Shadow’s Kiss Funds
Shadow’s Kiss, the Vampire MMO from Clockwork Throne Studios has finished up its Kickstarter successfully. A very dark and mysterious 884 backers pledged $80,414 to help bring this project to unlife. While it fell short of some of the stretch goals, the original core experience was only aiming for $25,000. Here’s to a successful campaign and a game to watch in the future.
Crowfall Drops Pledges for Pre-Order Packages
Crowfall is making a shift. The company behind Crowfall, ArtCraft Entertainment, has decided to make the move from selling pledges as a kickstarted game would into selling pre-order packages.
“For the last two years, we’ve used crowdfunding (and company investment) to fund the game. Now that we’re getting closer to launch, we need to transition our project from selling pledge packages to selling pre-orders of the game.
On December 31st, we will retire all 2017 pledge packages and the majority of our parcels and strongholds bundles. Essentially, everything that was priced over $200 USD is being removed from our virtual item catalog.”
Visit the link for an FAQ and to get in on the eternal war if it catches your eye.
Saga of Lucimia Raises Funds
The team behind the Saga of Lucimia has continued to work on the game for nearly four years now despite a lack of traditional financing. Between their early pre-order program and participation in Early Access, they have almost entirely funded development to date with the team reaching into their own pockets to keep everything going. Now though they have announced a new evolution with the securing of independent funding for the game. Not only that but in January of 2018, they will be announcing several positions that they hope to fill for the calendar year on a contract basis. So if you want to ready that resume and join in on one of the more unique roads to an MMO, time is short.
Jeremy Soule Kickstarter Album Gets an Update
From a positive note to a slightly less so one. 4,256 backers on Kickstarter brought together $121,227 to fund the Soule Symphony No. 1, “The Northerner” way back in March 2013. This huge amount pledged was based off of a $10,000 goal. Since the original report on Kotaku regarding the absence of the album, some news has emerged with Soule chiming in and Kotaku updating the report:
“Shortly after the publication of this article, Soule said he will release “Northerner Diaries” to backers on December 20. This is not the symphony he Kickstarted, Soule told Kotaku, but “the fully produced vignettes of my ideas for it so far.””
Raph Koster Chimes in on the Economics of Making a Game
How much does it cost to make a game? What are the overheads faced by companies? If you are interested in the reality of game economics and the pressures faced by companies there is a masterclass available on Raph Kosters blog. Raph Koster was the lead designer of Ultima Online and the creative director behind Star Wars Galaxies. He has probably forgotten more about the games industry than we could hope to recount over the course of his career.
If I had to go with a choice quote, it would easily be this:
“Basically, there isn’t a good business plan. There aren’t any realistic expectations. Any sane business person would say “don’t make games.” You can see this in MMOs now — where just getting 100k people subbing to something ought to make a highly satisfactory viable business… but go look at player reactions to visuals that aren’t at the absolute top end.”
Niantic Raises $200 Million for More AR Games
Niantic, the company behind the multiplayer mobile augmented reality games Ingress, Pokémon Go, and the upcoming Harry Potter game has raised roughly $200 million in funding. Recently we have heard plans for Ingress to be rebooted into Ingress Prime and of course, Pokémon Go continues to be popular. Exactly how popular their Harry Potter AR will be likely can only be measured on a scale of “Everyone plays” to “Seriously everyone plays”. Time will tell what those funds will make for us, but be prepared to hear more even about Niantic in the future.
Things Looking Up for Funcom
Funcom’s recent financial report and presentation for Q3 2017 is out now and contains some good news. They are reporting their third consecutive profitable quarter, which is now the most profitable YTD 3Q in Funcom history. This is a far cry from the dire straits they were in in recent memory. Further to that, they are reporting “Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization” of $1.8 million. Players of Secret World Legends can also look forward to more improvements in the game in 2018 with this being a key part of the financial presentation. Congratulations to Funcom on the great news.
NCSoft Has Strong Q3
From one studio’s financials to another, this time with NCSoft. According to our friends at Massively and the figures themselves, NCsoft had an exceptionally good third financial quarter this year, reaching a record high in sales and operating profit for the company. Guild Wars 2 gets a highlight for the sales of Path of Fire being robust, even if not as high as Heart of Thorns. Of course, there’s also the massive rush in mobile for NCSoft recently so keep an eye on your phones for more of their games headed that way.
The Lootbox Saga Continues
No business roundup would be complete this year without mentioning loot boxes or the major disappointments with both Star Wars Battlefront 2 in particular and EA in general. With various parts of the world waking up to the scandal regarding loot boxes, we have had governments move to investigate if they are gambling which will in turn likely bring down regulation upon them. Belgium wants to ban loot boxes on the basis of gambling and if nothing changes, that may echo across the EU and before long the industry as a whole. The sum effect thus far, however, was a sharp decline in EA stock trading wiping out a not inconsiderable amount of shareholder value. Of course, even with this recent backlash, EA is still trading at levels far beyond what it was a year ago. Only time will tell what the long-term effects will be of a short-term microtransaction grab.
Digital Game Revenue up 15%
According to the market research specialists in Superdata digital games revenue grew 15% worldwide in October. With players having spent $8.5 billion across console, mobile, and PC in October, up from an equally stellar $7.4 billion in the same month last year. League of Legends still sits atop a mountain of cash of course but Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is hardly slacking having recently set a number of world records and inspiring Bluehole to turn their Devilian creating subsidiary into the PUBG Corp. Will battle royales continue to chase after MOBAs or are we seeing a shift in the worlds favourite sort of game?Related: Column, Crowfall, Funcom, Industry, Loot Boxes, MMOney, MMORPG, NCSoft, Niantic, Saga of Lucimia, Shadow's Kiss