Camelot Unchained boss rebuts theory that its studio finances are in disarray


Dedicated readers of MassatelyOP already know that Camelot Unchained has become a controversial MMO over the past few years. Initially Started in 2013, it has seen many major delays, the establishment of a second studio and Second game announcement use its custom built tool. It also ran some pretty impressive mass combat tests during a beta which is now three years old and all accounts still in development.

However, Continuous reimbursement The situation has been a thorn in the side of City State Entertainment since before 2020 as players on Reddit and in our own comments searched for the refunds they had promised, some in more than one year. Anyone who reads our comments knows how frustrating it can be to see everyone Camelot article about the actual progress of the game, followed by a thread that dissolved into a sea of ​​complaints about overdue refunds and cheating on the CSE, and we understand that some angry supporters have turned to harassing and malicious behind the scenes, that is never ok.

But we’re still confused when why some of those refunds remain unprocessed and why the company is ready to burn all its hard-won reputation and goodwill over what appears to be clerical problem. That’s one of the reasons we give CU ours “the most stormy future“Awards in 2020.

I’d love to be able to tell you straight up what’s going on there, but our second 2021 interview with the studio on the subject actually never got back to us; Our last official response from CSE was in May. As we noted in our March interview on alchemy, the second interview focused on the studio’s budget situation rather than the design; specifically, we asked about the funding status of both games, how long is the development sustainable given the current funding, how is the recruitment going, how big is the studio, when the game will evolve from beta, when will the remaining NDA drop, when to expect a launch or a minimum viable product, whether the game’s monetization might change, how big is the player base needed to sustain the game financially and gameplay, what happened to Last Stand: Ragnarok and “first hit” last December, why refunds are so slow, how many refunds are left, and how the studio responded to backers’ complaints seemingly useless to the state attorney general.

Truth be told, we never expected clear answers to some of the more obvious questions – we both know the developers won’t really give a launch date in interviews – but others are still fair game even now because CSE has maintained it Full game experience is still coming and cashbacks are increasing with vaccinated employees returning to the office. And the recent lack of transparency on many of these topics has led to confusion and suspicion from advocates, who often praise the company’s success.

Announcement: A new video from Youtuber KiraTV dive into publicly available financial records for the company, including crowdfunding figures issued by the CSE itself. According to his accountant, the company actually seems to have inadvertently reported that it lost somewhere around $56,000 in crowdfunding through its website between May and November of last year, presumably due to cashback. The crowdfunding token was subsequently removed from the site. He also argued that Last Stand: Ragnarok didn’t make much money either; based on the game’s total web pages, Kira calculates that it only makes about $6000 from initial hits.

Of course, $56,000 isn’t really a lot of money for CSE to lose in context, and from there the math just gets much foggier and more speculation. Kira tries to pool things like office space rental fees, crowdfunding, multiple publicly disclosed investment rounds, a $1.36 million 2020 PPE loan, and a salary of $3,00. $44 million went public for the company’s 38 employees last year, it’s estimated that the company raised at least $18 million and spent almost as much (we assume more for both amounts – that’s really an indication CU’s employees are being paid relatively well for an indie studio, and we already know Mark Jacobs doesn’t make a lot of money).

Kira’s conclusion is that CSE is running on smoke, which could explain the refund situation, but he admits it’s just a guess based on what’s public and it could also be CU there is still a huge cache of untapped funds waiting on the wings.

The problem here is that we are lacking so many behind-the-scenes of the company while concerns seems reasonable, conclude about the health of the company is too soon. Redditors, for example, reminded opponents that CSE has been tired of recruiting for both of its studios during the last year. And then CSE’s Mark Jacobs himself appeared in the YouTube thread to refute some of the theories.

“Your title “Really Bad Finances” is untrue and misleading because you have no facts,” Jacobs posted. “As a private company, we don’t need to talk about all the funding we’ve received. A lot of private companies talk about their finances, others don’t, especially when they’re not in a big round of funding (like we did before). […] It may ‘look’ at you the way you think but you are asserting that ‘Finance is REALLY bad’ which is quite different from ‘Really bad finance’ One is stated to be true, the other is stated to be true. stated in the form of comments. Your choice of course but there is a world of difference between these two. And, if you simply look at how we keep expanding the team, that we’re not a team with ‘REALLY bad’ finances or that we can’t keep hiring. “

In response to the others and the wise, Jacobs also posted the most recent update on the refund to date, commenting that CU the group has yet to return to its East Coast office in mid-July.

“In terms of refunds, nothing has changed about the way I do things. While at the office, I take the time to pay some refunds along with my other work. The team hasn’t returned to the Virginia office yet and I’m just going for a few days and WFH the rest. That will continue. “

The community is certainly missing important information in the overall picture, but the opposite effect in crowdfunding, the failure of Last Stand: Ragnarok, and the PPE figures are not really disputed; they just add to our understanding of the project. While there is no concrete evidence to believe that the City State is on the verge of collapse, we have also witnessed firsthand that neither we nor the public receive transparency about the amount raised. motivated by the community Camelot Unchained that we deserved, which has led to distrust from vocal MMO players and personal disappointment from fervent fans who have watched the game for eight years. And until the refund process is final and complete for all supporters have been waiting for a long time, it seems CU will continue under the rain cloud of its own making.

Thank you Pepperzine.

blankThe MMORPG genre may “work as intended”, but it can be so much more. Participating in the Editor-in-Chief is overwhelming Bree Royce in her Working as intended column for editorials on MMO design, ancient history, and fantasy. The armchair is not included.


Camelot Unchained boss rebuts theory that its studio finances are in disarray


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