal.
Readers will recall that Legends of Aria was originally Kickstarted for over $100,000 as Shards Online, which was marketed as a platform for allowing players to run their own servers with their own rules. Though it later rebranded and shifted to pure MMORPG, it struggled to find its footing over the last few years through early access, delays, launch, and monetization shifts that saw the playerbase dwindle. The game hasn’t seen significant updates since the early months of the pandemic, though in 2021 the company announced it was publishing a second game, survivalbox CODEX, and revamping its original game as Legends of Aria 2.
So who is this new owner Blue Monster Games? Apparently it’s a “blockchain gaming studio” that makes Realms of Ethernity, an NFT game you’ve never heard of that the company describes as “an MMO metaverse game where players can buy plots of land, boats, mounts and all kinds of other equipment needed for survival […] a dangerous and lawless environment where players always risk losing their prized possessions” all powered by a crypto token because of course it is. Also something something metaverse.
“Realms of Ethernity isn’t just a regular metaverse game, it’s going to be the metaverse to eat the gaming world,” Blue Monster’s founder says. “Our acquisition of Citadel Studios is the first step towards that vision. We will bring metaverse elements to their existing games, which will then become a full part of the Realms of Ethernity metaverse! Expect to see many more of these kinds of acquisitions from us in the coming months.”
“Blue Monster Games will have full access to the source code of Citadel’s Shards Engine, a high-performance 3D engine optimized for MMORPGs and supporting thousands of players in a single virtual world. Developers can also program add-ons and mods to any Shards-based game using the Lua programming language, a powerful and popular choice for in-game scripting. Furthermore, Shards Engine includes ready-made systems for groups, guilds, crafting and skill systems, crucial to any RPG. The acquisition will also mark the first time that an existing AAA game will be updated with blockchain and Web3 mechanics, thus ‘metaversifying’ it with NFTs and token-based in-game currencies. Legends of Aria is expected to be the first entry to Realms of Ethernity’s ‘meta-metaverse’ concept, and RETH holders will be given exclusive access to the soon-to-be-announced Legends of Aria’s IDO.”