Richard Garriott, better known as Lord British, has been working on his MMO Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues for some time. However, it’s been announced that he has passed the game on to a new studio known as Catnip Games.
Originally announced in 2013 with a Kickstarter, Shroud of the Avatar was pitched as basically being Ultima Online 2 and managed to make $1.9 million from the service. After a lengthy development process, the game launched in March of 2018 to mostly mediocre reviews and went free to play in October 2018. The game was originally developed by Portalarium, but yesterday Executive Producer Starr Long announced that development has been transferred to a new studio named Catnip Games. Lord British had the following to say about it:
We’re immensely grateful to the community who has built this game with us. The community’s support and participation remains strong and growing, and Starr and I plan to continue being involved in the community and within the game.
So… who is Catnip Games? Well, there lies the mystery. All that really seems to be publicly available about the company is that it’s owned by Chris Spears, who was also the CTO of Portalarium and was elected president of the company in 2019. Catnip Games doesn’t appear to have any sort of web presence, and all Chris Spears has is an old twitter account that hasn’t been used since 2017. Chris had the following to say about the acquisition:
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.
Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is currently available as a free to play MMORPG. It originally launched on March 27th, 2018.
How do you feel about this move? Do you think it will matter at all? Does Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues even have any chance to survive? Let us know in the comments below!