Post-apocalyptic Sandbox MMO Earthrise Shuts Down
Bulgarian developer Masthead Studios has announced today that they will shut down the servers for its sci-fi, open-world sandbox MMORPG Earthrise on Feb.9. Earthrise was originally scheduled to switch into free-to-play this year, but the developer has decided to terminate the game service. Director Atanas Atanasov explained the reasons why they decided to do so in a press release.
"One year after the launch of the game, we have decided to stop the Earthrise servers. Earthrise was released too early and did not meet the expectations of its fans. We did our best to revive the game in 2011, but the time was not enough to keep up with the user requirements. There is a huge interest in high quality open world sandbox MMORPGs, unfortunately the big publishers do not show any interest in the genre. It is unfortunate that low budget companies like ours are trying to bring innovations to an already saturated MMO market. I hope that one day an independent studio will be able to release the long anticipated open world sandbox MMO, which everyone is talking about, but no one is making. We tried, but did not succeed. We would like to apologize to those who were disappointed from Earthrise and to thank everyone who supported us during the years."
Masthead Studios did mention that if they can find the investors or a publisher, the free-to-play version of Earthrise may yet return some time in the future. It is most unfortunate to see such a massive approach to the non-traditional sandbox approach go so quickly. I wish we could see more titles like these asking for my hand-outs of alpha funding. I see serious potential with the Desura Platform. Many MMO titles have already taken to putting themselves on Steam. Recently we put The Universal up on IndieDB, and we have seen an increase in the game getting known. The game has survived 10 or so years, without publishers and being free. How is it done? Hardwork and a loyal community like non other. I am personally convinced that it doesn't exactly boil down to just money, but a community of tough stuff behind it, willing to see the game to its end. What are your views personally, I;d love to here them and reflect with you about things like this.