Chronicles of Elyria studio tosses ‘quick release’ strategy after inking a licensing deal

This turned out super great here, guys.

Some train wrecks never know when to stop smoldering. You’ll recall that at the top of 2023, Soulbound Studio’s Jeromy Walsh vowed that the small team was going 100% on the development of its two titles — Kingdoms of Elyria and Chronicles of Elyriawith a promise to ship a reduced-focus Kingdoms by the end of this year.

So guess what’s now not happening? Yeah.

“While pushing for a release this year was already looking unlikely, I have come to recognize that rushing the launch wouldn’t be in the best interest of the players or the studio,” Walsh said in a new dev blog, citing Baldur’s Gate 3 as an inspiration for the delay (something to do with polish).

The decision to jettison the “quick release” of Soulbound’s first Elyria game in favor of an extended alpha also comes from a new deal between Soulbound and an unnamed mobile MMO company to license the former’s engine. According to Walsh, this deal will provide financial freedom to pursue development at a less breakneck pace. What wasn’t mentioned, however, was using any of those new funds to refund long-suffering backers.

So what’s next? “While I can’t provide an exact timeline for how long the Alpha and Beta tests will last, I’m still planning to launch the Alpha test by the end of the year.”

Chronicles of Elyria stunned MMO gamers in 2020 by announcing it was out of money, had laid off the devs, had closed Soulbound Studio, and had ended development on the game. Though CEO Jeromy Walsh later retracted much of that and said the game was still in production with volunteer staff, the gamers who’d backed it for $14M+ in crowdfunds pressed on with a lawsuit that was dismissed in 2022. Since 2021, the revivified but ensmallened team has focused on spinoff game Kingdoms of Elyria.

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