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,