Project Copernicus would have launched as a free-to-play MMO

Saturday, 18th August 2012 16:23 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Project Copernicus, the MMO which was in the works at 38 Studios before it collapsed, would have launched as a free-to-play title according to the firm’s founder Curt Schilling.

Speaking with Boston Magazine, Schilling said he was initially adverse to the idea of free-to-play, but for various reasons changes his mind as development progressed.

“We were going to be the first triple-A, hundred-million-dollar-plus, free-to-play, micro-transaction-based MMO,” he said. “That was one of our big secrets. I think when we eventually showed off the game for the first time, the atom bomb was going to be free-to-play. When we announced that at the end, that was gonna be the thing that, I think, shocked the world.

“You won’t find a more ardent opposition to free to play than me, and I went 180 degrees.”

Schilling said free-to-play was one of the deals 38 Studios was discussing with investors which he said would have kept the firm afloat, but Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee’s ardent, public disapproval sent investors running for the hills.

“No one was expecting it, and it was another thing that changed the tenor of conversations with investors late in the game,” said Schilling. “Most investors wanted nothing to do with subscription-based products, they were all on the social media, and free-to-play games as a means to revenue.”

Thanks, GI International.



  1. TheWulf

    Eh. Their lore/world/setting was so … enthusiastically dull and neck-bearded that I doubt it would have had much appeal other than to sad fantasy purists who seem to be all too attached to their fairytale medieval castles, elven tree cities, and chainmail bikinis.

    I really can’t describe it any other way, it seems they were eager, almost excited by how prosaic and routine it all was. And it ended up quite antagonising as the studio’s mouth-pieces took it upon themselves to even attack the very notion of abstract. Apparently things like ambition, dreams, escapism, and wandering outside of the norm are bad. At least that’s how they’d tell it.

    Therefore a game which embraces the abstract to present us with something unusual, as Bastion did, is apparently a thing of evil. No one wants that, right? Everyone hated Bastion! Right?

    Though thankfully we seem to be slowly pulling ourselves away from what their prior Kingdoms of Suchabore title represented, and actually peppering new ideas into the stale, old thing that the fantasy genre has become. Which is good, really, because fantasy is supposed to mean anything you can imagine – a notion I’ve stressed before, at length.

    Even Horn, a recent iPad title, published by Zynga of all people, has a much more charming and unusual setting and narrative than Amalur could ever have hoped to achieve. I recommend playing it, it’s quite good. It’s also quite odd. Just as Bastion was quite odd.

    I like odd.

    Still, I knew they were doomed to failure. If you fetishise dull in the way that these people did, then you’re going to suffer. The fact of the matter is is that people who’re into fantasy are beginning to tire of fantasy purism. And those more superficial types who tend to dislike escapism via more towards the likes of Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty. We’re getting quite a divide, at the moment.

    If you want your fantasy world to sell – be imaginative, be bold, be odd. Look at Sranger’s Wrath, Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, Bastion, specifically the charr in Guild Wars 2, and indeed the recent Horn. Look at worlds which didn’t choose to tread the old beaten path, and instead forged their own.

    If you so strongly wish to create a construct of genuine pedantry, a thing truly humdrum and banal, then it’s best to just leave the fantasy genre alone completely and opt for reality. Reality tends to be quite uninteresting, and really superficial people are drawn to it. If you feel the need to stand out, just switch some historical events around, I hear that’s all the craze these days. Just play it safe. Historical setting but a little different, or modern day with lots of spectacle.

    But if you choose fantasy, try to live up to the potential of what fantasy means as a genre. Veer towards Shadowrun if you’re going to do fantasy, and less toward Crimson Skies. When you do fantasy, it’s expected that you show the world inside your head, an exotic, alien, strange place. If you can’t do that – do us all a favour and just don’t bother.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. roadkill

    Still not interested!

    #2 2 years ago

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