there is a major event rocking our world here at Cliffhanger Games and it also affects Shadowrun Online. As promised, we want to remain transparent and open about what happens inside the project, so here is the rundown on things.
The good news is: We have been able to procure an investor for our company. Not a big one, mind you, but it allows us all not to starve to death while developing games. The money will enable us to develop a better Shadowrun Online while remaining independent on content decisions. As you may remember, we have put our own money – and of course the Kickstarter budget we received through your generous support – into SRO already. We’re also facing the tough job of creating a MMO-like game across platforms, which means a lot of the money has gone and will continue to go into this technology.
We remain dedicated and focused on providing the best possible game with our limited means and we want to put even more of our money into it so we can get it done in the way we envision, based on our ideas and your feedback. We still have to make ends meet and won’t be able to put in every feature we (and our friends in the forum) hoped for; if you compare budgets with similar projects, it is a massive challenge to make SRO the game we want it to be with the resources we have available and we promise that we’ll do our best.
One trick we used to overcome that challenge was developing a technology which can be shared with several of our games so we could spread the cost for this part of development across more than one budget. The fruits of this will first be seen with our upcoming ÆRENA game – a hero based, tactical arena combat game set in an Ætherpunk world.
ÆRENA shares a lot of technical backend features with SRO and is developed by our second team at Cliffhanger (we mentioned it earlier when it was still a side project). Don’t worry though, only some of the basic and underlying functions will be transferred from ÆRENA to Shadowrun Online. The gameplay will be quite different and the setting will be typical Shadowrun.
The original plan was to release a beta for SRO about three months after ÆRENA. However, now we have the opportunity to get more realized. We can afford to put in more work, hire some new people and also transfer some people from the ÆRENA team to help with Shadowrun Online which is great! But, as it usually is, there is some bad news alongside the good: It will delay the SRO beta release until end of Q1 next year. We will do our best to get as many features into the game and enable you playing an earlier version sooner than that, but we will definitely not be ready this year.
We understand that delaying SRO impacts every single one of you and we apologize for that, but it really is a decision for the good of the project. The fact that we have sold a part of our company to an investor so we can make a better game shows our dedication to SRO and the Shadowrun Universe. We hope to have your continued trust in us to do what is right and best for all of us – to create great player experiences.
Now, we know some of you have been waiting for a long time and we cannot do anything but ask for your patience and forgiveness. Weighing all our options, we believe that this is really the best course for the game. In the meantime, we will invite you to have a peek at ÆRENA in a few weeks so you can pass the time until SRO with a solid tactical turn based game and we would love to hear your feedback on it!
As always, BIG Thank You to our fans and supporters – to all of you!
On another note: Shadowrun Online participates in an Austrian Content Award Survey based on public voting. Everyone willing to register on the site can take part (as the site is in German only, please click here for a guide on how to sign up). We would appreciate your vote and continued support by spreading the word – every little helps. Click here to vote: http://www.contentaward.at/voten/917
Thank you all! Stay tuned for more! :)