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DreamWorld, The Controversial Kickstarter MMO, Is Launching Into Early Access September 12th

Still mired in controversy

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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DreamWorld, the Kickstarted MMO that billed itself as the "last game you'll ever play," announced this morning that it is launching into Early Access on September 12th. The MMO is still mired in controversy a year after it was announced, as multiple questions still linger from its botched announcement in March 2021.

DreamWorld has been operating an Alpha build for a year now, and the team is taking the progress made over the last 52 weeks and pushing out an Early Access version of the MMO. DreamWorld Realities, the name of the studio behind the MMO (still helmed by Garrison Bellack and Zachary Kaplan), states that the MMO is a "community driven sandbox MMO that gives players limitless opportunities to explore, interact with, and share the world around them."

The MMO is launching into Early Access on September 12th, with Dreamworld Realities running a limited promotional offer for $19.99, while the game will normally set players back $24.99. DreamWorld successfully Kickstarted over $64K USD, and has secured funding from other firms, including Y CombinatorDreamWorld will be launching into Early Access on Itch.io, as well as through a link on the website. The company is also offering a 90-minute free trial to those who want to jump in before they buy.

DreamWorld is mired in controversy even still, as many of the questions surrounding the initial announcement and the fallout afterwards has never really been solved. DreamWorld has been heralded as a scam among MMO YouTubers, Streamers and fans after multiple red flags that arose in the weeks since the MMO made its Kickstarter announcement.

As noted by PC Gamer in an article in May 2021, issues stemming from a general lack of what looks to be real MMO development experience on the part of DreamWorld's founders are just the tip of the iceberg. The DreamWorld devs have also been accused of simply using store-bought assets to build their game rather than in-house art, as well as allegations from MMOByte that DreamWorld reached out and offered "20%" of the company's earnings for positive coverage.

Notably, as well, it's been alleged that DreamWorld's team was recruiting kids to work and moderate for the MMO, as well as the claim that nepotism helped secure the Y Combinator funding versus the usual, rigorous vetting process. That has now been dubbed a fiasco by many got even weirder when Kaplan's former fiancee made a video disputing the MMO came out of the sadness that transpired when the two broke off their engagement. Aislinn Evans, Kaplan's former fiancee, states that the dev was already working on the MMO before they broke up, disputing the story told on the original Kickstarter that DreamWorld spanwed from the breakup, as well as unemployment due to COVID-19.

Early impressions of the Alpha weren't great either, with players able to effectively break the MMO, as well as unearth the potential players could do to other player's computers. YouTuber Skiazos released a now infamous video, calling DreamWorld at the time the "Worst Alpha Game Ever."

It's been a year since these allegations and more swirled and it seems the developers have still been going at it to build the MMO. Just what they have built remains to be seen, though the MMO released a video back in May to show the progress since then. Commenters are still wary, with one addressing the store-bought asset allegation. The official channel responded stating that they now have "several artists" and plan on replacing most of the art assets, "if not all" currently within the alpha.

As it stands, DreamWorld is launching its Early Access this month, coming September 12th.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore