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Raph Koster, Ultima Online And Star Wars Galaxies Designer, Has Raised $2.7M Towards New MMORPG - M

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Comments

  • Panzerbeorne39Panzerbeorne39 Member UncommonPosts: 94

    Borluc said:

    What a bunch of cynical people. I thought surely a new sandbox mmo by the guy who pushed the genre in new and exciting places would garner some level of positivity. Nope.



    Of course the waiting game sucks, but whens the last time we had an industry giant return to the mmorpg fold? He’s an idea guy who learns from the past (read some of his pieces on Ultima Online or SWG) and can break down and rationalize complex systems.



    Finally, the game that is described is what many many non-hardcore pvp gamers have wanted in a sandbox mmorpg. However all this pans out, I’ll maintain cautious optimism.


    Cynical or realistic? Most of us have been around gaming long enough to know this project could get cancelled or get stuck in alpha beta whatever hell for ten years. Like Kano said, just show us the damn game when it’s ready for real beta, meaning it’s ready to go, just needs some live server tests before full retail release.
    Ozmodan
  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,557
    H0urg1ass said:
    In the late 90's and early 2000's, 2.7 million could have developed a new MMO.

    At current market rates, 2.7 million might support a tiny team for four to six months, especially if they run it out of one of the economic shithole hellscapes like Seattle, or any major city in California.

    Cool news and all, but it means nothing without two more digits behind that figure.
    I've heard overseas is one of the best options at the moment. Poland, for example, is a great place for game development in terms of cost.
    AmatheOzmodanKyleran
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • Arkade99Arkade99 Member RarePosts: 462
    Amathe said:
    It's strange to me that legends of the mmorpg space like Raph Koster and Brad McQuaid choose, or find it necessary, to fund raise as an indie developer instead of drawing support from some big backer who will finance the project. 
    Brad failed with Vanguard (though in many ways it was a good game), and Raph hasn't been a core part of a development team for a long time, to my knowledge. He consulted on Crowfall, but was never a decision maker.

    Regardless, publishers have been burned too many times to invest big money on an MMO, no matter who is making it. They are too expensive and take too long to make, without a good track record regarding the return on investment.

    The only way it is going to turn is for indie developers to push the boundaries in ways that can recapture the fanbase and revitalize the industry. Game companies should be looking to make smaller, more focused games for less money and time investment. If the game is fun, people will pay for it and they can add to it later. Something like Artcraft's Artisan Engine could be a way to do that. So much of MMO development involves building the tools needed to build the content.
    FrykkaOzmodan
  • GruugGruug Member RarePosts: 1,712

    Tiller said:

    Sounds like separate game modes with a hub.



    While you may be right, I don't see anything mentioned that leads to that conclusion.
    ???

    OzmodanKyleran

    Let's party like it is 1863!

  • jonp200jonp200 Member UncommonPosts: 453
    I wish them well and hope it is amazing. I won't be pre-ordering, investing, buying a pass, etc. until it is released to rave reviews....That's the new standard I'm applying to anything in the gaming space at this point.

    Seaspite
    Playing ESO on my X-Box


  • WarEnsembleWarEnsemble Member UncommonPosts: 239
    edited October 3
    $2.7m budget
    Let's assume a 6 person development team
    Let's assume $500k for hardware and software
    Let's assume a 5 year development cycle
    That's a yearly salary of $73,000 per person, per year to develop a video game

    I am sure there are lots of things I don't know about and I pulled numbers completely out of my rear here... but come on. $2.7m isn't enough to make a game?
    Ozmodan
  • JeroKaneJeroKane Member RarePosts: 6,264
    Amathe said:
    It's strange to me that legends of the mmorpg space like Raph Koster and Brad McQuaid choose, or find it necessary, to fund raise as an indie developer instead of drawing support from some big backer who will finance the project. 
    You have to thank both Richard Garriott (Tabula Rasa) and Brad McQuaid (Vangard: Saga of Heroes) for that.
    Their ego's inflated beyond idiocy during those game's development, where they squandered millions of dollars of investment money, massive delays and still didn't manage to deliver a properly working finished product.
    Especially Richard Garriott was a real piece of work, that was more busy getting his arse into space and even tried to make NCSoft pay for it under the disguise of a PR campaign for Tabula Rasa. lol /Facepalm

    Tabula Rasa didn't even last two years, before NCSoft put it out of its misery.

