As you may recall, we're in a bit of a MMORPG drought. In my 2018 will be the year of... post I was hoping for the MMORPG drought to end with the late-year release of Camelot Unchained, but all hopes of that have been completely illiminated by today's (good?) news for CU.
Camelot Unchained has received $7.5M in a financing round that will accelerate development of the upcoming MMORPG. When they say "accelerate" development, it's also meant to say "catch up" because the game is years behind schedule.
Click here to read the full press release for Camelot Unchained's $7.5M Funding
FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA January 18, 2018 – City State Entertainment, LLC, developer of the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game Camelot Unchained, announced today that it has secured a $7.5 million minority investment. This round is led by the original investors in Jacobs’ last video game studio, Mythic Entertainment, Inc., which was sold to Electronic Arts in 2006. The investor group includes the principals of GF Capital Management & Advisors, LLC, a New York City-based private equity firm.
“Knowing that we have support from the same core investors who helped enable Mythic Entertainment to create Dark Age of Camelot is incredibly exciting,” noted Mark Jacobs, CEO of City State Entertainment. “And when you add the benefits that the insight, experience and access that working with the senior leadership of GF Capital will bring to our company, the team is more enthusiastic than ever about delivering our games to an expanding global audience.”
“We’re creating a game and engine that allow truly massive numbers of people to all interact together in a shared space, changing their world in meaningful and dynamic ways,” added Andrew Meggs, Chief Technical Officer. “The most exciting part is seeing what they’ll do with that world.”
“I couldn’t be happier with what this investment means for Camelot Unchained, our company, and most importantly our crowdfunding Backers,” said Mark Jacobs. “We can immediately accelerate hiring in our Virginia and Seattle Washington studios as well as our delivery of Camelot Unchained, as a way of thanking our Backers for their continued loyal support!”
Backers have been waiting many (we can officially say "many" now) years for the game to enter even a beta state of development.
I myself am a backer in the $100+ range, and I have several friends who are in the $100, $200, and even $500+ range. Suffice it to say, the members of our community are invested in the game's future.
That's why we're all very happy to see the game has received much needed funding. A lot of really, really talented people work at CSE. Mark is an outstanding guy who has set out to make a game and stay true to his word. That team needed more capital to hire and get the game done -- and get it right -- so power to them.
Yet, sadly, this announcement does bear the bittersweet news that the game stands pretty much zero chance of releasing this year, and I'd be lying if I said I believed that even a large beta phase will hit before early 2019.
Camelot Unchained is not a game they want to mess up. Screwing things up by releasing before the game is -- dare I say it -- perfect is a death sentence.
For those of us who were around in the Warhammer Online days, this is more than a little terrifying. Remember the EA acquisition that wouldn't ruin anything? Mmmhmm. Mark appears to have learned his lesson, assuring folks that he remains in control of the company and has the promise (hopefully in writing) of all those important decisions... but investment capital and equity shareholders tend to have a voice.
With that said, let's be optimistic and amend our MMORPG forecast.
2013: Final Fantasy XIV, Archeage
2014: Wildstar, Elder Scrolls Online
2015: None released
2016: Black Desert Online
2017: Albion Online
2019: Camelot Unchained (Here's hoping)
Summary: Good news, Camelot Unchained can hire more people to finish the game faster! But beware the Ides of March.