Goodbye RotMG

It is hard to let go of something you’ve worked on for such a long time, but such is life. After a rather successful launch of Realm of the Mad God on Steam and Kongregate, our partners at Wild Shadow Studios decided that the best course of action was to sell the game to a larger operator, and we agreed to sell our stake alongside them.

Kabam will be operating the game from here on out and Willem Rosenthal, who has been designing the new dungeons and loot drops in RotMG for several months now, will stay on board to guide the project going forward.

RotMG will always be a special game for us. Alex Carobus is one of the most talented programmers we’ve ever had the pleasure to work with, and the game itself pushed the boundaries of what an MMO could be. When we started out, RotMG had the bare bones of a multiplayer bullet hell shooter. The foundations of the game were fascinating: coop only, permadeath, procedurally generated worlds, and retro 8-bit art. It had such promise, but it was on track to end up as just another interesting game jam prototype.

Over the course of 2+ years, we worked with Alex to turn RotMG into a full-fledged MMO with more meaningful cooperation, a trading system, guilds, a compelling advancement system and community full of passionate players. We measured fun, retention and monetization and steadily increased all of them. At this point, millions of people have played a game that at first glance appears to be a niche hobby project.

We are particularly proud of how monetization turned out in RotMG. The game is completely free-to-play, but it is not a pay-to-win game. Skill matters — much more so than in many other games — and the items we offer for sale for hard currency never imbalance the game. In fact, some purchases, such as dungeon keys, are highly social purchases that can benefit free players as much as they do the original buyer. This game is proof that a game can be profitable without abusing its players.

If you are interested in learning more about how RotMG evolved, we gave a lecture at GDC that you can watch for free at: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1015659/Realm-of-the-Counter-Intuitive

We wish the best of luck to Kabam as it proceeds to make the most of a very special game. And to the RotMG community: we want you to know how grateful we are for the years of support and encouragement you gave us. We appreciate how hard you pushed us to be better at our craft, and how warmly and generously you treated us when we weren’t screwing things up. ;-) We wish we could have continued to grow RotMG alongside you, but we know we’re leaving you in good hands. In the meantime, we’re going to keep cranking away on a couple of new online games that we’ve been quietly developing for the past year or so. We can’t wait to share them with you!

-Dave & Danc

613 Responses to Goodbye RotMG

  1. The Mad God Oryx

    NOOooo…!!! THIS CAN NOT BEEeeee….!!!

  2. /a tear appears in Cherp’s eye

  3. A rotmg player

    Please! We will miss you, I personally think you guys were the best devs, please don’t leave! :(

  4. NOOoooO! I can’t stand thiss.. Dooon’t goooo. T_T. You can’t leave us with Kabam, they’re evil! D: They won’t treat us as you guys did. I miss you guys.

  5. Baaa… :_C

  6. *Ryton Is Now Depressed.

    u_u
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  7. I heard Kabam actually does BAD things to players such as shutdown servers! (If u know Final Eden you will know what i am talking about) Oh well good luck in the future :)

  8. Aww. Good luck…

  9. ORXY THE MAD GOD 2

    NOOOOO. THIS SHALL NOT BE SAVE MY REALM ROTMG IS DOOMED

  10. lol look at build 9 now and see what they did to your game

  11. Do you know what they’ve done to the game? Any thoughts on Build 9?

    From this article (http://www.pcworld.com/article/251294/gdc_realm_of_the_mad_god_developers_talk_success_amidst_change.html) : “Tinkering with a game’s mechanics is always challenging, but the problem is magnified with active, massively multiplayer games. When you drastically change a complex game system, you’re likely to break as many things as you fix. Edery notes that they had “totally screwed up the balance of the game” with many of their initial changes. The game’s forum users were livid. But since the developers were iterating so quickly, they were able to repair much of the damage, tweaking mechanics and character behaviors until they found a veritable sweet spot. And it paid off – that one-day retention metric climbed to 37.6%, which means many more players sticking with the experience.”

    But see, you guys were able to fix it and you HAD found the sweet spot. I’ve only been playing ROTMG a few months, which means I started after Kabam had already taken over, but I’ve learned so much about game development and monetization by reading your blog and the various articles about ROTMG’s development. I don’t know if you’re prevented from speaking about Build 9 because it’s been sold, but if you can offer a few opinions, I’m sure the forum users would all be very interested to get your take. Perhaps everyone is overreacting again, but it is true that many of the legendary/big names have quit, and it is considerably harder for a new or middling-new player now to learn their way through the game. Plus, the new imbalances regarding the shortage of attack/defense potions could’ve been anticipated by anyone who took five minutes to think about it.

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