    Vanguard: Saga of Heroes had to be rescued by SOE at that time, Brad was kicked out (drug problems) and it was SOE devs that somewhat managed to salvage the game and make it work properly at least after lots of effort (have to give SOE props for that at least!). But it was too late and the game never recovered, not even under the All Access Pass at the time.
  • RaphRaph MMO DesignerMember UncommonPosts: 162
    Hey all -- just some quick replies to things raised here!

    I so wish we could just go back to announcement when game is beta worthy (basically complete) and 3 months from launch.

    This is a funding announcement... it was written so that we can attract business attention,not player attention  -- otherwise, there would be stuff about the game in it :) We have to do a funding announcement because when you take venture capital, you end up filing a Form D to the SEC, show up on websites and legal databases, all that. So you want to get your story out there.

    Having to do that anyway means it's also a good opportunity to tell the world what you're about so that people interested in working with you might apply. And we're definitely hiring, of course, so that another reason to do it. Can't get many resumes if no one knows you exist.

    That doesnt leave much room for a good, or fair gaming experience for the gaming audience first and foremost. This oozes themepark, battle royale, microtransaction pit.
    That is definitely not what we are making. When GameDaily.biz interviewed me, they asked about the business landscape (interview is here: https://gamedaily.biz/article/1263/raph-kosters-playable-worlds-lands-27m-to-create-a-new-kind-of-mmo) and I said "the path forward that I see is studios that are capable of making something larger, something that isn’t just consumable content, something that holds a playerbase for a long time, that drives loyalty and retention." The part of the quote they didn't use is that I said it's about building trust between the developer and the playerbase.


    It's strange to me that legends of the mmorpg space like Raph Koster and Brad McQuaid choose, or find it necessary, to fund raise as an indie developer instead of drawing support from some big backer who will finance the project.
    It's about tradeoffs. If you go straight to a big backer and ask for all the money upfront, you are also likely to be owned by them. They own the IP, they own the studio maybe. If you raise money on your own, you can stay independent, but of course your existence is more precarious. You can use it as leverage and *still* go after big backers. And so on.


    Initial funding $2.7 million.  Good start, but unless they have another $25 million hidden somewhere, don't bother me.  Don't brag about a drop in the bucket, show us the full bucket.

    Yeah, this is what is called seed funding. There are many stages to a gradual fundraising process. :) We will definitely get more money as we go. Someone else said "it means nothing without more." That's not really true; landing the seed money means we can hire, build proof of concept stuff, and that smart money people have already given us a big vote of confidence. It's not enough to build the whole game, but it is a solid first step for a business.


    Funded by an ESports venture.  So, how's this game going to go against the money men and make an MMORPG instead of another ESports game?  This may be the real challenge this game might face.

    Not worried about this; they invest in more than just esports, and we are not an esports venture.

    We're not going to be talking about what we are making for quite some time... this really is  business announcement. Super glad to see some of you excited, and totally get the cynicism from other quarters. :) Very much the start of a journey here!






    blueturtle13SpottyGekkoTorvalMendelMorganRamsayOzmodananemoTacticalZombehNycteliossausagemixand 6 others.
  • CryptoAhashCryptoAhash Member UncommonPosts: 49
    edited October 3
    I so hate all this stupid kickstarter bullshit projects.
    You would expect that 2.7 million to develop a game today should be more then enough. With all the ready to use engines out there.

    Back in the day they had to develop the engine from scratch. And they never asked us all this money with kickstarter crap. So done with this new era.


    I am sure that dev does not have 2.7 million for his project to develop it.

    Kyleran
  • RaphRaph MMO DesignerMember UncommonPosts: 162
    You would expect that 2.7 million to develop a game today should be more then enough. With all the ready to use engines out there.

    We aren't doing a Kickstarter.

    You can totally make small games for $2.7m these days, but it cost way more than that to make UO 25 years ago, much less an MMO today.



    OzmodanNycteliosKyleranHatefullPhry
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,912
    Is this the start of a new trend ?

    Raph's new project is the 4th MMO project I know of that is either entirely or 90%+ funded by private investment.

    Dual Universe raised €19M, Seed raised 30M, all private investment. Starbase is self-funded (the dev studio actually makes games that sell !)

    Is the price of KS "easy money" actually too high in the end ? :wink:

  • CryptoAhashCryptoAhash Member UncommonPosts: 49
    Raph said:
    You would expect that 2.7 million to develop a game today should be more then enough. With all the ready to use engines out there.

    We aren't doing a Kickstarter.

    You can totally make small games for $2.7m these days, but it cost way more than that to make UO 25 years ago, much less an MMO today.



