Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

Seed: Game Closing

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Sad news today from Danish developers Runestone. Seed, their non-combat MMORPG, is soon closing its doors after a few months of service. The company has simply run out of money. Below is a letter from CEO Lars Kroll Kristensen.




We’ve reached the end of the road [September 28, 2006]

Open letter to the community

For the past two months, I and a few others have attempted to sell a partnership deal to a long list of publishers and MMO companies, trying to raise the capital we needed to finish the game properly, and re-launch it in a form it, and especially you the community, deserve. While we have received a great deal of interest, we have not been able to close a deal. The harsh reality is that we have now officially run out of money, and out of options, and therefore, we cannot pay salaries, rent or hosting fees.

What this means to you, is unfortunately that you will only be able to play Seed for a very limited time. We will have a little “goodbye” ceremony this Sunday at 20 CEST. I will be there, in the garden, as Magellan. He was the first character online, and he will be the last. I hope some of you guys will be there too, even if the occasion is sad. After that day, the servers may be less stable and reliable, and AD GMs will only be online on their own free time, if at all. Same goes for Runestone Staff.

For us, it means that the dream of Seed and Runestone is over. It has been a wild, weird ride, full of frustration, triumph, joy, stress and fun, but never boredom. We have all learned incredibly much about game development, the gaming business and MMOs.

We’ve made some major mistakes, and some smart moves along the way, but in the end, we simply tried to do too much, with too few funds, which I guess is a typical “Rookie”, and even veteran error.

I, for one, would do it all over again, although I would do a great many things differently next time around.

For the MMO community and business as such, the rise and fall of Runestone probably doesn’t mean that much, but I hope MMO execs out there reading this letter will draw the *right* conclusions from Runestone and Seed, and *not* the wrong ones.

One thing I would hate to see happen as a result of our failure would be a consensus forming that the idea about a non-combat, role play-centric MMO is a bad idea.

It isn’t.

I am still fully convinced that a role play-centric game is not only a good idea: It’s a great idea. It just needs to be better executed. Seed has many of the right qualities for such a game, and I still firmly believe that, given sufficient funding, we could have created a great game.

Unfortunately, we will never know.

We’ve reached the end of the road, and to all those of you who have followed us along this wild, weird ride I say a big, big thank you. It’s been a pleasure serving you our game, and your constant faith in us has been a major morale booster when times seemed tough.

I hope Seed gave you some enjoyment, some great times and some fun along the way, maybe even some new friends. I hope you will demand more from your future games in terms of role playing with other players, and in terms of player influence in the world.

‘Cause that’s what role playing games and role playing communities are all about. The people playing them.

Lars Kroll Kristensen
CEO, Runestone Game Development

You can find out more on the Seed website.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

«13

Comments

  • maxpfaffmaxpfaff HamburgPosts: 42Member

    thats really sad news

    i followed the progress of this game since a very early stage - i even got into beta - unfortunately i had bad timing  and the beta was over exactly that day i wanted to play it for the first time

    also it was kinda hard to get info what this game was about

    besides that the graphics are definately a matter of taste

    if there had been some kind of trial i had tried it and who knows  maybe i would have liked it

    but yah its sad to see the hard work of some ppl go down like this

    all the best to you guys

  • WheskyWhesky StockholmPosts: 125Member
    it is indeed sad news, SeeD to me looked like something groundbreaking, really too bad they couldn't get it right the first time..being forced to release it too soon just killed the game I guess.

    SWG, Eve, Planetside 2, EQN, Star Citizen

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Newport News, VAPosts: 5,615Member
    That really sucks. Really it does.

    Things went bad when investors pushed them to releace it early. This is a fact that the devlopers themselves said when they did releace "We are releacing to early".

    The graphics were great, strong art directions, and the gameplay unique.

    I was really hoping they would survive.


    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • MicklezMicklez AdelaidePosts: 8Member

    It's really sad when an MMO dies. Like when MM3.0 died I felt like part of my life was going to waste. It felt like I was losing a friend or something. I guess it's sad that I got that attached to a game. That's the general idea though, isn't it? If people didn't get attached then they wouldn't be successful. I'd love if some company read this letter then gave seed an option to thrive. I've never played it but I'd try it.

    Michael.

  • dragonfyredragonfyre Warner Robins, GAPosts: 60Member

    This is sad but I had a feeling this would happen, especially since they were being forced to push out the game. The concept though is great and here's hoping they or someone bring the concept back out.

