This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen’s crowdfunding reached new heights as Cloud Imperium posted the Legatus pack, a huge bundle pack that runs $27,000. That seems ridiculous, but it also includes a ridiculously huge number of ships – 117, in fact, with 163 extras (things like beacons, modules, posters, and additional models). If you’ve already got that much skin in the game, it might be worth consolidating into this package. If you’re new, it might take more effort; forumgoers have posted that the pack is visible only to people who have already paid $1000, so you’ll need to contact CS and tell them you have a pile of money ready to go. With thanks to Cotic for the tip!
Meanwhile, Elite Dangerous caused bizarre controversy with its Memorial Day weekend event, Fractured prepped a Kickstarter, Greed Monger refunds continued to stall, and The Flower of Knighthood launched a Kickstarter with a $600,000 goal.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Greed Monger is the story that keeps on giving. Or taking. And then refunding. But not entirely?
Let’s start at the beginning. Greed Monger is probably the most famous MMORPG Kickstarter failure to date, having raised over $100,000 back in 2012 to build what the developers said would be a “crafting-focused sandbox MMORPG.” By 2015, the project imploded as devs abandoned it over a lack of funding, generating scam accusations from angry backers. Subsequent attempts to revive the game failed.
One of the original founders, Jason Appleton, resurfaced earlier this year, promising to reimburse Kickstarter backers with his newfound cryptocurrency fortune, though a quick glance through the Kickstarter’s comments shows that currently there are still backers who at least claim they haven’t received theirs. As we reported in our crowdfunding column a few weeks ago, Appleton appeared to have closed down applications for refunds and set about railing at donors still asking for their money back.
Here’s a bizarre one for you: Greed Monger’s Jason Appleton is now being billed as a “crypto YouTuber” ahead of the launch of his 13-episode television series funded entirely by bitcoin – it’s called the Crypto Crow Show.
Greed Monger is probably the most famous MMORPG Kickstarter failure to date, having raised over $100,000 back in 2012 to build what the developers said would be a “crafting-focused sandbox MMORPG.” By 2015, the project imploded as devs abandoned it over a lack of funding, generating scam accusations from angry backers. Subsequent attempts to revive the game failed. Appleton resurfaced earlier this year, promising to reimburse Kickstarter backers with his newfound fortune, though a quick glance through the Kickstarter’s comments shows that currently there are still backers who haven’t received theirs, and Appleton has apparently closed down applications for refunds and is bashing donors still asking for their money back.
Yesterday, as our writers were shaking their heads over Star Citizen’s latest shenanigans, Eliot cracked a joke about how having backed the game had become a punchline. I said I doubted anyone on the team had backed it, and then MJ pipes up and says she did: She grabbed one of the earliest intro ships and has barely looked at it since, just waiting for the actual finished game to emerge.
We gave her a pass, since honestly, anyone who backed it way back when couldn’t have really seen the last five or six years coming, right? Elite Dangerous’ Kickstarter was the same year and it’s been out for ages – Star Citizen didn’t look like a bad bet back then. (If you’re still paying $700 for a concept ship sight-unseen in 2018, well, I have no words for that.)
I didn’t back Star Citizen, but I have backed some serious duds. I’m livid over the stalled development of TUG and complete lack of communication from its developers. Greed Monger gave refunds (though apparently not all – thanks Xanward), but TUG won’t even say boo. Yeah sure it was 10 or 20 bucks, but still. Weird world.
Have you backed any MMO Kickstarters that you deeply regret?
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained’s idea of a “short” newsletter is still over 3000 words, but it’s live this week with a rundown of the news that’s still buzzing from January: that the studio is making new hires left and right in the wake of a huge cash investment that’ll speed up production of the game. It’s also called its first alpha a success now that it’s smashed some lag bugs.
And in surprising news, one of the principals on Greed Monger actually began processing refunds for its 2012 MMORPG Kickstarter after years of abandonment.
Meanwhile, the Elite Dangerous community thwarted griefers, Star Citizen added earliest test access to subscriber perks, Legends of Aria began another round of beta, AdventureQuest 3D teased its new Paladin class, Albion Online rolled out another update to the Kay patch, Dual Universe’s pre-alpha edged up to R0.8.16, and Crowfall made good on its promise to get the EU test servers up and running.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Way back in 2015, Kickstarted MMORPG Greed Monger was dead in the water, ripped apart by development delays, infighting amongst the developers, lawsuit threats, and then abandonment. The word “scam” was used copiously, given that the devs had raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter in 2012 in the service of building out a crafting sandbox that never happened.