    Same concept, your asking money before having anything to sell. Seed funding is even higher risk.
    Yeah sorry man, it is nothing against you personally. But I have been disappointed too many times with these projects.

    Ozmodancheeba
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,865
    Thanks for the meaty info. I am very skeptical of industry development in general for what I hope are fairly obvious reasons. I'm not close-minded though, and I have really enjoyed your articles and perspective in the past. I'm most interested in seeing how you and the team forge their way through this.
    TacticalZombehNycteliosKyleran
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,865
    Raph said:
    You would expect that 2.7 million to develop a game today should be more then enough. With all the ready to use engines out there.

    We aren't doing a Kickstarter.

    You can totally make small games for $2.7m these days, but it cost way more than that to make UO 25 years ago, much less an MMO today.



    Same concept, your asking money before having anything to sell. Seed funding is even higher risk.
    Yeah sorry man, it is nothing against you personally. But I have been disappointed too many times with these projects.

    How do you think projects like this generate capital? This is how private funding is generated in general not just for games.
    OzmodanNycteliosHatefullPhry
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • RaphRaph MMO DesignerMember UncommonPosts: 162
    Same concept, your asking money before having anything to sell. Seed funding is even higher risk.

    Hmm. Sounds you are opposed to raising money at all. Unfortunately, I can't cover the cost of an MMO out of my bank account. :)
    TorvalTillerTacticalZombehNycteliosHatefullPhry
  • MauroDiogoMauroDiogo Member UncommonPosts: 49
    edited October 3
    These easily people raising millions in days and here I am working my ass off just to pay rent & bills before the end of the month. :'D
    OG_ZorvanKyleran
  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 3,419
    @Raph.  Thanks for the insight and thanks for participating on these forums.  I wish you the best of luck with this endeavor, especially with keeping the accountants from trying to take over the project.



    TorvalSpottyGekkoOzmodanTacticalZombehgervaise1NycteliosmklinicHatefullAmathePhry

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • MorganRamsayMorganRamsay Contributing ColumnistMember UncommonPosts: 16
    edited October 3
    Amathe said:

    It's strange to me that legends of the mmorpg space like Raph Koster and Brad McQuaid choose, or find it necessary, to fund raise as an indie developer instead of drawing support from some big backer who will finance the project. 
    Playable Worlds is backed by venture capital (i.e., "support from some big backer.") There's nothing wrong with bootstrapping — I bootstrapped all my companies — but raising VC money isn't remotely analogous to "fund raising as an indie developer."
    Mendel said:

    Initial funding $2.7 million.  Good start, but unless they have another $25 million hidden somewhere, don't bother me.  Don't brag about a drop in the bucket, show us the full bucket.
    H0urg1ass said:

    In the late 90's and early 2000's, 2.7 million could have developed a new MMO.

    [...]

    Cool news and all, but it means nothing without two more digits behind that figure.
    Seed money is typically used to recruit key hires and start building the key technologies. Startups progress through multiple funding rounds as they evolve and mature. Later rounds involve far larger numbers because startups need more money as they scale up, but it's notable that $2.7M is nearly three times the average.

    As for "bragging," it's important to get the word out about funding rounds to attract the kind of talent that is attracted to working at startups, and to make other VCs, partners, and potential partners aware of the opportunity.
    Kyleran
  • lotrlorelotrlore Managing EditorMMORPG.COM Staff UncommonPosts: 128
    Raph said:
    Hey all -- just some quick replies to things raised here!

    I so wish we could just go back to announcement when game is beta worthy (basically complete) and 3 months from launch.

    This is a funding announcement... it was written so that we can attract business attention,not player attention  -- otherwise, there would be stuff about the game in it :) We have to do a funding announcement because when you take venture capital, you end up filing a Form D to the SEC, show up on websites and legal databases, all that. So you want to get your story out there.

    Having to do that anyway means it's also a good opportunity to tell the world what you're about so that people interested in working with you might apply. And we're definitely hiring, of course, so that another reason to do it. Can't get many resumes if no one knows you exist.

    That doesnt leave much room for a good, or fair gaming experience for the gaming audience first and foremost. This oozes themepark, battle royale, microtransaction pit.
    That is definitely not what we are making. When GameDaily.biz interviewed me, they asked about the business landscape (interview is here: https://gamedaily.biz/article/1263/raph-kosters-playable-worlds-lands-27m-to-create-a-new-kind-of-mmo) and I said "the path forward that I see is studios that are capable of making something larger, something that isn’t just consumable content, something that holds a playerbase for a long time, that drives loyalty and retention." The part of the quote they didn't use is that I said it's about building trust between the developer and the playerbase.


