2018-08-27 MMORPG-Gamescom 2018 Interview: Responding to Criticism

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Volker Boenigk (My.com), Steven Sharif and Jeffrey Bard.[1]

Ashes of Creation is an ambitious dream. It calls back to many of the classic MMO principles, such as truly massively multiplayer experiences and a world that can be shaped by the players. Sensing these were being under-served in more recent titles, serial entrepreneur Steven Sharif decided to put his money where his mouth is and invested his own millions into founding Intrepid Studios. Today, with the experience of Alpha Zero behind them and Alpha Phase 1 coming up next month, that dream is starting to become reality.

It’s also a passion project that’s attracted a fair amount of criticism. Players have become wary of backing Kickstarter projects that drag on for years or deliver nothing but disappointment. Developers themselves have had doubts about signing on with an unproven firm, especially considering the recent memories surrounding 38 Studios. In full disclosure, I had similar doubts myself and ended up cancelling my pledge before Intrepid’s Kickstarter campaign closed.

But time moves on, and Intrepid’s focus on producing and delivering Ashes of Creation has begun to address those concerns. In a development-focused interview at Gamescom 2018, I asked Sharif (now Creative Director), lead designer Jeffrey Bard, and My.com (Intrepid’s European publishing partner) head of products Volker Boenigk about that initial skepticism, how they’re overcoming it, and what’s planned for the next testing phase.

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