To make some sense of this press release and why it matters to MMO fans, we’re going to have to throw it back to not one but two different games. First, there’s Boundless (fka Oort Online), which is a blocky Minecraft-inspired full-on sandbox MMO that launched by studio Wonderstruck through the Square-Enix Collective back in 2018. And then there’s Crowfall, the Kickstarted PvP MMORPG that launched in 2021 and unfortunately flopped, leading to the abrupt sale of the game to another studio just before Christmas.
And what do these two games have in common? Tiny userbases… and now, parent companies. Yes, the company that bought Crowfall – Monumental – announced today that it’s also acquired Boundless.
“Monumental announced the acquisition of Boundless, the open-world sandbox game, where worlds are procedurally generated and there’s no critical path to follow. Rather, players are encouraged to forge their own path and run everything from politics to trading and building. Starting today, the operations transition will take place immediately with no interruption to the game service, and players can continue to purchase and play Boundless through Steam, and PS4.”
Quotes from Monumental’s Monty Kerr are pretty vague; he says the company “continue[s] to expand [its] portfolio of unique and engaging games.” The presser also has a quote from James Austin of Turbulenz, which appears to be the parent group and platform of Wonderstruck. Austin calls Monumental a “partner” and the game’s new “forever home.”
Our own Stream Team played Boundless kind of a lot over the years, but our last check-in was back in 2020. Since then, it’s apparently struggled with bugs, incomplete features, and player retention, which as reviewers note has made the MMO parts of the sandbox non-functional and driven the developers seek gainful employment elsewhere. While we can’t see PS4 data, peak Steam players over the summer hovered in the 120 range, which is likely what made the game look ripe for pickin’ by Monumental.
There are no grand promises for what the future development of Boundless will look like in this press release today, but you might infer its fate based on Crowfall’s development. The throne war game lost a key executive a few months ago and has pushed out only a few campaigns since the acquisition – not enough to change its fortunes. Then again, it’s hard to complain when at least Monumental is keeping the games online.