You may remember that space tourist Richard Garriott, fresh off the utter collapse of Shroud of the Avatar, had threatened us all with another new MMO project filled with NFTs back in April of this year. Any hopes that this might have been a passing flight of fancy or that the people involved came to their senses are now dashed, as the game in question has a title and a website now. Touting a game called Iron and Magic, the website details no systems, setting information, or release date plans, but it does have a store section marked as coming soon asking you to buy land in a world created by Lord British.
No, really, that’s what happens with one click of the scroll wheel. Right down to the store, which is coming soon and displays little rotating bespoke blocks of land you can buy. This isn’t a joke; this is what the team actually has on display. The official Twitter has more details on actual systems, calling the game a Web 3.0 sandbox and teasing things like biomes, cooking minigames, party finders, various shops, magic, and so forth, although it offers no more details than listing the concepts.
You can, of course, also click over to the “team” section to see the names associated with the game. MMO fans are already familiar with Garriott as well as Catnip Games figure Chris Spears, but Todd Porter and Shane Zhu are the two headlining names on the team page. Both of them are from DeHorizon, a company which has already had multiple rounds of investor funding for attempting to build a metaverse gaming platform (DeMeta is the US branch). Garriott himself is listed as “creative advisor,” but his name is clearly listed in many places as being one of the major selling points of this project.
Just as a quick reminder for those who have forgotten: Shroud of the Avatar is a Richard Garriott-helmed MMORPG that was funded initially through a 2013 Kickstarter, weird crowdfunding stunts, frequent donation telethons, and large packages meant for whale-hunting which all earned more than a few raised eyebrows from us. The game was mired in controversy, layoffs, delays, design issues, and ultimately a tiny playerbase when it finally launched. From there, it becomes a farce worthy of Shakespeare. The new CEO, Chris Spears, denied he was taking over even as Garriott himself stepped down, Portalarium shuttered its office, and then it quietly folded altogether and transferred SOTA to a newly formed indie studio. Company representatives weathered this storm by insulting the press, dodging questions, doding legally required SEC filings, and even trying to dodge accountability to SeedInvest investors as recently as this very year.
We know all of this was included in the first post we linked, but just in case you don’t feel like clicking through again, that was your recap. Even if this project weren’t clearly a way to sell you bespoke land NFTs (which, to be clear, the website makes it utterly transparent it is), these should be more than enough red flags to make you question this.