If the crowdfunding scene has had the wind in its sails for a while now, the same, unfortunately, can not be said of the MMO market. On a constant freefall during the recent years, the majority of large MMO have been mostly considered as failures by gamers. Whether it is the players being too demanding, or genre itself struggling to evolve, the fact is that people are still finding it hard to find MMOs they can truly say they love. Yet, there are still MMO gamers supporting new projects via crowdfunding. What happened to the MMOs that were successfully funded through Kicktarter campaign, and what are the future plans?
MMOs That Raised Less Than $50,000
FIELDS OF ERAGOS ONLINE
Funded March 2, 2014 with just $701 CAD collected through 58 contributors, Fields of Eragos Online wants to be a MMO focused on the farming genre. And if there are projects which surprised with their kickstarter success, Fields of Eragos Online is undeniably one of those, at least for me, having convinced 58 people that it is technically possible to make an MMO with only $300.
Fields of Eragos Online is an online, multiplayer farming game. The game is setup for a sense of community and friendship. The main goals in-game are designed around progressing your character (stats, money, farm, status, etc), and the secondary objectives are quests and exploration. Fields of Eragos offers a wide variety of areas and quests to keep people interested and active, while trying to stay true to the farming game it was designed to be.
The developers had announced a Beta test for Field of Eragos Online for 2016, but as of now I cant find any information about the game that doesn’t date back to a few years ago.
Funded on September 1, 2013 with $ 19,626 raised through 116 contributors, Divergence: Online is a an old-school sandbox MMORPG where building, crafting and the exploration of an unlimited world is commonplace in the manner of a Star Wars Galaxies. If the pitch is not innovative, the focus here is on a hardcore vision: open-world PvP, lootable bodies, and permadeath, assuming that you were not careful enough to create a clone of yourself before dying.
Divergence: Online is an open-world sandbox MMO that began as the spiritual successor to Pre-NGE SWG, but since has grown into its own living breathing universe. Divergence was designed to provide unmatched crafting, player and guild housing and player freedom on a scale, we believe, never before achieved.
In 2015, the developers launched a second campaign on IndieGoGo that failed to reach the goal of $10,000. Currently in Early Access on Steam (2 years now), the game has been receiving mixed reviews.
CROWN OF THE GODS
Funded in January 11, 2015 with $ 21,000 raised through 215 contributors, Crown of the Gods is a F2P browser MMORTS. While the Kickstarter campaign was intended to raise $ 5,000, the amount was reached in less than 20min. With the 2nd goal, set at $10,000, reached, the developers also acquired the services of an additional artist to make the look more pleasant.
In Crown of the Gods™, players will build an intricate network of cities, link them together with automated trade routes, and field their own style of military to create a powerful empire.
Players can be aggressive fighters, dabble in politics, become successful traders, or play however they like.
Groups of players can join together in alliances and try to win the server end game. This involves completing a challenging series of tasks, while fighting other alliances and sabotaging each other’s efforts.
The winning alliance will win the Crown of the Gods™! Runners-up will have a chance to win a lesser Crown. Servers that have been conquered will eventually close down, and new servers will open regularly.
The game will be opening its 13th world in a few days, on September 1st, and seems to be doing alright with a small community.
GUN OF ICARUS ONLINE
Funded on February 21, 2012 with $ 35,238 raised through 1211 contributors, Gun of Icarus Online puts you in the shoes of the captain of an steampunk airship and allows players to fly with friends in a post-apocalyptic dogfight MMO world.
Hop aboard a steampunk airship with friends and play as Gunner, Engineer, or Pilot. Gun down dirigibles, repair your way out of danger, pilot the ship into combat. Are you a decisive Captain or dutiful Crew? Teamwork is required to survive the skies of the premier airship combat game: GUNS OF ICARUS ONLINE!
Raising the stakes on team-based PvP combat with an emphasis on strategic competition and truly cooperative play, Guns of Icarus Online is the best airship-to-airship combat game that’s all about teamwork, tactics, and fast-paced action. With a good ship and the right crew, you can conquer the skies!
Well received by the public, the game is still updated regularly. Unfortunately, Gun of Icarus Online suffered from the fate that is all too common in MMOs lately and finds its playerbase constantly dropping, something that can also be attributed to the game being nearly 6 years old. For the curious, it is available on Steam for less than $5.
Funded on September 18, 2014 with over $ 37,000 raised through 1239 contributors, Pumpkin Online wants to be an MMO for players who enjoy games like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing. One noteworthy backer donated $3,000 to the campaign, granting her the right to add some content of her choice to the game. Suffering from a chronic illness, she decided to include a quest line aimed at creating more awareness towards disabled people.
Pumpkin Online is a farming/dating sim MMORPG, wildly different than any other out there. Instead of level grinding with battle and combat, Pumpkin Online is a relaxed game. You can role-play a profession, craft items, customize your own private farm, go on quests, have fun with NPCs, and more, all with friends!
