[Updated 4:04pm - Scroll to bottom for Update From Developers]
Ethyrial: Echoes of Yore is an indie game that has graced our Indie MMO Spotlight through the insistence of our community. Swedish developer Gellyberry Studios is determined to make this fantasy MMORPG completely subscription-based, but in order to do that, they’ll need plenty of funding to continue development. To that end, they have started a Kickstarter campaign, where they are asking for a funding goal of a mere 63,000 dollars (60,000 euros).
Ethyrial: Echoes of Yore is aptly named, as the game is intended to echo some of the most beloved features of other popular MMORPGs such as Ultima Online and RuneScape. Gellyberry plans to expand on the concepts of those games in a number of different ways. Players will build a backstory for their character prior to taking skills, spells and abilities, all of which will eventually determine how your unique character will turn out. Players will also build houses and enhance their in-game communities of the ‘massive world’ of Irumesa. Other features the team plans to include if they successfully fund are: A Dynamic Infamy System, Professions – like blacksmithing and alchemy, Raids, and PvP.
Some of the features, once the Kickstarter has reached higher thresholds, will have some above average player requirements, such as their high-level dungeons, which are stated as requiring from 10 to 20-players. At 450K Euros, the maximum of their stretch goals, the team states they will be able to add cinematics, voice acting and concept art. Despite the game just launching their Kickstarter this month, they intend for the projected launch of the game to be in April of 2023, nearly one year from the launch of their crowdsourced funding. The game is stated to have no in-game cash shop, and their monetization model revolves around a 10-dollar a month subscription fee.
According to the small team of 6 at Gellyberry, whether the project gets funded or not on Kickstarter, it won’t have any effect on whether the game launches next April:
“The projected launch of April 2023 is something that we have worked towards for a very long time. The pledge goals above are already accounted for and will not impact the projected launch date of the game.
If anything were to happen that could potentially jeopardize any aspect of development, no matter how small, we will be sure to be completely honest and transparent to our community about it."
-Gellyberry Studios, Ethyrial: Echoes of Yore, Kickstarter Page
Whether part of the promotion of their Kickstarter, or as an honest attempt for ongoing feedback, Gellyberry has also released an Open Alpha of Ethyrial: Echoes of Yore. To access the Open Alpha, you’ll need to head on over to the Steam page and request access. This is also in coordination with a “30-day AMA of sorts” on their official Twitch channel, to answer players questions on the ongoing development of the game. You can read more about accessing the Alpha from their Reddit post, or from the Steam Page announcement.
It's always important to be cautious when looking into funding Kickstarter projects, as we can all attest from several developmental failures over the years. Gellyberry has at least gone a different route than others with their funding, by letting players in to the current alpha of the game whether or not they’ve provided funding. That being said, we’ve reached out to Gellyberry Studios on Discord to request comments related to their current funding, the crowdsourced funding goal, and their ongoing development plan, and have yet to hear back at the time of this article. We will update this article with more information if it becomes available.
[Updated 4:04 pm EST]
Lead game designer Amar Duranovic has resonded to our questions related to their current funding and the potential for ongoing monetization. You can read the answers in their entirety below:
In response to their initial funding:
Amar: Initial funding are our personal savings up until this point (Game is 8 years in development, 6 of it part time, 2 years full-time). This is our first "official" funding round, and it is mostly oriented around me and the lead developer continuing full-time until the game's release, to ensure that we can get as high quality content as possible.
In response to ongoing testing for backers and non backers:
Amar: We will have several tests after this alpha for testing out various features of the game (GvG, PvP Tournaments, Player/Guild Housing, Dungeon/Raid Runs). But those will mostly focus on specific content and mechanics and will be weekend or weekly tests.
In response to the possibility of founders packs or other pledges post-Kickstarter:
Amar: There will be options to participate in the game's development through pledges, in the same way as the Kickstarter (Town designer, spell designer, etc). However, there will never be a way to obtain the Kickstarter unique titles after, since this is exclusive to our KS community. Also, all our playtests or alphas/betas will always be free and open to everyone, no founders pack will ever be required, and no founders pack will ever give any advantages within the game. EVER. We are adamant on this.