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Default Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen

April 4th, 2021, 02:25
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
According to several German gaming magazines, one of the founders of the company that's developing Realms Beyond was trying to find a publisher as they had run out of money. He didn't find one and hasn't gotten in touch with his colleagues since. They have no idea where he is, but they can't finish and release the game without his permission. So, RB is dead, I suppose.
Most of this is true, but the "they have no idea where he is" is not really accurate. Let me try to summarize what I've gathered from their Discord.

For reference: HobGoblin42 (aka Peter) is the programmer & co-owner of Ceres
Sheihadul (aka Timothy) is the level designer / business manager & co-owner of Ceres
Tharagavverug is the lead writer / quest designer

Because Hobgoblin & Sheihadul are both 50% owner of the company they need to agree on major business decisions. Hobgoblin told us on Discord that sometime last year they were very close to making a deal with an investor which would've let them keep working on the game full-time until they were ready to sell it on Steam Early Access. He felt the deal was fair enough, but evidently Sheihadul disagreed as he pulled them out of the deal at the last minute.

After that, they came to an agreement that Hobgoblin would focus entirely on the programming & Shehaidul would focus on the business side (managing finances and negotiating with potential publishers / investors). They apparently had several interested parties so things still seemed optimistic at that point.

Earlier this year HobGoblin told us he was concerned that he hadn't heard from Sheihadul in an unusually long time. Hobgoblin has since heard from Sheihadul but he is basically not answering questions specific to RB's financial status anymore. It seems like he simply doesn't care about the project anymore.

Since they do have a working engine / toolset and lots of assets, Tharagavverug came up with a backup plan to create a small standalone adventure module that they could finish in the relatively near future with little budget. They'd be able to give it to backers and sell it on Steam to everyone else for a reasonable price. If this was successful they could create other mini adventures with the goal of raising funds to get the main game in a state where it's ready for Early Access.

HobGoblin likes the idea. The problem is they need Sheihadul to agree before they can move forward or he could legally shut it down (as 50% owner). They've proposed the idea to him but as of now he has not agreed to it. Again, seems like he just doesn't care about RB anymore.

You may recall Ceres got a government grant of 100K Euros after the Kickstarter. However, they've only actually received 40K. The reason is the govt. expects progress to be shown (i.e., an upcoming release of something) in order to get the remainder of the grant funds. HobGoblin has said that if action isn't taken soon (either by making a deal with a publisher or proceeding with the backup plan) Ceres will probably have to declare bankruptcy by this Summer.

What happens if Ceres go bankrupt?

HobGoblin apparently personally owns the game engine & tools and some of the 3D character models, so he'll keep those no matter what. However, the IP and the rest of the assets / content that has been created is owned by the company so if it goes bankrupt, these will be auctioned off to pay down any debts. It is unlikely another game co would be interested in purchasing existing pieces of RB (especially since the engine won't be for sale). So in theory, Hobgoblin could buy back some or all of the assets if he can afford to.

Unfortunately that seems to now be the best case scenario. If he can get enough assets to complete a small adventure module they could attempt the backup plan with a new company sans Sheihadul. Seems like a longshot but maybe third time's a charm.

It's fair to say the game was overly ambitious and horribly mismanaged. But I wouldn't call it a scam. Crowdfunding is always a risk. But a "Scam" implies that money collected was used on something other than developing the game and I've seen no evidence of that.

I've played the combat beta, it's very good (albeit still with some bugs and missing features). They've hired a lot of people to work on the game. Composers, writers, artists, level designers… including the artist / cartographer who created their world map (which was one of the stretch goals).

TLDR: Yes the game is in serious trouble due to one half-owner of the company seemingly giving up on the project.
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April 4th, 2021, 11:17
Originally Posted by daveyd View Post
However, the IP and the rest of the assets / content that has been created is owned by the company so if it goes bankrupt, these will be auctioned off to pay down any debts.
Sometimes, banks buy such stuff. Happened to Paraworld, if I recall that correctly.
I don't want to know how many banks sit on bought but never used IP's art assets and complete games because of that. And they'll never give it away, too. It just rots away in some vaults. (Sometimes maybe even literally, since backup media might not last that long.)

The first time I learned such a fate from Paraworld. I don't know if the former developers managed to get their assets & IP back.
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 15th, 2021, 12:39
This is very disappointing, it had been at the top of my wishlist for a long time. This is the reason why I never back on kickstarter unless it's Larian or Obsidian or something of the like. Not that those can't fail either but they traditionally deliver.
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