It got weirder in 2016, when one of the original devs resurfaced, promised to work on the game, and then quit once more, this time citing its small playerbase. And then last year, a totally different former developer showed up with an apology and plan for refunds. As recently as a few weeks ago, that dev, Jason Appleton, was cheering his apparent luck in the cryptocurrency market and promising refunds.
I’m astonished to report that those refunds are actually happening.
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you; we’re going to be talking about Greed Monger today, because some very interesting developments have just transpired on Kickstarter.
The long defunct MMO’s former owner, Jason Appleton, posted a lengthy mea culpa to the community over how everything went down and taking responsibility for it. “My failure with this game has plagued me now for years,” he wrote. “I truly had a dream and invited you all along for the ride with me, and I failed you.”
Appleton went beyond a mere apology, as he indicated that he was going to make some manner of financial amends with the backers of this project. He encouraged these players to sign up to a certain digital wallet, into which Appleton would deposit some cryptocurrency for them to sell when they so desired. Fans have until September 30th to link the wallet with their backer information.
“All I ask is that if things go very well for you, that you forgive my failure with Greed Monger,” he said.
This week in crowdfunded MMO development, Dragon of Legends’ Kickstarter ended successfully, netting over $15,000 US for the OARPG studio; Star Citizen released alpha 2.3, complete with the long-awaited and gorgeous Starfarer; and Shroud of the Avatar previewed the once-glorious kingdom of Valhold.
Meanwhile, we peeked at Grim Dawn’s modding tools, watched as Greed Monger was abandoned (again), saluted Project Gorgon’s flower arranging patch, and considered whether William Shatner should voice all the things and not just Elite: Dangerous.
Don’t forget to drop by our Q&A collection thread for Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs, who’ll be a guest on the Massively OP this week and needs at least a few thousand more questions to tackle. Then read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!
Not that you’ve been holding onto incredible hope that Greed Monger would somehow see a revival after an extremely troubled development cycle, but you should probably know that the game is now officially cancelled.
“After careful consideration [given the] GM’s track record and the number of people we still have in the community we have decided it’s best to put Greed Monger to rest for good,” Lead Developer James Proctor posted today. “There is no way that Greed Monger could support itself with as small of a user base as we would have. It’s been fun working with you guys all these years and I hope you guys find homes in future MMOs.”
This is, of course, not the first time that Greed Monger has called it quits; the fantasy game has given up several times before. The crowdfunded MMO did announce a return of sorts back in January, but today’s announcement under the title of “The final end of the road for Greed Monger” makes us think that this will be the last time we’ll ever hear of this game.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the Oculus Rift, once a crowdfunded venture, is now asking a whopping $599 for its final product, befuddling market analysts.
Meanwhile, Greed Monger returned from the dead, Divergence Online staggered to Steam early access, and TUG picked up a cool $8.5 million in funding to start over in a new engine, meaning a year’s delay to content updates.
Check out the rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding news below.
Just when you thought the Greed Monger drama was so 2015, now it’s back.
The crowdfunded MMO sandbox appeared to have gone belly-up last year when its lead programmer quit as a result of not being paid by the game’s project lead, and then the project lead himself quit, and then in May, the lead programmer announced the game was dead. MMO gamers who’d backed the game to the tune of $100,000 were understandably ticked, and the game became one of the favorite poster children for MMO crowdfund disasters.
Today, James Proctor, the same lead programmer who declared the game dead last year, announced on a refreshed but barebones Greed Monger website that the game is now back in production.
This year, we’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2016.
Raph Koster kept our commenters occupied in April with his long retrospective on how Star Wars Galaxies worked and whether it failed. The Button took hold of the gaming world, WildStar F2P rumors ran rampant, and Greed Monger completely imploded.
Bonus: Someone coined the term “SHMOBA” unironically. That makes it all worthwhile. Check out the whole month below.
My original plan for this week – during the few moments that I was capable of coherent speech rather than just babbling about the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV expansion – was to give you lovely folks a drinking game. Each time you see certain things come up in indie MMO Kickstarters, take a shot. And I might still do that one day, but I decided against it for two reasons. One is that it feels a bit like punching down, which I don’t like to do.
But the second reason, and the more important one, is that not all of the fault can be laid at the feet of indie Kickstarters. The part where you expect to build a functional MMO on a budget that won’t pay for a single programmer, yes. Pretty much everything related to Greed Monger, that’s on you. But some of these terms come up over and over because they’ve been bludgeoned into formless masses now, and so it’s not really the fault of the indie folks that you can throw these terms in front of more or less everything.