Have you ever had the feeling of losing a good friend? Or a feeling of something you enjoyed, that was always there to enjoy, then one day you learn it isnít going to be around anymore in a few days? You know that if it ends up somewhere else, it will still be around, but wonít be the same? Thatís exactly how I feel after reading the recent post on the home page of the free to play MMORPG ďEarth Eternal.Ē
ďDear players of Earth Eternal,
Thereís no way to disguise what Iím about to tell you as good news, so I wonít try. Unfortunately, Sparkplay has hit hard times and is not going to survive. I had to lay off all of our staff except for two people (one of which is me) on Friday, and itís likely that by this time next week neither of us will be with Sparkplay any more either. The simple fact is that weíve run out of money. Iíve been out trying to sell Sparkplay or get further investment for it for the last 2 months without success, and our last hope crumbled this weekend.
What does this mean for Earth Eternal? The answer is that itís hard to tell. Weíre putting it up for auction today and are reasonably confident that someone will buy it and keep it running. There is, however, the chance that nobody will want to take on the cost of running it. If that happens, Earth Eternal will go down when our internet and hosting provider pulls the plug for non-payment. Itís hard to tell when that could happen, but itíll certainly be here at least another week, at minimum.
I know this comes as a crushing blow to many of you, and believe me, I and the rest of the former Sparkplay staff share those feelings, times ten. Some of us have been working on Earth Eternal for over four and a half years and have poured our hearts and souls into it and Sparkplay. We worked our asses off and through the long hours, frustrating bugs, and occasional problems so bad we had to laugh, we became a very tight team as well as good friends. It is incredibly disappointing to everyone that itís come to this.
Iím sorry. Iíve failed you despite my best efforts. Iíve never worked harder in my life, but it wasnít enough. Things that we planned on happening didnít, and things we didnít plan on happening did. I donít want to go into a lot of detail and I donít want to try to shift responsibility to anyone but myself. Thereís really nothing I can say other than I am very very sorry to have let you down.
Iíve turned off the ability to buy credits now or earn them via offers/surveys. Iím also going to set all non-permanent items in the credit shop to cost nothing so that everyone can have some fun, though wonít be doing that for a few hours.
I will keep you updated as to what is going to happen with Earth Eternal, but in all likelihood we wonít know until late on Friday whether someone is going to buy EE and keep it running or not. Letís hope for the best!
Until then, enjoy yourselves and help yourselves to the forthcoming free credit shop items.
Matt Mihaly, CEO (not for much longer) Sparkplay MediaĒ
For the people who didnít know, Earth Eternal was a fully 3d mmorpg that could be played by client or in browser. The game featured 22 player races, none of which were human, elf, dwarf or orc. It had a lore back-story that was available in pdf format, and it was over 120 pages in length. The game had 4 classes, with a second tier of skills for each that all characters could learn. A couple unique features that were in the game was the armor re-fashioner, where you could keep your armorís appearance, but get the stats of later armor sets, and the groves, player homes that were instances that could be sculpted by the player, so someone could have a waterfall in a forest clearing with a small building on it. The feature will never see the light of day though, since it wasnít completed before this awful news.
Iíve been with EE since closed beta, Iíve got the gear from the events they held during that time. So seeing this game go is painful, but I am sure the poor folks at the now dying Sparkplay are even more so sad. After all, they spent 4 1/2 years developing this game, it had tons of potential, and now all of that is for naught. I know this is the the fate of many games, but this one really had potential, and it showed. What other game do you know that has a broken moon, with all the pieces in rings surrounding it?
To the folks of former Sparkplay Media, thank you for the experience I was given on this game. Hold your heads high, and donít look at this as a failure, look at it as a learning experience, and something to be very proud of. Despite the end of the project, this game made a name for itself, it has ground breaking technology for an mmo in it (browser play for a full 3d mmo), unconventional races, and a fascinating lore. You people have earned my respect in every way possible, and I hope your lives stay bright.