Shroud Of The Avatar Under New (But Not Really New) Ownership
Shroud of the Avatar is now under new management -- sort of. Austin-based Catnip Games has "acquired the operating assets" of the previous developers, Portalarium Inc., as announced in a forum post today.
Catnip Games is headed by Chris Spears, who served as the CTO of Portalarium for six years, being appointed president earlier this year. Portalarium co-founder Richard Garriott and Executive Producer Starr Long "plan to continue being involved in the community and within the game," according to Garriott. Spears, described by Long as "an all-star A player," said that
"The development team remains with the project, and we plan to continue with the established patterns of regular releases, frequent live broadcasts, community events, release parties, and a development cadence focused on both constantly improving the core game, while also working towards Episode 2."
So what does all this mean for SotA going forward? Likely very little, if the same people are all involved, but it makes you wonder what the point was of the corporate juggling act. Considering some of the other issues Portalarium has had, such as losing its physical offices and its low player count, the answer is probably money-related.
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About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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The game needs a another direction and this may push them forward to a better formation and they may even change the crappy engine.
What happened and what was wrong is they went with the easy option using UNITY.
Now I know people are going to say unity is good a engine yes it is but, it is limited.
For a mmo to work seriously it has to be on an engine that operates mmo's and today that's the Unreal engine and this is were all mmo's unless they make their own engine, should go.
I believe the games flaw is the world field view and other maps they made.
Shroud of avatar should of had an open world for adventure exploration and player clash's as Ultima was really a open world, although Ultima was pixelated, it had a real sense of life and real sense of adventure.
In a nutshell Shroud of the avatar:
Problems are its map based and poorly created loading loading and limited through the UNITY engine walls. And lastly it was made on what seems was a whim and they stayed put with the basics of the idea and did not want nor did they listen to venture further and acquire a better engine.
Richard Garriot should Call upon NCSoft and Re-Open TABULA RASA! this game would certainly work well in today's gaming world with few tweaks of course.