  • parrotpholkparrotpholk Leland, NCPosts: 3,275Member
    Although it was not my niche is sad to see something go under that wasnt put out by a forbes company. Much luck to the devs and hope they continue on

  • JorevJorev Fenwick Island, DEPosts: 1,500Member

    This is good for the MMOG market. More of these games that have pitiful small playerbases should close down.

    It means these players will migrate to a healthier game and help keep it alive. There are way too many crappy and niche games out there and it just divides the player base too much. If the game isn't making a decent profit, shut it down.

    image
    "We feel gold selling and websites that promote it damage games like Vanguard and will do everything possible to combat it."
    Brad McQuaid
    Chairman & CEO, Sigil Games Online, Inc.
    Executive Producer, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
    www.vanguardsoh

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Newport News, VAPosts: 5,615Member


    Originally posted by Jorev

    This is good for the MMOG market. More of these games that have pitiful small playerbases should close down.
    It means these players will migrate to a healthier game and help keep it alive. There are way too many crappy and niche games out there and it just divides the player base too much. If the game isn't making a decent profit, shut it down.


    I guess players having fun in a game they like has nothing to do with it.

    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • TiiKiiTiiKii Durango, COPosts: 162Member
    This IS very sad indeed! 

    Yes, there are alot of other games out there that are bigger.. but, "Small Fries" should have their turn also with the player-base!!

    Good luck with what ever you now do in the future!


    "Huntress"

  • sly220sly220 exeter, PAPosts: 607Member

    Sorry the game was a wash good luck on your next mmo

    image

  • TymoraTymora Manorville, NYPosts: 1,312Member

    It is sad, and I feel a bit responsible because I would not longer support the game after it was released too early and incomplete, but that never meant that I wasn't still a fan of the game.  I wanted it to succeed, mainly because I am a believer that roleplay-centric, non-combat mmorpgs can be successful and fun.

    As Lars mentioned, it was not properly executed, but I figured with time ( and more funds ), Runestone would correct the things that were done wrong, and at that time I was surely going to return to play their game.

    He's is also right when he said these games are all about the community, something you still obviously haven't pick up on yet, Jorev.

  • kpartonkparton WolvesPosts: 104Member

    Hmm, doesnt look like the end is near just yet!, this posted just this afternoon on the seed forums:

    To players, partners and other interested parties.

    The Runestone board of directors regrettably have decided to file a bankruptcy petition to the court of Aarhus, Denmark.

    Throughout the last couple of months the company has tried to raise capital and supplemental competences amongst potential partners to ensure the continuing development of the game Seed in order to make it the intended appealing online game for experienced gamers.

    Despite positive feedback from the gaming community on idea and graphical style, the lack of contents and challenge in the game discouraged many players from signing up for immediate subscription. Instead many players expressed their intention to wait a few months for the problems to be solved before committing to a subscription.

    Throughout the development process management and employees have worked hard to realize the vision. We have worked together with competent international partners and very understanding investors. However, we have to accept that the process of developing an appealing online game has proven far more comprehensive than our original estimate.

    Despite a focused effort to ensure the continuous development of the game, we have not been able to fill neither short-term nor long-term needs for capital and competences. Therefore the board of directors had no choice but to file for bankruptcy, and thereby risk the closure of a desirable workplace for 20 competent employees.

    All possibilities for the continuation of Runestone and Seed will be evaluated in the time to come.

    On behalf of the board of directors,

    Gert Zimmer Hansen
    Chairman, Runestone Game Development ApS
    Aarhus, September 28 2006.

  • JonMichaelJonMichael Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 796Member


    Originally posted by Jorev

    This is good for the MMOG market. More of these games that have pitiful small playerbases should close down.
    It means these players will migrate to a healthier game and help keep it alive. There are way too many crappy and niche games out there and it just divides the player base too much. If the game isn't making a decent profit, shut it down.


    How can a game closing be a good thing for the MMO market? 

    Not everyone wants to play SOE and Blizzard games... what a boring market THAT would be.  Just because some MMO's have large playerbases, doesn't mean they're any GOOD. LOL

    Here's wishing smaller MMO companies and niche games thrive!  Nothing like having a CHOICE.

    Best of luck to the developers and staff of SEED. May they find a nice small company that develops a game that shows these big companies that it takes more than money to be successful in this market.  Maybe then we'd have better customer service, more interesting games with people who actually CARE about the games they create and not just the bottom line.

