A wonderful thing has happened to us at Mage Faire. A number of Glitch refugees have discovered us and are expressing interest in trying us out, even helping us out with alpha testing. Many have sent warm and very touching messages to us. A special Apprecio to JW for starting it all by finding us and telling others. We are grateful and delighted. But we also recognize that this is happening because of something very sad — the closing of Glitch. People outside of the MMO world just don’t understand what the closing of an MMO can mean to its players. If you spend enough time in an MMO that you truly love, then that MMO becomes more than a game. It becomes another home. A place to live, and a place to meet new friends and neighbors. MMOs are an amazing way for fantasy geeks like us to enjoy immersing ourselves in a fantasy world. But unlike fantasy book series or movies that can always be revisited, when an MMO shuts down, it is gone forever. Your home is gone forever.
In real life, losing your home is one of the most stressful and devastating events you can experience. Intellectually we recognize that losing a virtual home does not threaten us physically or financially. But to our hearts the loss is very real. Losing your avatar is like losing a piece of yourself. And losing contact with your MMO friends is every bit as real as the loss of real-world friends. Even non-players have experienced the shutdown of SWG, City of Heroes, Glitch and other MMOs via live feeds and YouTube. Witnessing the last few minutes of an MMO, right before the servers shut down, listening to players say goodbye and thanks to their friends and to the world itself, knowing that players are shedding real tears — feels disturbingly similar to witnessing that Mayan calendar thing made real.
So, why am I telling you what you are probably already well aware of? Because I want you to know that we know. That we realize that many of our future mages will be looking, not just for a new game, but for a new home. That choosing us, or any other MMO, as a new home requires a leap of faith on your part. That with the great power of creating an MMO comes great responsibility.
There are a number of reasons why MMOs shut down. The revenue may be insufficient to support the size of the dev studio and the cost of running their game servers. Investors may become disappointed by the profits from their niche market.
No one can say what the future holds, but we can say this. Mage Faire does not have investors — we are self-funded. This means there is no outsider to force us to pull the plug, or demand that we go after a larger combat MMO market. As indies, we can follow our hearts and pursue our dreams. Mage Faire is the result of doing just that. And when we open it, it’s going to be our new home. We hope that it will become yours as well.