It’s a sad day. Today the Deadeye Games team has decided to end the Rulers of the Sea project, and with that, the studio Deadeye Games.
It has been a years-long effort to try and get enough funding for this ambitious project. We have always said we regarded it a fifty/fifty chance of success. For us it is now time to stop the effort and face up to the fact that we will not be the people to achieve it.
We spent many years of work on the project, unpaid, and also funded half of the cost ourselves. For the other half there were supporters that purchased pre-subscription packs and gamer shares. But most important, we received lots of support in contributions and interest from the community. So disappointment will be wide-spread. Know that we share this disappointment with you.
What will happen next?
We have not made any debts and there is some money left (around 4000 euro’s). We will use this money for the legal cost of deconstructing the company and paying the last bills.
There will then be money left. This remaining money we will return to the share certificate holders (gamer shares). The amount they receive will be based on the percentage size of their investment.
None of the remaining money will go to the shareholders or certificate holders from the Deadeye Games Team.
We will inform the share certificate holders separately regarding the details in the coming weeks. We will also inform the nobility pack holders separately in the coming weeks (as not everybody reads the forum or website anymore).
What will happen to the project Rulers of the Sea?
We will dismantle Deadeye Games as a company. The team will part ways. This means work on Rulers of the Sea will stop.
However, the game design (GDD), the concept art, the technical design, the developed content, the website and social media channels, the software, it all still exists.
If there is anybody that wants to have the rights to all the material of the project to try to develop it we are willing to sell it for a symbolic amount. This means we will then transfer all content and possibly the website/domain/social media channels to a new owner at the moment Deadeye Games is dismantled.
If you are interested in owning and continuing the project of Rulers of the Sea, please contact us and we can discuss what that entails. We are not looking to make any profit on this but we do care about an intention of a new owner to continue the work. The rights to the art are also bound to the project.
Retrospective: So where did it go wrong?
This was always a project with risk. A dream of which we knew it was very ambitious. We were always transparent about it and never guaranteed success. It did not go wrong as much as that it was a risky project that ultimately failed to reach enough funding. This happens often with start-ups.
But there is always hindsight and we might have done things differently if we did it again.
To undertake a project this ambitious with a new studio that never released a game before was a risk. We had a great design but lacked the expert developers you need for an MMORPG. Our chosen strategy was to do a proof of concept by advertising the concept and building a community and gather some more funding that way. Our belief was that this would pull in larger investors for the first serious funding. That would get us the money to pay for qualified developers.
Ultimately this did not work. The proof of concept was a success and we gathered 60.000 followers/subscribers and some additional (but modest) funding. But we never found development volunteers with sufficient time available next to their day job and larger investors only wanted to come on board at the proto-type stage. We had no funding to achieve a viable proto-type.
We tried for a long time to find developers for the team or investors for further funding and always there was something that gave cause for optimism. Somebody interesting from the industry that offered help. Some good lead. Some new team member. A possible investor. So we kept going, in the mean time improving the art and design. And maybe, retrospectively, we kept going for too long. None of the hopes panned out.
In the end we did a last investor run, this time with a development partner. Another company that can build the proto-type. This was a great idea and we wish we had come up with this idea before. Maybe this would have worked much better at our first investment run two years earlier. But this time the project is much older, the energy in the community has (understandably) changed, we no longer ride that wave of enthusiasm, and also, the investment climate has now turned against us with the banking crisis, the war, inflation, etc. There was some interest, but nothing panned out.
The steam has simply run out of our volunteer team, this is the time to admit we will not achieve it.
Final words of thanks.
Those that joined the team of Deadeye Games are wonderful people. They all worked on the project in their spare time and joined in the dream. It takes special people to go that far for a dream. Dreams do not always work out but some great friendships and a fantastic learning experience resulted from it. We really need to express our most sincere thanks and gratitude to all that were on the team, in the past and now.
Another great expression of gratitude and respect must go to the other group that joined in the dream and supported it, with mental support, contributions, money, enthusiasm. The community! The community has been great. It was simply humbling to experience this. In the very end, of course, those that remained in the community became increasingly disappointed with the fact that the dream did not pan out. This is completely understandable. But that does not take away anything from the years of contributions and enthusiasm. We owe the community nothing but gratitude. Thank you! You are all great! We are very sorry that the project did not turn out what you hoped for.
We hope you will remain that inspiring person that supports a dream. Because you never know, dreams might come true sometimes.