The Camelot Unchained Kickstarter


About a month ago, the Camelot Unchained Kickstarter launched. You can read the Kickstarter page or the official website if you’re unfamiliar with it but here’s the not-so-quick blurb:

City State Entertainment, led by online game pioneer and Mythic Entertainment founder Mark Jacobs and code guru and CSE co-founder Andrew Meggs, needs your support to make the next great Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) for the PC and select tablets (stretch goal dependent). As one of the very early online gaming developers (circa mid-1980s) and the creative driver behind Dark Age of Camelot®, Mark has seen online games grow from an unloved, mostly ignored part of the industry to a major driving force. He believes the time is right once again for a small, barely known studio to craft a title that can compete in today’s market, just as in 1999 when Mythic Entertainment began work on Dark Age of Camelot.

Camelot Unchained takes one part classic legends, adds a twisty little apocalyptic passage, and mixes in a whole batch of creativity to birth not just another “me and my WoW-clone”, but a unique RvR-focused MMORPG. It is against the backdrop of an almost unrecognizable world that our game unfolds, and as a player of Camelot Unchained, you can expect the following:

  • Camelot Unchained is a subscription-based, RvR-focused MMORPG. RvR is an acronym for Realm vs. Realm® (this term is a registered trademark of Electronic Arts), which we call TriRealm™ for the interaction of the three main realms.
  • The game will feature RvR-based leveling tracks for all classes. No PROGRESSION VIA PvE (player vs. environment), loot drops or other such systems are currently planned. All leveling will come from engaging in the game’s RvR-based systems, whether by fighting other players, capturing objectives, and/or crafting objects to help in RvR. There will be NPCs but you cannot use them to level your character.
  • You will have the choice of playing any realm on each of the game’s servers except that you may play only characters from the same realm on any single server. In other words, one server = one realm.

Considering my background in MMO gaming and the fact that I enjoyed Dark Ages of Camelot (DAoC) and would of played more of it if I wasn’t so invested in Shadowbane, this one became a no-brainer for me. I started to follow the updates and figured I’d help fund it before the last day came along.

The other day, I got a Google Alert for a mention of Shadowbane on VG24/7 which was for the article “Camelot Unchained: surviving the freemium apocalypse” where a nice nod was given to Shadowbane (hey, for all its faults, it was hella fun!):

“It’s really a question of looking at Camelot, looking at other RvR games – whether it’s Guild Wars 2 or Shadowbane – and other games that have come out across the last 20 years of MMOs and go, ‘OK, what things are in these games that frankly, we don’t want to see in our game? What things can we improve on and what do we want to expand on, given a pure RvR setting?’

It was more so a nice article to remind me that I hadn’t backed it yet. So I went over to it and, I have to admit, I was quite surprised when I saw they didn’t make their goal yet. By T-1 I figured they would be well into stretch goals, especially considering the fact that they had so many backers within the first 24 hours. In fact, within the first 8 hours, they passed the $500,000 mark!

I’m obviously interested in the gameplay and a fan of the genre (being MMO) but it wasn’t just that which made me think they’d be past the set goal by now. First, Dark Ages of Camelot was very successful and much loved so figured they’d get a lot from that. Mark Jacobs isn’t necessarily an unknown in the industry (much the opposite). They did a great job of getting that groundswell well before the Kickstarter even launched. Piquing people’s interests with teaser videos, letting out little snippets here and there, basically just getting a good amount of buzz before it even started. And the goal itself wasn’t lofty. Two million to make an MMO isn’t really that much when you think of how much goes into it and when they originally launched, I wondered why they set it so low (considering all of the above).

But here we are, 21 hours before the Kickstarter concludes and it is only at $1,883,318. Is it still doable? Definitely. A good surge of backers can easily get them over the next $117,000 or so they need to fund it.

My question to everyone, though, is why isn’t it as successful (at least as I thought it would be)? And my interest isn’t just in this but also in games getting crowd-sources (especially MMOs). If you didn’t back (and happen to be one who would back a Kickstarter), why not? Didn’t know about the Kickstarter in the first place? Not a fan of the concept? Tired of MMOs? Too many dragons?

Update: And look at that; 19 hours to go and they already passed their goal with $2,023,462 pledged!

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