‘We’re out of money’: Project Gorgon moves to part-time development to keep its server lights on

F*ck cancer


An announcement from the three-person dev team behind Project: Gorgon pulls no punches, as Elder Game admits to players in no uncertain terms that the money needed to keep up feature developments of the sandbox MMORPG has completely dried up.

Eric Heimburg begins by recounting the past three years of hardships for the indie team, such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancer diagnosis of developer Sandra Powers (Heimburg and Powers are married; they’re former Turbine devs with long roots in the MMORPG industry). Apparently, while 2023 started off strong, revenues – and the couple’s personal savings – have dried up, meaning they’re struggling to keep the studio afloat. Here’s how Heimburg puts it.

“In terms of productivity, 2023 has been better! Sandra is still dying of cancer, sure, but she’s been able to work more of the time, and so have I. However, the second half of the year we’ve run into a new problem: we’ve run out of cash. In the past when money was tight, Sandra and I would stop paying ourselves from the company funds and survive off of savings. But there’s no more savings: cancer is stupid expensive, even with health insurance. At the same time, money from the game has slowly dwindled over the past three years, owing in part to the lack of new game content. Our big sale this summer was a lot of fun, but it didn’t hit the goal we needed to keep everything going. At this point, we’re out of money to pay for full-time development.”

The announcement stresses that this doesn’t mean Project Gorgon is finished in the near-term, as the devs will now go into belt-tightening mode to save money and apply bug fixes as needed to keep the title running indefinitely.

“This doesn’t mean the game is shutting down!” Heimburg says. “Thanks to the influx of monthly VIP money, we can afford to keep the game running indefinitely with basic support and bug-fix updates. But we no longer have any full-time employees, and our part-timers have reduced hours. This means that right now, we won’t be able to devote significant time to developing major new content or features. Instead we’re switching to part-time development while we regroup, save up some money, and figure out the best way forward. […] Next year, we’ll see where the finances are and look at our options.”

But Heimburg does caution that if the situation doesn’t improve long-term, then it could spell “the end of Project: Gorgon,” bar another cycle of fresh VIP subscriptions adding to Elder Game’s coffers: “We haven’t given up yet! But if this is the end, I want to say how sorry I am that I couldn’t complete the game I promised. And how grateful I am that you supported us all these years,” the post closes. “Thank you. I will never forget what you’ve done for us.”

In the meantime, the studio applied a content patch this week that added a large-scale dungeon located within Errruka the Benefactor’s home in Povus, applied several skill updates, released its delayed Halloween event, and added some new loot, among several other things.

source: official forums (1, 2). Cheers to tipsters Pepperzine and Wishing Them The Best. We certainly are too.
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