Announced back in April, former Ultima developers Richard Garriott and Todd Porter launched the DeMeta gaming studio with a focus on creating "the next generation of metaverse game ecosystems." Development of an online title was underway before the official announcement to include NFTs, and today, we finally got a website and name: "Iron and Magic."
Coming after the downfall of Shroud of the Avatar, the former Ultima devs are going in for another go-around but judging from their website, it's clear that Iron and Magic is prioritizing NFTs rather than showing the game itself. After a short scroll down the website homepage, you'll see the store section that shows multiple biomes that players will likely be able to buy in this sandbox title.
But where are the details about the game? There isn't any. There are no in-game features, development plans, a projected release date, or even what the player does in this game. Iron and Magic's official Twitter page does a better job, teasing upcoming biomes, cooking minigames, party finders, and so on, but they're all seemingly in the concept phase.
As for the creators behind the project, MassivelyOP reported Todd Porter and another member of the DeMeta team, Shane Zhu, are from DeHorizon, which has received "multiple rounds of investor funding for attempting to build a metaverse gaming platform." While not following the same genre, Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar was also funded in multiple ways, from donations to being crowdfunded in 2013 through Kickstarter.
In the case of Shroud of the Avatar, it suffered from delays, layoffs, drenched in controversy, and raised eyebrows from backers. The game spiraled when Garriott stepped away from the project as the title was sold to Catnip Games in 2019. And legal action from equity crowdfunding platform SeedInvest targeted the developers after avoiding obligations to its backers and filing annual SEC reports. All of this is to say who knows where Iron and Magic will go in the hands of these developers, especially when its focus is NFT-first and Garriott's spotty history.
About the Author
Anthony Jones is a gaming journalist and late 90s kid in love with retro games and the evolution of modern gaming. He started at Mega Visions as a news reporter covering the latest announcements, rumors, and fan-made projects. FFXIV has his heart in the MMORPGs scene, but he's always excited to analyze and lose hours to ambitious and ambiguous MMOs that gamers follow.
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