Former SOE boss takes new game Hero’s Song to Kickstarter

By Stephany Nunneley
19 January 2016 16:34 GMT

Last Year, former Daybreak Games boss John Smedley left the company for Pixelmage Games, a studio which he co-founded. The first title to come from the firm is Hero’s Song and it launched on Kickstarter today.

Hero’s Song is a roguelike online action-RPG with pixel art and the team behind it is supported by many former Sony Online Entertainment veterans, according to

This includes EverQuest lead designer Bill Trost and the story is being penned by The Name of The Wind author Patrick Rothfuss.

“When John approached me to join the project, I knew this was going to be an opportunity to bring my experience with telling stories to gamers in a really unique way and work with some fun people,” Rothfuss said in an interview. “I’ve never done Worldbuilding as part of a team before, and it’s a lot more fun than I’d anticipated. I’m excited to be able to show people what we’ve come up with.”

Rothfuss is taking questions on the game now through his Twitch channel.

Smedley’s studio plans to release Hero’s Song this October, and has so far received $1 million in funding from private investors. The development team is seeking an additional $800,000 in funding through Kickstarter.

Should crowdfunding fail, Pixelmage still plans to complete the game, as the crowdfunding initiative is as much about “building a community as it is raising funds,” said Smedley.

Unlike many titles which Smedley oversaw at SOE, Hero’s Song won’t be a free-to-play as he and his team plans to steer clear of the business model.

A pre-Alpha and beta for Hero’s Song are expected in June and August, respectively. The game will be released for PC and will run customers $19.99. A $49.99 Collector’s Edition will be made available as well, but it will not contain any extra in-game content.

Semdley co-founded Everquest, DC Universe Online, Planetside 2 and H1Z1 developer Sony Online Entertainment, which was renamed Daybreak Game Company after parting ways with Sony in July 2015.

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