    _________________________________
    JonMichael

    Currently: AION, an MMO Beta under NDA
    Played: WAR, LOTRO, Hellgate: London, CoX, GW, SotNW, DAOC, EQ2, SWG, WoW, AO, Horizons, Second Life, There, TSO
    Beta'd: There, Second Life, EQ2, DAOC:LotM, LOTRO, Tabula Rasa, Gods and Heroes, Hellgate: London, Requiem:Bloodymare, AoC, WAR, DDO, Fallen Earth

  • ThomasHolmThomasHolm AalborgPosts: 34Member
    I am Thosam in SEED, head of a small, but loud and proud Ring (Guild/Clan equivalent) called Evolution.

    I've been with SEED ever since I found it, long before Beta.

    SEED spell-bound me with its no-combat concept, its graphics and its community.

    I find this a very sad day and I will miss this game, the Ring and the people I played with.


  • RadmuzRadmuz Bend, ORPosts: 85Member
    Indeed this is a very sad thing to hear. Even though the game was very unfinished I subscribed to it. I felt it was my small donation to a innovative company. Eventually though I did drop my subscription, there just was not enough content and I believed it had to much work to do before it would be there.

    I wish the staff the very best. They were a very likeable group, and did actually listen to the community. If we are lucky Seed will be revived.


  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,238Member Uncommon

    You know, I started the game not too long ago.  I won't lie, it was rough going in an "alpha" way.  There was a lot of hangs, and a lot of crashes.  I have to tell you though that if it were any other game, I'd leave and not look back.

    Yet there is something about Seed that made me really, really want to fight through it all, and progress through the story.  It wasn't the best situation, but it was something worth playing.  Perhaps because, unlike every other game out there, I never had to worry about having some 1337d00d saying, "u join our guild and twink out."  Nobody ever said to me, "we don't need ur roleplay foofoo crap, cuz we need more mobs and more DPS."  Nobody ever said to me, "if you ain't on ventrillo, you can't play."

    There were plenty of solo things to do at all hours, and plenty of things you could do as a group.  I guess what made some not understand Seed if they played an MMOFPS is that a lot of people came to Seed for the character-driven nature of it, and not the "button mashing."  It was a great platform for deep storytelling, and shared fiction.

    The style and setting really made you feel like you were part of the story, and out of all the games I ever played, it had the most helpful playerbase and GM staff.  Perhaps because they knew that they had to fight to keep the game growing, against all odds.  Given the state it was in, I was impressed at how hard Runestone worked to fix things on the fly.

    I think all of us there wanted to see the game survive, but I also think that everyone knew deep down it was just a matter of time before the game shut down.  Make no mistake about it though, it was never the concept and the gameplay that brought Seed down.  To tell you the truth, the concept and gameplay were the only things that made the game survive for as long as it did.  My only regret is that I didn't get more involved sooner, so I'd experience a whole lot more of the gameplay.  I never saw any other region besides Recspace before yesterday.

    A truly thought provoking, deep, loveable MMO, and one that I'll never forget, that was destroyed by the politics and economics of the gaming business before it ever had a chance to prove itself.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,238Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Jorev

    This is good for the MMOG market. More of these games that have pitiful small playerbases should close down.
    It means these players will migrate to a healthier game and help keep it alive. There are way too many crappy and niche games out there and it just divides the player base too much. If the game isn't making a decent profit, shut it down.


    I can tell you one thing man.  Nobody ever bothered to buy and sell gold on eBay in Seed, or 'sploit.  Nor would they, because there were good people in there.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • WoodenDummyWoodenDummy -, WAPosts: 208Member


    Originally posted by Jorev

    This is good for the MMOG market. More of these games that have pitiful small playerbases should close down.
    It means these players will migrate to a healthier game and help keep it alive. There are way too many crappy and niche games out there and it just divides the player base too much. If the game isn't making a decent profit, shut it down.


    Seed had the BEST on-line community of any MMO, the simple fact is that the people who played Seed are not just going to jump into WoW or EQ2.

    What the hell does a small playerbase have to do with anything?  If that small playerbase had wanted to play WoW then they would have already.  Am I missing the joke or something?

    What the hell is wrong wtih niche games?!  I honestly never thought I'd see the day that somoene would moan that not all gamers are playing the same games, you do know what the rest of the gaming world thinks of MMO players don't you?  Before Blizzard gave us the Fisherprice MMORPG, MMO's were niche games next to the might of the FPS etc...

    In fact it's not THAT long ago that owning a PC and playing games on it made you a "niche" gamer in most parts of the world.

    image

    image

  • McgreagMcgreag FalunPosts: 495Member

    This is what happens when you release a game early. I was very interested in the game but when I read about the early release I quickly decided that I would play the game until it was at least a few months old because I knew what state it would be in and I wasn't interested to pay for another beta test.

