Hotcakes: Fractured Offline and the Death of Gamigo

Upcoming MMO ends sales amid talks of ending publisher deal.

I’m not sure how many of our readers were really clamoring to buy Fractured Online, a game whose Steam population for the last month couldn’t fill a small Little Caesars pizzeria to capacity, but if you were holding out for that next paycheck to buy the game you are sadly out of luck. Well technically speaking the game is still up for sale as I am writing this, but according to the Discord should be taken down some time today (December 24). The servers themselves are shutting down at the end of January.

Now if you’re not aware, Fractured Online is an early access SpatialOS game being published by Gamigo, which in the MMO industry is sort of like washing down your rat poison with a lead bullet shot to the lung while strapped to a thermite chair in the house you set on fire. It’s kind of impressive how Gamigo continues to get business partners given their long history of screwing over the games they publish with a combination of mismanagement, nonexistent visibility thanks to some of the most inept and stingy marketing people in the gaming industry, and the resultant dead services and bankrupt developers. I could probably name ten dead Gamigo-published MMOs from five years ago you’ve never heard of.

I’ll say the same for SpatialOS whose marketing people I’m convinced could sell snow at the North Pole given they somehow manage to keep new clients buying into a tech that in nearly six years has produced nothing but bankruptcy receipts and sunset articles on MassivelyOP.

But the news isn’t all that bad. While Gamigo is essentially the industry equivalent of what Count Olaf wanted to be, sucking money out of the trust fund of the kids they adopt before ultimately murdering them, the slate of games leaving the company aren’t actually shutting down this time. Aura Kingdom and Grand Fantasia are going home to their developer X-Legend, while Shaiya and Last Chaos are being transferred to an indie company called Fawkes Games, a start-up located in India that appeared less than two months ago and according to company info we looked at has a start up capital that wouldn’t work as a down payment on a new Tesla. Good luck, Ankila. You’re going to need it.

There’s also chatter that Gamigo may no longer be publishing Fractured Online at some point in the near future, given the game no longer appears on Gamigo’s website. Granted this likely can also be explained by the fact that Fractured is going off sale for the foreseeable future and Gamigo doesn’t want to advertise a game you can’t buy. It might also be because Gamigo has laid off just about every competent employee at the company over the last couple of years and the delisting was just a mistake made by a contractor.

I’d love nothing more than for Fractured Online to find its footing and succeed, if only for the fact that every time an MMO dies in early access it poisons the already stagnant genre and makes it that much harder for new developers to find their place without getting bodied by the increasingly cynical user base. It also contributes to the overabundance of salt on /r/mmorpg and the last thing I want is for that community to have another grave to dance over.

So we can hope for the best outcome, where the game shuts down and the folks at Dynamight actually use that time to improve the game and bring it back out with a fresh coat of paint and a new chance at life, and maybe some marketing dollars so people actually know that the game exists. I’d recommend cutting Gamigo but the unfortunate reality of the industry is that there aren’t a whole lot of MMO publishers that don’t suck and going self-sufficient at this stage is probably an even worse idea. I hear Tencent is pretty hands off with the companies they invest in and if you’re really desperate there’s always the Saudis.

Otherwise I have no opinion on the matter.

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