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News & Features Discussion  » Seed: Game Closing

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58 posts found
  Dana

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

 
OP  9/28/06 8:40:42 AM#1

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

  maxpfaff

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/03
Posts: 42

9/28/06 8:55:13 AM#2

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

  Whesky

Novice Member

Joined: 8/31/04
Posts: 125

9/28/06 9:03:08 AM#3
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

  User Deleted
9/28/06 9:03:14 AM#4
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.
  Micklez

Novice Member

Joined: 12/19/04
Posts: 8

9/28/06 9:08:03 AM#5

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.

  dragonfyre

Novice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 60

9/28/06 9:08:29 AM#6

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.

  parrotpholk

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 3317

9/28/06 9:10:18 AM#7
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
  Jorev

Novice Member

Joined: 11/15/04
Posts: 1516

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

9/28/06 9:16:03 AM#8

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.


"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

  User Deleted
9/28/06 9:24:43 AM#9

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.
  TiiKii

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 162

Famous Last Words: "Trust ME!!"

9/28/06 9:27:00 AM#10
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"

  sly220

Novice Member

Joined: 5/13/06
Posts: 608

9/28/06 9:30:47 AM#11

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

  Tymora

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/13/04
Posts: 1312

9/28/06 9:35:25 AM#12

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.

  kparton

Novice Member

Joined: 6/22/04
Posts: 113

9/28/06 9:48:04 AM#13

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.

  User Deleted
9/28/06 9:51:49 AM#14

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.

  ThomasHolm

Novice Member

Joined: 3/27/05
Posts: 34

9/28/06 10:04:25 AM#15
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.
  Radmuz

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/04
Posts: 85

9/28/06 10:11:11 AM#16
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.
  Beatnik59

Elite Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2233

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

9/28/06 10:54:15 AM#17

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

  Beatnik59

Elite Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2233

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

9/28/06 10:59:05 AM#18

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

  WoodenDummy

Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/05
Posts: 210

9/28/06 11:22:18 AM#19

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.

  Mcgreag

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/05
Posts: 491

9/28/06 11:32:32 AM#20

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."

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