    Hope this will serve and a reminder to both developer and more importantly investors. Pushing for an early release will not give you your money back sooner, it will only make sure you never get them back.

    "Memories are meant to fade. They're designed that way for a reason."

  • sleepyguyftlsleepyguyftl San Francisco, CAPosts: 648Member
    I was one of the people who supported the game at launch and for about a month afterwards. I read this news and while I was sad, I was not suprised. I don't think Seed failed because it was a non-combat MMO. I think it failed because it was simply a bad product. The interface was horrible. The controls primitive. The only real activity was repairing things. For the first month it wouldn't even stay up and running.

    Sometimes I think developers focus too much on trying new things, and not enough on making things fun. I fell that is the case with Seed.


  • SalvatorisSalvatoris Fort Worth, TXPosts: 1,360Member


    Originally posted by sleepyguyftl

    Sometimes I think developers focus too much on trying new things, and not enough on making things fun. I fell that is the case with Seed.


    That is pretty much how I feel about them. The "no combat" thing seemed more like a gimmick to get people's attention than a real gameplay decision. Having decided not to have any type of combat in their game, they didn't find anything to replace it with. The fact is they made a game with very very little to do, and asked their subscribers to pretend they was something to do... and call that role-playing.  Role-playing should go on top of game mechanics, not in place of them.

    I don't think their problem was doing too much, like they stated in that press release.. It was the exact opposite in my opinion. If they thought there was a small segment of the gaming community that wanted an empty stage to roleplay on, they should have found a way to include that option in a game with enough of a potential playerbase to keep the lights on.

    "One thing I would hate to see happen as a result of our failure would be a consensus forming that the idea about a non-combat, role play-centric MMO is a bad idea."

    I personally hope that is exactly the consensus that that comes out of this deal.

  • LordLOCLordLOC Here, AKPosts: 124Member
    As a loyal player of Auto Assault, Seed's sudden closure kinda hits close to heart. As many of you know AA doesn't exactly have the biggest userbase in the industry, but NCsoft and NetDevil continue to support it. It is always a sad day when an MMO goes down, especially a forward thinking one such as Seed. A non-combat MMO? My god, who woulda thunk it? But really, I feel bad now that I never tried the game, many people in the press that I know from many websites such as Gamespot told me to try it out, and I never did.

    Hopefully the company can find some way of keeping the game going, I mean if Shadowbane can continue to go strong, hey, you never know right?


  • IdesofMarchIdesofMarch Columbus, OHPosts: 1,164Member


    Originally posted by Jorev

    This is good for the MMOG market. More of these games that have pitiful small playerbases should close down.
    It means these players will migrate to a healthier game and help keep it alive. There are way too many crappy and niche games out there and it just divides the player base too much. If the game isn't making a decent profit, shut it down.


    I know. Who needs originality and innovation when you have quality rehash?

    Oh yeah. That's right. Millions of us. Silly of me to forget.

    Seed tried something new. Did it work? That's debatable. Was it trying to further the genre in a different direction than it's going? Without a doubt. If you're waiting for the big companies to step up and bring us something truly fresh and new, you might as well have a seat and take a number.

    image
  • Distortion0Distortion0 Sheppton, PAPosts: 668Member


    Originally posted by IdesofMarch

    Originally posted by Jorev

    This is good for the MMOG market. More of these games that have pitiful small playerbases should close down.
    It means these players will migrate to a healthier game and help keep it alive. There are way too many crappy and niche games out there and it just divides the player base too much. If the game isn't making a decent profit, shut it down.

    I know. Who needs originality and innovation when you have quality rehash?

    Oh yeah. That's right. Millions of us. Silly of me to forget.

    Seed tried something new. Did it work? That's debatable. Was it trying to further the genre in a different direction than it's going? Without a doubt. If you're waiting for the big companies to step up and bring us something truly fresh and new, you might as well have a seat and take a number.


    I don't think it was the new that killed Seed. I think it was the grinding. I think we could all learn a little from that.
  • IdesofMarchIdesofMarch Columbus, OHPosts: 1,164Member


    Originally posted by Distortion0

    I don't think it was the new that killed Seed. I think it was the grinding. I think we could all learn a little from that.


    As I said, whether it worked is debatable. But with it's no-combat approach and role-playing, it was something that sounded very refreshing for many an MMO player. Do small developers need to change how they do things to create a unique and fun game? Sure. Like anything else however, it takes time and it's a lot of hit/miss.

    image
«13
Sign In or Register to comment.