At the moment, Pumpkin Online is still far from completed, and the developers do not plan to hold any beta test before another year at least.
EMBERS OF CAERUS
Funded June 19, 2012 with over $ 46,000 raised through 434 contributors, Embers of Caerus was meant to be a sandbox MMORPG set in a medieval low-fantasy world. The Kickstarter campaign that required $ 25,000 was quickly validated thanks to a generous backer who helped finance it with a donation of $10,000 during the first day of the campaign.
Embers of Caerus is a next-generation sandbox medieval fantasy MMORPG under development by Forsaken Studios. With a rich, player-controlled story, a massive, realistic game-world, and a host of innovative features, Embers of Caerus promises to be the game that sandbox fans have been waiting for! Now, with the fantastic support of leading software company Havok and access to their amazing technologies, we’re ready to take our project to the next level. And that’s where you come in…
Problems have however started to emerge early in February 2014, almost two years after the Kickstarter campaign. The official website of the MMO was no longer available. Despite regular messages on social networks indicating that the site would be back, the last message, dating back to April 2014, was as follows:
Alright guys, latest update for you!
I’ve made some progressing in securing a host for the website/forums and in the next few days I hope to have an agreement signed and start work on getting it back online.
I don’t have an ETA on when the site will be up and running right now, but as soon as I know more I’ll let you know. Thanks again for all the patience!
We are now in 2018, and still no update from the developer. At this point, unless there’s a miracle somehow, the project is as good as dead.
ASTRONAUT: MOON, MARS AND BEYOND
Funded October 11, 2011 with $ 46,720 raised through 962 contributors, Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond is the official NASA MMO, offering realistic environments and missions. If the project began via a simple contest meant to find the best idea for an MMO depicting the near future, the NASA quickly signed an agreement with the team of developers, making their scientific knowledge available to make the game as realistic and complete as possible. Three years after the kickstarter campaign, in January 2014 the developers offered 20min single player prototype called Starlite for sale. A few months later, they released a second, not exactly successful, title on Steam named G-Ball, , and, in May 2014, developers are putting on steam, G-Ball, a “sports game set in orbit of Mars in the not-so-distant future”.
Play as an aspiring astronaut in Astronaut:Moon, Mars and Beyond™, the official NASA MMO game. Set in the year 2035, you will embark on an adventure into space, Mars, the asteroid belt, and the outer planets.You will uncover secrets about a threat to civilization as we know it, and build you and your team a high-tech inventory of space gear including a home base, somewhere out there.
As of August 2018, there is no announcement of a multiplayer release of the game, although in the last update dating back to September 2015, the developers did say that they “haven’t stopped simulating Mars in the last 3 years”.
MMOs That Raised $50,000 – $2,000,000
Funded on February 4, 2015 with $ 142,766 raised through 4218 contributors, Identity is a modern type “life simulation” MMORPG developed by Asylum Entertainment. Building on the strengths of games like the Sims, Identity offers the luxury of a last generation graphics engine, Unreal Engine 4. And the result is particularly impressive, so much so that one wonders how the game will support the massive influx of players that accompany the MMO genre. But for now, this is not the time to worry about any technical problems since the game is still in development, and that a first beta will certainly not happen before 2017.
Identity is a modern-day open-world MMORPG for PC and Mac with complete freedom to do almost anything you can imagine at any time in first or third person views. Live as an honest civilian, a criminal, police officer, paramedic and many more. There are no levels or skill grinding, but talent and perk progression so that it’s the actions of you, not your character, which matter most.
The developers are still working on it, with a gameplay trailer released earlier this year. Stay tuned!
Funded on January 27, 2014 with no less than $ 176,525 raised through 2270 contributors, The Repopulation wants to be a science fiction sandbox MMO oriented in the line of Star Wars Galaxies and Ultima Online.
The Repopulation is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game in a science fiction setting. In many ways it is a throwback to the social aspects and sandbox driven gameplay that made titles like Star Wars Galaxies and Ultima Online successful.
If the game is full of good intentions through its many sandbox oriented features, deep crafting system, and level achievements, among others, it, unfortunately, suffers from many of the flaws that tend to come with the Early Access tag.
The development The Repopulation was temporarily suspended back in 2016 and alpha servers we offline. This didn’t last, however, and the game soon returned, currently still in Early Access on Steam.
Funded on January 15, 2013 with $1,091,194 raised through 8732 contributors, Pathfinder Online is an extremely ambitious MMO that aims to be the fantasy version of Eve Online. Focusing on features such as sandbox features like the construction og houses, and even the creation of villages, view of the village, an unconstrained evolution free of class or level, the game, however, does not shine by its graphics.
A Fantasy Sandbox
The world of Pathfinder Online is highly persistent. You will make meaningful impacts on the world as you build structures, create a economy of player character crafted goods, and struggle for territorial control.
