Stormgate studio Frost Giant opens equity crowdfunding campaign to make players into investors


Back in February, we covered the eyebrow-raising story that Frost Giant, the studio behind multiplayer RTS Stormgate, was planning to make a push for an equity crowdfunding campaign. Unlike the crowdfunding campaigns gamers are used to – the kind where you’re essentially pitching a donation into a Kickstarter pot – equity crowdfunding is actual investment, a way for small-scale, unaccredited investors to take part in investment rounds they’d usually be barred from.

MMORPG players are no stranger to this type of investment; several Kickstarted MMOs, including Shroud of the Avatar and Crowfall, engaged in equity crowdfunding back in 2016 and 2017, to the tune of over half a million dollars each. But of course, as both of those MMOs failed and both were sold off as executives bailed, none of the gamers who put money into these rounds ever saw a penny back. SOTA actually reneged on its legal obligations to file reports and never even apologized to its player investors, to the point that even the investment platform that hosted the debacle couldn’t see a way to hold anyone, not even wealthy execs like Richard Garriott, accountable.

Frost Giant reassures gamers that won’t be the case with Stormgate, declaring that it’s “one of a small group of studios pioneering new ground for how games are brought to market” (again, equity crowdfunding in MMOs is at least eight years old, and Kickstarter has been funding projects for 15 years, so absolutely none of this is new).

“Until recently, most major games were funded by large game publishers who assume creative control over key decisions such as monetization fairness and release timing. Instead, Frost Giant is partnering directly with the community to self-publish Stormgate in the West, empowering the developer to retain creative control over the game. This initiative offers supporters the opportunity to invest in Frost Giant Studios and directly benefit from the potential success of Stormgate, slated to release to Early Access in Q3 2024. Public investment in Frost Giant Studios through StartEngine is available to accredited and non-accredited investors, with a minimum investment of $494 is required for this Reg CF offering, with a company valuation of $150M.”

Yes, they’re claiming a valuation of $150M. As I type this, the game’s StartEngine venture has already picked up 134 equity investors who’ve raised around $250K for the game so far today. This is all in addition to the Kickstarter, which pulled in $2.38M in donations from gamers, not to mention nearly $35M more in VC investment.

As we noted last time, MOP’s Tyler tried out Stormgate itself back in February, finding it fun even in its early state – but not revolutionary. It’s noble to support smaller industry studios, just make sure you know what you’re doing – and know that history shows you’ll likely never see this money again, no matter the team’s best intentions.

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