Untamed Isles, a Pokémon-like MMORPG with ‘optional’ play-to-earn elements, has been placed on indefinite hiatus as the developers no longer has funds to continue its development following the crypto crash.
On its official website, the developers said the crypto crash had left their reserves empty and this means that Kickstarter backers who collectively invested RM2.3 million in the game will not get their money back.
“We have to pause the development of Untamed Isles and put the project on hold. With a heavy heart, we made this decision and we understand our amazing community will be shocked reading this,” the developers wrote on their Steam page.
The project was launched in August 2021 and it was described as a “monster-taming turn-based MMORPG but with cryptocurrency integration”. Though, the developers said the game does not require players to have blockchain integration to play the game.
It also said most of the items and all of the monsters within the game can be tokenised and sold, bought, and traded on the website marketplace. The game also has an “in-game auction house” that allows players to “earn while they play”.
“To work on this project we brought more than 70 staff members on board and we were working relentlessly for more than 2 years to build the game we all were dreaming about. The truth is that the cost of development is high and there were lots of bumps on our way to this moment,” the developers said in the statement.
“Since we started the journey in 2020, the economic landscape has changed dramatically both generally and specifically for cryptocurrency, and we are not confident in the current market. We ran out of financial resources and we can’t carry on the development at this moment.”
Meanwhile, they admitted that even though crypto integration isn’t necessary, crypto’s “economic landscape” is the reason why they couldn’t continue game development.
In a follow-up statement, the developers explained the misunderstandings that were going around.
“Phat Loot Studios and Untamed Isles did not invest any funds into crypto, all funds raised through crowdfunding and through traditional investment were spent by the studio developing the game,” the developers explain.
“We had several investors pull out recently due to concerns about both the economic market along with the crypto market at the moment which made it very clear we could not reach early access. If they had not pulled out, we were pushing to make the early access date we announced.”
It also said that they are not in a position to refund their initial backers but all pre-orders will be refunded.
Untamed Isles has been set for an Early Access release on 6 October but the studio founders are now looking for ways to salvage both the core studio and the game so that it can be completed and released.