Open World PvP
You will struggle for control of territory, trade routes, and resources with other players. Conflict is central to the game, and often conflict will mean combat. Some areas of the world are safer than others – but the more risk you take, the greater the rewards you will earn.
Combat between player characters should be meaningful. Randomly attacking others without context will damage your character’s reputation, affect their alignment, potentially flag the attacker for retribution by others, trigger bounties, and over the long term, force the character to live and train only with others of a similarly murderous bent, significantly impacting their abilities.
The game is currently available at – https://goblinworks.com/pathfinder-online/ – albeit through Early Enrollment test servers.
Funded on March 26, 2015 with $1,766,205 raised through 16,936 contributors, Crowfall might just be the kickstarted MMO with the highest potential. New MMO by Todd Coleman (Shadowbane, Wizard101) and Gordon Walton (UO, SWG, SWTOR) Crowfall is intended to be an exclusively PvP MMO with sandbox features.
A seamless blend of an MMO with a large-scale Strategy game!
Players control the universe, to shape as they see fit. We call it a Throne War Simulator, and it’s different in three fundamental ways:
Eternal Heroes, Dying Worlds – Characters are persistent, but the Campaign Worlds are not. Players are Immortal Champions, traveling between realms to fight in an eternal War of the Gods.
Each Campaign World is a server or “realm”. It exists for a limited time – typically 1 to 3 months — or until some win condition is met.
During this time, the World will change. Each Campaign has four stages: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
With each passing season, the World grows more deadly as the land is consumed by an unstoppable legion of undead — The Hunger.
Currently, Crowfall is still in Early Access, though a full release shouldn’t be too far.
MMOs That Raised $2,000,000+
Funded on May 2, 2013 with $ 2,232,933 raised through 14,873 contributors, Camelot Unchained is the next MMORPG by Mark Jacobs (Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer Online), set in a familiar post-apocalyptic universe. For better or for worse, the game, focused on the fight between the three kingdoms, will put gameplay and performance above graphics, the latter seeming rather outdated. In addition, developers have already announced a business model and are opting, against current trends, for a monthly subscription.
This is your story. This is the story of how you chose one of the three Realms and carved your name in the blood of your enemies. This is the story of how you became a legend. Whether you choose the noble Arthurians, the mysterious Tuatha Dé Danann, or the fierce Vikings, every battle changes you. Every building changes your world. Every adventure becomes a part of the story, raising your Realm’s power and influence through combat or crafting. Gain power through using abilities instead of grinding experience points, and become mighty through great skill. Fight other players for resources or land, carefully coordinate attacks and sieges with your Realm, and write your tale in letters of fire for the tomes of history.
If the development of the game remained very quiet in the early years, the last few months have been rather rich in information and updates.
HEX: SHARDS OF FATE
Funded on June 7, 2013 with $ 2,278,255 raised through 17,765 contributors, HEX takes the best of the TCG and MMO genre to to create a new F2P gaming experience. While the kickstarter campaign only required that $ 300,000, HEX is one of the most funded MMOs to date. Admittedly, the strategic focus is more forward than that of its competitor, Hearthstone, and is based on principles that are close to the game “Magic”. Similarities between them has even lead to some disputes in terms of intellectual rights.
Cryptozoic Entertainment, creators and publishers of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, is excited and proud to introduce HEX: Shards of Fate, the first real MMO/TCG. A completely unique game that takes place in an original and exciting fantasy world, HEX was created from the ground up as a digital trading card game and brings tremendous innovation to how a TCG can be played.
With all the social interaction and roleplaying you would expect from a fully featured MMORPG, along with the deep strategic and collectible game play of a TCG, HEX is a completely new gaming experience. We’re designing full card sets, dungeons, storyline, community tools, advanced AI, and so much more. This is a massive undertaking and that’s why we’re asking for your help to bring HEX to life.
Hex: Shards of Fate has not truly succeeded in seducing the crowds, and the recent updates have been under heavy criticism.
Funded on January 5, 2013 with $2,435,954 raised through 25,681 contributors, Elite Dangerous is the last generation MMO space-opera. With nearly 2.5 million dollar, Elite Dangerous is the most mmo funded on Kickstarter with an average of $100 per participant. It must be said that the project is appealing, with its stunning graphics and very complex mechanics. Elite Dangerous being closer to a space simulation MMO, its true potential might just show up with the advent of virtual reality, although a fierce competitor will appear around the same time…
Take control of your own starship in a cutthroat galaxy. Elite: Dangerous brings gaming’s original open world adventure into the modern generation with a connected galaxy, evolving narrative and the entirety of the Milky Way re-created at its full galactic proportions.
Released on December 16, 2014, Elite Dangerous has opted to provide a game kit that is constantly improving to offer the best experience to the player. At the moment, it unfortunately has rather mixed reviews on Steam.