State of Elyria: State of the Studio

Hail Elyrians,

With the beginning of a new year, and with our experiences interacting with publishers and investors in 2017, we've been evaluating our funding and staffing needs going forward.

Both we at the studio, and the community at large, have a strong desire to maintain creative control of Chronicles of Elyria, as can be seen from the posts here and here. There's also been discussion during Q&As and on Discord about ways we could attract publishers while still keeping true to our values such as the thread here.

Soulbound Studios is a community-centric development studio. We rely on player feedback to help shape the future of the game, and we've relied on crowdfunding to get us this far. In an effort to make rapid progress on the game we know will redefine the MMORPG genre, we began pitching our game to publishers and investors throughout last year. We knew with the additional funding a publisher could provide, we would be able to get to market quicker than we had previously announced. However, as we reached the end of 2017 it became clear publishers were disinclined to take the risk on an innovative game such as Chronicles of Elyria without changing our intended vision. Some publishers wanted micro-transactions, loot crates, or other features that prioritize revenue over player experience. None of these options are in the best interest of our vision or players.

From the end of 2016 to the end of 2017 we nearly doubled in staff, however that team size was never intended to be sustainable without the long-term aid of a publisher or investor. In their absence, and as a result of our change in focus back to crowdfunding, we adjusted our resources accordingly so as to be sustainable solely through sales from our online store. Unfortunately this meant parting ways with a few of our team members. This was painful for all of us as we had developed a close bond with everyone in the studio, but it was a necessary action to move forward at the velocity and cost we need to succeed.

In regards to studio finances, we are now able to sustain development at our current size without the need for a publisher or investor. We plan on continuing crowdfunding for the foreseeable future so that we can maintain creative control of the game, and ultimately deliver the promise of Chronicles of Elyria.

Pledged to the continued development of the Soulborn Engine and the Chronicles of Elyria,


1/17/2018 1:55:41 AM #1

Keep it up SBS!

1/17/2018 1:55:46 AM #2

Sorry to see some people go, but happy to hear there is a plan in place that lets you develop the game as it was meant to be!

1/17/2018 1:57:52 AM #3

; A; rip soulbound members. We shall remember you always.

(psst, who left? We must mourn them appropriately.)

1/17/2018 1:59:53 AM #4

Posted By NiHZ at 8:57 PM - Tue Jan 16 2018

; A; rip soulbound members. We shall remember you always.

(psst, who left? We must mourn them appropriately.)

I asked, and Vye said they weren't saying, so we have to sleuth it to find out.

1/17/2018 2:01:31 AM #5


1/17/2018 2:03:16 AM #6

Well it's good to hear they have the resources to continue development without investors. There might be that critical mass if they keep up marketing.

I would offer double the reward for referrals.

I know it sounds crazy, but I would take my friend code, and create some PPC with it, and probably bring in 5-10 people a month with a budget of like 50$.

Doing it in Starcitizen, almost gotten a few hundred referrals this way last year. Think about it, 1 person, brings in hundreds... many of us could do this.

1/17/2018 2:03:45 AM #7

Thank you Soulbound team for always working so hard to keep everything pure to vision and true to players not cash. Thank you to both sides of the split for all your hard work we the players really appreciate all of your time, talent and energy.

1/17/2018 2:03:53 AM #8

I can't even like this post, this is unfortunate and sad. Arguably bitter sweet at the best of times.

1/17/2018 2:04:59 AM #9

Thank you for not caving into the Micro Transaction publishers. They are the bane of the Gaming industry, at least from the perspective of us gamers


1/17/2018 2:06:40 AM #10

Per ardua ad gloriam. Keep on the good fight Soulbound team!

"The bird of Hermes is my name, eating my wings to make me tame..."

1/17/2018 2:09:51 AM #11

Hm...not the good news I expected, but still good to hear that you do not bend under demands of publishers. Sad to see some people leave, hope it won't hinder game progress too much

1/17/2018 2:16:09 AM #12

I'm sorry but publishers are just suits out for profit. They aren't even gamers. It's a REALLY good thing SBS decided against them and I for one am glad. If they had to thin the herd, it was for the well-being of the game as a whole. Good choices Caspian! Onward and upward!


1/17/2018 2:20:27 AM #13

In regards to risks this is unfortunate, though if the game becomes successful it'll be very beneficial. I can only wish you the best of luck, and any condolences to those who have to go. Hopefully you will not suffer any significant and unnecessary delays going forward.

I also hope you took to heart some of the ideas about alternative funding methods suggested throughout those treads, the more hardcore community have clearly shown they are willing to support the game beyond just the sparks as long as it doesn't devolve into micro-transactions. Like how I suggested crowdfunded expansions (on-site, not kickstarter), which means we would get an expansion model that do not burden the casual players less willing to invest.

Either way, again, best wishes going forward.

1/17/2018 2:35:52 AM #14

This is a pretty large blow. Considering the number of games that have fallen into development hell due to lack of resources. I wonder if they were making these suggestions because they don't see this game as being sustainable without other ways to make money off of it. Say what you will but publishers don't exist because they aren't successful. They know their shit when it comes to profitability. But good on you for sticking to your guns, time will tell if compromising was the better way to go.

1/17/2018 2:40:06 AM #15

This is both tremendously sad/ bad news in relation to seeing an SBS employee go. But very good news to see you sticking it out and not adding loot crates, etc, etc.

Why not add development subscriptions for an $X per month? Get EP and maybe some low end carrots here and there.