Wild Islands (opens in new tab)a ‘monster taming turn-based MMORPG’ that hit Kickstarter, gets ‘suspended’ due to cryptocurrency crash (opens in new tab)– Kickstarter backers were told there was no money to be refunded.
2021 crowdfunding campaign (opens in new tab) Untamed Isles is backed by a staggering $527,000, more than four times its original target. It promises a completely open world with “unique areas for friends to gather, practice PVP, trade, breed monsters, clear dungeons, and socially broadcast the story of the untamed island through open voice proximity communication. ”
It also has a “play to earn” mode in partnership with Direwolf, which will allow most items and all monsters in the game to be “tokenized” and bought, sold or traded in various markets or auction houses. Unfortunately, the commitment to encryption is where everything goes wrong.
Developer Phat Loot Studios wrote: “To work on this project, we brought together a crew of over 70 people who worked tirelessly for over 2 years to create the game we all dream of.” steam (opens in new tab). “The truth is, development costs are high and we’ve had a lot of bumps on the road to this moment. Since we started our journey in 2020, the economic landscape has changed dramatically, both in general and cryptocurrencies in particular. , we have no confidence” in the current market. Our financial resources are exhausted and development is currently unavailable. “
Phat Loot said it was “leaning the crypto market and expanding rapidly on the back of positive interests,” putting it in an untenable position when the crash happened. It added that Untamed Isles is not primarily a crypto-based game, but that crypto investor funds are necessary to complete and launch the game.
“Unlike a lot of projects that struggle with the storm, we actually have a great game design that stands on its own,” the studio said. “But until the encryption situation is resolved – we believe it will be at some stage – then we have to put the development of this project to sleep.”
“Cryptocurrency situation” is a low-key description of the market crash that sent cryptocurrencies to their lowest values in years. External factors ranging from a general malaise in the global economy to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have played a role, but the bigger issue is the inherently risky and volatile nature of cryptocurrencies.As we said after the $200 million Nomad heist, millions were lost in hacking (opens in new tab) In July, it starts to feel like a weekly event. Even if no crime is involved, the underlying ethics of crypto are uncertain at best: Last week, for example, Riot Blockchain (unrelated to League of Legends studio Riot Games, for the record) was able to efficiently mine $7 million worth of bitcoin. Free by taking advantage of Texas state subsidies, despite Texas being in the midst of an ongoing energy crisis.
Resistance to cryptocurrencies and NFTs also grows among wider audiences: Free auto-battle game Storybook Brawl bombarded with comments (opens in new tab) After the developer was acquired by a cryptocurrency exchange in March, Wikipedia announced in May that it would no longer accept cryptocurrency donations.
Phat Loot explained in a livestream last week that things started to go sideways when MMOByte released a video in July Apologies for supporting Untamed Isles And denying crypto games in general: host Stix said in the video that he is “very strongly opposed to those specific types of games.”
2016 Pokemon World Champion Wolfe Glick, who was hired to help design the Untamed Isles battle system, seems to have taken another hit in terms of speaking out against NFTs on Twitter.
Originally the game was going to implement NFTs, but after I talked to the team (and some external factors) they decided to drop it.The game itself does not implement encryption or NFT functionality – the only remnants are (optional) external marketplacesAugust 5, 2022
The events set off a cascading effect that caused other mainstream media companies to cancel planned coverage, Phat Loot said. Influencers who queued to push the game also began to withdraw. The pre-sale was well below expectations – only 50 pre-sale took place instead of the 2,000-3,000 expected.
The more important long-term issue, however, is the impact of the cryptocurrency crash.
“We had some fantastic investors lining up to inject millions into the project through various equity financings and the sale of Phat Loot tokens that we were doing in the background,” the studio said in the livestream. “Everything went very well. Then There was a crypto crash, and we lost money pretty quickly. Investors pulled out when they saw the market crash — and to be fair, they did the right thing because these very global economies are in uncertain times.”
Phat Loot has decided to launch Untamed Isles in a more humble state in October, earlier than originally planned, in order to launch (and start generating revenue) as soon as possible. But the studio was draining “nearly NZ$100,000 ($62,700) per week in wages and costs,” and the developers realized they “may not be able to generate revenue from our releases to stay afloat”.
Unfortunately, while investors were able to get away with refunds for those who pre-ordered the game and Phat Loot tokens, individual backers on Kickstarter and Backerkit were out of luck. Kickstarter campaign promises full refunds to all backers if Untamed Isles fails to launch — many backers have asked for — but FAQ untamedisles.com (opens in new tab) Saying refunds won’t be available because, well, there’s no money.
This is already as good as you might expect (that is, not at all), and there are still plenty of backers who are uncomfortable with the project being initially based on cryptocurrency.
“Why on earth are you investing in cryptocurrencies?” one proponent wrote (opens in new tab)“It’s fake money! It’s all a scam! If I knew that was your goal, I would never have joined. If a chargeback happened, I wanted mine. God, when will people realize that crypto is a huge hoax?”
Another wrote: “Refunded ta. My money is not backing this for participation in cryptocurrencies.”
The confusion about Untamed Isle’s reliance on cryptocurrency apparently stems from the fact that it wasn’t mentioned until more than halfway through the Kickstarter campaign description — it’s there, but minimized. Kickstarter backers aren’t the only ones complaining about the lack of transparency. MMOByte’s Stix made the same complaint in his video, saying he didn’t know about crypto integration because “they don’t mention ‘play to make money’ until you scroll down about 60% of the page.”
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the existence of the game steam (opens in new tab) Could also lead to confusion as Valve bans all games containing NFTs or cryptocurrencies (opens in new tab) Steam last year. Its existence can be explained by the fact that the Steam listing makes no mention of cryptocurrency integration at all: hiding this aspect of the game doesn’t seem good for its long-term future on the storefront, but gamers coming to the project via Steam will There is no indication of cryptocurrency integration.
in a Statement issued today (opens in new tab), Phat Loot said it did not put money raised through crowdfunding and “traditional investing” into cryptocurrencies, but was forced to stop due to the cryptocurrency crash and “negative sentiment related to web3 integration, which led to investor withdrawals” development”. game. But in my opinion, this opens the door to questions about the timing of the announcement: we wrote in May that the cryptocurrency market “has experienced an unprecedented crash” (opens in new tab)However, Phat Loot launched Pre-order event (opens in new tab) On August 1st, just ten days before everything was put on hold, there was no sign of anything wrong with the game.
The founders of Phat Loot say they are now “looking for a way to salvage the core studio and the game so that it can be completed and released alongside other possible games.” However, there’s no indication of when this will happen: the studio is In its most recent livestream, it said that traditional publishers are being held back by cryptocurrencies, while crypto investors are doing nothing due to the market crash.
Interestingly, Phat Loot says it may have raised enough money to get Untamed Isles off the ground – the question is what happens after that. “We can’t get traction or followers through marketing, and there’s no revenue in crypto right now,” the team said. “Before you launch a game and end up burning a hole in our team and we lose it, you can raise How much?”
I’ve contacted Phat Loot for more information on the status of Untamed Isles and will update if I hear back.