    It's strange to me that legends of the mmorpg space like Raph Koster and Brad McQuaid choose, or find it necessary, to fund raise as an indie developer instead of drawing support from some big backer who will finance the project.
    It's about tradeoffs. If you go straight to a big backer and ask for all the money upfront, you are also likely to be owned by them. They own the IP, they own the studio maybe. If you raise money on your own, you can stay independent, but of course your existence is more precarious. You can use it as leverage and *still* go after big backers. And so on.


    Initial funding $2.7 million.  Good start, but unless they have another $25 million hidden somewhere, don't bother me.  Don't brag about a drop in the bucket, show us the full bucket.

    Yeah, this is what is called seed funding. There are many stages to a gradual fundraising process. :) We will definitely get more money as we go. Someone else said "it means nothing without more." That's not really true; landing the seed money means we can hire, build proof of concept stuff, and that smart money people have already given us a big vote of confidence. It's not enough to build the whole game, but it is a solid first step for a business.


    Funded by an ESports venture.  So, how's this game going to go against the money men and make an MMORPG instead of another ESports game?  This may be the real challenge this game might face.

    Not worried about this; they invest in more than just esports, and we are not an esports venture.

    We're not going to be talking about what we are making for quite some time... this really is  business announcement. Super glad to see some of you excited, and totally get the cynicism from other quarters. :) Very much the start of a journey here!






    Thanks for poppin in here, Raph! Appreciate the insight!
    OzmodanTacticalZombehTorvalNycteliosKyleranHatefullAmathe
  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 8,259
    edited October 3
    I swear Raph is really Beetlejuice. Only takes 3 times mentioning his name and he appears.

    MorganRamsayTorvalAmatheOzmodanTacticalZombehNycteliosKyleranlotrloreHatefullcheebaand 1 other.


  • MightyUncleanMightyUnclean Member EpicPosts: 2,651
    Finally, the Sandbox Savior we've all been waiting for.  What a fresh and novel idea.  It's gonna be different this time, guys!  3,427th time is the charm.
    OG_Zorvan
  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 21,648
    edited October 3


    I consider Raph to be one of the few "MMO old guard" who could actually design a great MMO.



    Of course, that means "great for me" ! :)



    SWG's original design has never been equalled, unfortunately it was butchered after the first 3 years, but that's an old story now.



    RK is indeed a legend....

    But...

    The times have changed- when was the last time he ran a huge project like making s mmorpg?

    Being a legend doesn't by any means guarantee success.

    Legends of old often fail in modern times. Mmorpg business has gotten way harder than 15+ years ago
    OzmodanOG_Zorvancheeba
  • TimEisenTimEisen ColumnistMember EpicPosts: 3,293
    lotrlore said:
    Celcius said:
    Hopefully I am still alive by the time they release a game.
    I hope you are too!
    BAH GOLLY if there is one developer that could get me interested again, it's Raph! I may have to dust off my keyboard and take up the pen again just to cover this journey!
    I used to role-play a Warrior Priest now I role-play a writer.
  • Arkade99Arkade99 Member RarePosts: 462
    Thanks for the insights Raph and wish you the best of luck with your new company. Hopefully we'll have an awesome new MMO to talk about in a few years.
  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,545
    edited October 3
    DMKano said:


    I consider Raph to be one of the few "MMO old guard" who could actually design a great MMO.



    Of course, that means "great for me" ! :)



    SWG's original design has never been equalled, unfortunately it was butchered after the first 3 years, but that's an old story now.



    RK is indeed a legend....

    But...

    The times have changed- when was the last time he ran a huge project like making s mmorpg?

    Being a legend doesn't by any means guarantee success.

    Legends of old often fail in modern times. Mmorpg business has gotten way harder than 15+ years ago
    I usually agree with you, but not this time.  I have the utmost confidence Ralph is going to come up with something that will be good.  Whether it is better than that, just have to wait and see.  

    You see Ralph is one of the few that really understands how sandboxes work without making it a gank fest which most of them end of being.  No developer to this day has approached the fun that existed in SWP as broken as it was.  If he can come even close to that it should be special.

    Oh and as to the money you really don't need large teams to make a MMO as long as you have the right people.  Developers that have large staffs end up wasting a large amount of effort and have large coordination issues.  Been with enough development projects to know that once you have more than 30 or 40 people, you end up spinning your wheels most of the time because the right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing.

    Amathe
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