Another new MMO doesn't make it out the door, as Earth Eternal, a browser-based free to play MMO involving animals NOT FURRIES SHUT UP YOU, which had been in open beta since last October, sent out a letter no one likes writing.
I had to lay off all of our staff except for two people (one of which is me) on Friday, and it’s likely that by this time next week neither of us will be with Sparkplay any more either. The simple fact is that we’ve run out of money.
Matt Mihaly, Sparkplay's soon-to-be-ex-CEO, went on to say that Earth Eternal itself was up for sale as of right... now.
We’re putting it up for auction today and are reasonably confident that someone will buy it and keep it running. There is, however, the chance that nobody will want to take on the cost of running it. If that happens, Earth Eternal will go down when our internet and hosting provider pulls the plug for non-payment. It’s hard to tell when that could happen, but it’ll certainly be here at least another week, at minimum.
So, yeah, remember how I'm always going on about how MMOs needed to be lean, innovative, and closely targeted to avoid the thundering hooves of the WoW juggernaut? Earth Eternal was pretty much all of the above. How much of their collapse is due to the still-very-much-in-recession-thank-you economy, and how much because online gamers are saying with their dollars, yeah, we actually don't want to play anything that isn't World of Warcraft? Both answers are more than a little troubling.