The crypto shenanigans around Legends of Aria just keep getting weirder.
Readers will recall that Legends of Aria, Kickstarted by MMO players as Shards Online, struggled throughout its development and launch, then last year was sold to a blockchain company that immediately announced an NFT-laden play-to-earn metaverse revamp of the game. Since then, it’s bungled its Steam presence, promised and then canceled plans for a non-P2E server, sunsetted a classic server, sold $70 random pay-to-win characters, and crowed over its prison system.
At the beginning of September, the game also launched what it was calling the #ARIA token, which as MMO Fallout’s Connor noted all but collapsed in just a few weeks. By the end of September, Reaper Games announced that “fundamental changes in [its] game design” meant that it wouldn’t be reopening the old alpha client and would be halting trade of $ARIA; instead, the company revealed yet another rebrand for the game called Britaria – actually BRITARIA in all caps – with a new token called $DREAD, trading for which went live last week.
“As a homage to our shared passion for classic MMORPGs like Ultima Online, we have decided to call our upcoming release: BRITARIA,” the new whitepaper (ug) says. “We feel this new name was warranted given the change in team, ownership, and leadership, as well as the new direction and developments planned for the game.” There isn’t really any information on the new website about what those new developments actually are, but it does appear that $DREAD is continuing to sink in value, and Discord mods are telling players the full launch is still expected by the end of the year.
Perhaps there’s one silver lining here: So far, it looks as if the classic Legends of Aria servers will still be called Legends of Aria, and that version of the game may eventually be able to extricate itself from all of the chaos. According to Reaper Games, it still controls the LOA IP and won’t be developing Classic further, but Citadel Studios, which it also owns, maintains those old servers. In fact, some of the private player-run servers are even running Halloween events, which somehow just makes the ongoing P2E fiasco that much more painful for the people who backed Shards.
Further reading on Legends of Aria: