Rantcakes: Iron & Magic Is Money First, Game Never

Lord British peddles his investment scheme.

Richard Garriott has officially put a name on his nonsense garbage financial scam today, and the name you should be looking out for in theoretical future SEC investigations will be Iron and Magic. I must admit I’m a little disappointed the team didn’t stick with Effigy, given I had already pre-written numerous headlines including “Poor Reception Leaves Garriott’s MMO Burning In Effigy,” and “Recent Hack Leaves Players Burning Lord British In Effigy.” Do you know how many burning in effigy comments I have now lost? None, because I’m still planning on writing them. I’m no quitter.

Iron & Magic leverages blockchain and NFT along with Lord British’s experience in selling overpriced digital land plots to people, as well as pulling off ridiculous publicity stunts, with Garriott’s other talents in abandoning unfinished games and leaving investors high and dry to be put in the back pocket for a few years from now when he abandons the unfinished ship like he did with Shroud of the Avatar. Where’s episode 2-5, Rich? Where are the signed Tracy Hickman novels people paid the $500 tier for? Where’s the legal accountability to SeedInvest or your other investors? Oh yeah, Lord British went out for ye old cigarettes and never returned.

But this editorial isn’t about how Richard Garriott hasn’t released a finished product in 20 years that didn’t ultimately end up screwing over NCSoft, his backers, or his investors. Actually it is, I’m looking at the wrong calendar. My bad!

What really showcases Iron & Magic’s goals with the game is the website, and what is available. If you go to Iron & Magic’s site, you’ll notice that the game has zero information about the game itself. Absolutely none. Zilch. Nada. Well outside of the name. What kind of engine is it on? What kind of game is it? Is it free to play? Third person? First person? Session based? Are there monsters? Guns? Swords? Party members? Anything?

Nah, the folks at Iron & Magic have launched the site with zero details about the game itself, likely because the game doesn’t exist. What they are focusing on is the cash shop, by launching a preview of the things you will soon be able to buy for a game that doesn’t exist, things that you’ll have no clue how they function in terms of the game itself, the details of which are far less important than selling you…one of three plots of land. And a few different building models. All of this could’ve been thrown together by a modeler in a week assuming it wasn’t already built from another project.

What does the land do? Can I put the buildings on them? What point does it have to the gameplay? Is it open world? Session based? Do I have to buy them or will I eventually be able to get them in-game in another way? How much are they? What value do they add to the game? The answers to all of that is a big hearty shrug, because the game doesn’t exist, because all Iron & Magic has to show for itself is priority numero uno; making sure people will know that land sales are coming. And they’ll likely be really expensive land sales, given Lord British is involved and he wanted people to pay the equivalent of a relatively new used car for digital land in Shroud. And stupid people did that, a lot of which felt buyer’s remorse later on.

And the website doesn’t need to tell us anything about the game because it’s already told us enough about the game, which is that the game isn’t a priority for DeMeta Inc. Hell it’s probably barely on the Trello development board beneath the pile of figuring out ways to create and sell people NFTs and expensive digital land, while dodging issues like the NFT market crashing and burning, Richard Garriott being a name that is absolute poison to most gamers nowadays, and the fact that scrutiny on the title is only going to get worse going forward and people see exactly how bad the financial scheme is.

I’d also like to point out that this isn’t even Garriott’s game. Richard Garriott is credited as a “creative adviser” meaning he probably gets the coffee, reminds the team occasionally that swords are supposed to be sharp, with the primary purpose of his involvement likely just being his name is on the project, and while I’m not going to pay the $20 for tax information from Delaware’s secretary of state, I’m guessing his name isn’t stamped on any important founding papers for the company. The better to meep-meep and blow out of there so fast he leaves a talking cloud impression of himself for a few seconds. If I was a betting man, I’d be putting my Vegas chips on Garriott having nothing to do with this game or developer by the time it fully launches.

Richard Garriott to DeMeta in a few years:

Otherwise I have no opinion on the matter.

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