Jagex Halts Stellar Dawn
Jagex has halted development on the sci-fi MMO Stellar Dawn in order to focus on the upcoming Transformers Universe.
The U.K.-based Jagex is best known as the developer of the free-to-play MMO RuneScape, but that could change if the upcoming Transformers Universe, an MMO based on the movies based on the line of toys, turns into a hit. Not much is known about the game except that it's expected to launch sometime this year, but given the lucrative success of the Michael Bay-directed films of the same name, it's fair to assume that the rights holders don't want development to end up bogged down in long delays. So it is that work on Stellar Dawn has been stopped so the studio can turn its attention to more pressing demands.
"This is not a decision we have taken lightly," Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard told Develop. "The Stellar Dawn team has achieved a great deal developing the game and should rightly be proud of their achievements so far."
It's been a rough ride for Stellar Dawn pretty much from the start. The project was originally born as MechScape all the way back in 2007, but was eventually scrapped, then overhauled and renamed in mid-2010, with a very unspecific [and now very missed] launch window of 2011.
The good news, such as it is, is that all but 12 members of the Stellar Dawn team were "reallocated" to other Jagex studios. "It is very sad to lose any members of the team," Gerhard said. "We will naturally continue to support and help them during this difficult time and wish them every success in the future."
For the moment, the Stellar Dawn website is still up, so you can check out what you'll be missing at stellardawn.com.
I was waiting for this aswell, apparently Jagex were going to try to make an MMO with minimal grind. They have some good people working story/lore in Runescape (too bad it's such a grindfest), was looking forward to see them have a shot at sci-fi.
Well, as long as its not outright cancelled i fail to spot the problem.
Apart from that were probably not going to see this MMO infamous for its extended delays in 2012 or maybe even 2013.
Also while they didnt mention it on the Stellar Dawn forums, its worth a reminder theyre also applying finishing touches to 8Realms at the moment too.
While I'd prefer to see the focus be on an original property, as long as the transformers game isn't actually based on Micheal Bay's Transformers, there's no need to go into morning over Stellar Dawn being postponed.
I thought that MechScape/Stellar Dawn development went back further than 2007, but maybe I just remember wrong. I am really interested in seeing what Jagex can do with an MMO that's not RuneScape since I've already seen so much of that and nothing else they've worked on has been successful.
Though, I do wonder how much they'd be able to differentiate Stellar Dawn from the Transformers MMO. Would they really both feel different enough that it makes sense for them to be working on both at the same time?
Whelp... there goes the only thing Jagex has done that really piqued my interest since grade-school. I suppose there's always the hope that they'll save those resources from this project to come back at a later date, but let's be honest.
This is about as close as them calling it dead as they could get without explicitly saying "It's never going to happen, sorry."
Transformers? Not really my thing. So it's sad to see that something I could have enjoyed is going to be replaced by something I almost definitely won't. That being said, for folks who are actually excited about Transformers Universe, hell...
This is good news for them.
I'll just go back to playing Skyrim while I wait for something like Mass Effect 3 to come along and steal my attention.
The only problem I see with it is the company developing the MMO.
Don't get me wrong, I played RuneScape for years - but it was mostly a time sync because of lack of access to bigger, more immersive MMO's. Jagex has made a considerable ammount of money from RuneScape, but it lacks fulfilling depth. They other games, to my knowledge, are not too deep either.
So those two MMO's they have lined up arent exactly the top of my priority list. Mechspace sounded awesome for its initial release, but in perspective, Jagex has released next to nothing on the project. Concept art is VASTLY different from actual content - any RuneScape fan can tell you how Jagex likes to fool around with that aspect.
As for a Transformers MMO - Jagex has experience with MMO's, I wont doubt that. But they dont have experience in providing good gameplay. I'm of course citing RuneScape on this one - the quests were what had me coming back for years, not the grinding. The grinding eventually got to the point where the quets were not worth it. Given the source material, Jagex can either decide to go in a good route, or a Michael Bay route. Either way, Im skeptical.
Im super excited for the people who have faith in them though, and I really do hope Jagex can pull it off. They are certainly geniuses in building a lore and a likeable world, and I hope one of these projects is a success. Im just doubtful.
Ugh, this is heartbreaking. I have been waiting for this game for years. When it was first cancelled I was crushed, now its put in limbo? Simply devastating for people like me who were waiting for this for a very long time.
It's like hearing that Half-Life 3 will never come out to me. :(