Chronicles of Elyria
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Chronicles of Elyria is a planned massively multiplayer online role-playing game that was in development by Soulbound Studios for Microsoft Windows. The game is described by the developers as utilising a dynamic quest system, and featuring closed economy, finite resource management, need-based NPC's and player-run diplomacy.
|Chronicles of Elyria|
|Genre(s)||Massively multiplayer online role-playing game|
The game was originally marked for an estimated December 2017 release, but this target was not met. In 2020 the game development was placed on an indefinite hiatus, and the studio laid off all of its staff. Several months later CEO Jeromy Walsh announced the project had resumed.
Subsequent to the Kickstarter fundraising multiple webstore special events were conducted, such as the Settlers Of Elyria, and Searing Plague events. By October 2019 the company had raised over $7.7m.
Initial development saw various iterations and milestones declared as completed against a backdrop of needing to refactor the mechanics of alpha versions of the game (e.g VoxElyria, Prelyria). A major setback in development was the dropping of SpatialOS as their backend networking/game hosting software.
Layoffs and hiatusEdit
After being delayed from its tentative December 2019 date, a special virtual land auction event called "Settlers of Elyria" was launched on March 12, 2020. On March 20, Soulbound Studios released a pre-alpha, gray box demo showcasing parkour mechanics. Four days later, Soulbound Studios announced the closure of the studio, complete staff layoffs and the indefinite hiatus of the project. In response to the perceived lack of delivery of a tangible product after years of development and millions of dollars in funding, as well as the close succession of the land auction, demo and abrupt studio closure, hundreds of backers of Chronicles of Elyria began to organize and explore legal avenues to take against Soulbound Studios and Jeromy Walsh. Within days, the office of the attorney general of Washington had received hundreds of filed complaints - among the highest in the state's history. The community around the lawsuit has also shown recent interest in including Xsolla in their lawsuit. This is because XSolla was violating the terms of service to which the backers who purchased through them agreed, by not giving refunds as the merchant.
On April 9, Walsh released a new statement, claiming that his announcement was misinterpreted and that he would be pursuing continuing the project by having former staff members continue their work on a pro bono basis, while he would seek new sources of funding. On June 26, Jeromy Walsh released a post on the official site announcing that the transaction logs of users was now available (they were subsequently disabled when then the site was locked). He also stated that a new series of content will be posted on the site (and other media) "in the coming weeks". However, after this post, there was no announcement or news from Soulbound Studios for over six months, which was met with sharp criticism.
On December 17 of 2020, Soulbound Studios released a video titled "Inside Chronicles of Elyria - Episode 1" that featured Jeromy Walsh explaining the current state and future of the company and the game. The video claimed that an independent auditor verified that the revenue backers gave to the company was "properly spent on game development". It also claimed that much of the content developed during the four years of development was not at a point for public consumption, but that many back end features had progressed. More importantly, he announced that the game is continuing active development.
Class action lawsuitEdit
The lawsuit was filed in the Central District Court of California, seeking damages for alleged breach of contract, violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and unfair competition after an announcement came out that Soulbound Studios was closing, that all the staff had been fired, and that development on the game had been ceased due to lack of funds.
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- Caspian (25 March 2020). "State of Elyria: Into the Abyss". Community. Chronicles of Elyria. Retrieved 2020-04-03.
But to our great sadness.... with the failure of Settlers of Elyria, and five long months of only limited crowdfunding revenue coming in, Soulbound Studios has officially run out of money. Last night I was forced to do something I never thought I'd have to do. I closed the online store, put the SoE map back into read-only mode, and laid off all the employees...
- Snipehunter (31 August 2019). "Settlers of Elyria is Coming!". Community. Chronicles of Elyria. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
- Damgaard, Althea "Briseadh" (November 18, 2018). "Chronicles of Elyria: The Searing Plague and Beyond". Gaiscioch Magazine.
- "Soulbound Studios Needs Around $3 Million More to Finish Chronicles of Elyria". MMOs.com. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- "Chronicles of Elyria has raised $7.7 million from gamers to date". Massively Overpowered. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
- Kaizen. "The Countdown to VoxElyria Begins". Blog. Chronicles of Elyria. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
- Altay, Omer (2018-01-13). "A Big Set Back - Chronicles of Elyria Drops SpatialOS". MMOs.com. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
- Neal, Chris (March 12, 2020). "Chronicles of Elyria kicks off its Settlers of Elyria virtual land auction for a second time". Massively Overpowered. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- Shankar, Poorna (March 23, 2020). "Chronicles of Elyria Pre-Alpha Testing Has Started". MMORPG.com. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- Royce, Bree (April 7, 2020). "Disgruntled Chronicles of Elyria backers seek aid from the Washington attorney general". Massively Overpowered. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- Royce, Bree (April 9, 2020). "Chronicles of Elyria boss says development is still ongoing, still seeking funding". Massively Overpowered. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- Caspian (June 26, 2020). "The Way Forward: Update 1". News. Chronicles of Elyria. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
- "Inside Chronicles of Elyria - Episode 1 - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
- Marasigan, Marc (2021-04-08). "Chronicles Of Elyria Lawsuit Defendants Deciding If They Should Challenge The Complaint". MMOs.com. Retrieved 2021-06-29.
- Was The Game Ever Real ? - 8 Million Dollars Missing - The Chronicles of Elyria (YouTube). KiraTV. 2 Apr 2021.