Once upon a time, there was a massive multiplayer super heroic game that was a beloved home to thousands of fans. It had an intensely dedicated community, and when the publisher announced it was closing the game after eight years, a huge campaign was launched to save it. Sadly, the campaign was not successful, and the lights went off in the City on November 30, 2012.
On January 3rd, 2013, a group of former players announced the creation of Missing Worlds Media, a new studio made up of game designers, writers, programmers, artists, business people, legal minds, PR teams and accountants looking to create a new home for a community left adrift: a brand new and vastly improved modern MMO, full of superheroes, vigilantes, rogues and villains, to replace what the community felt was taken too soon from them.
The team are all working as currently unpaid volunteers on the project -- often alongside full-time jobs-- so on October 2nd, we launched our Kickstarter to raise $320,000 to pay for essential tools and servers to help make our vision a reality.
The community hit the target amount just five days later as word spread about the project on social media outlets including Twitter, Facebook, G+, and Reddit, and on game, comic book and superhero forums, all so quickly that the PR team didn’t get the chance to implement all of the plans we thought we’d need to keep the community excited about the project.
Over 1,000 articles about City of Titans were published by the gaming media throughout the Kickstarter campaign, all shared, tweeted, retweeted and passed around to help spread word of the project.
With the help of a dedicated fanbase and an active community, the Kickstarter reached its goal within five days of launch, rocketed through stretch goals and finally closed 33 days later, with a grand total of $678,189.
But as well as a successful fundraiser, it served as a reminder to the gaming industry that their customers are not just a subscriber base. That we’re real people: people they’ve encouraged to spend time in their game, urged to spend more money, to pour time and money into something that can vanish without reason, warning, or explanation at any time.
City of Titans isn’t just another game. We want to show the gaming industry that you can operate ethically and responsibly -- that subscribers aren’t just a revenue stream. That the worlds that these companies build are real, and important. One might say that they are ideas, and that ideas are bulletproof. One of our goals is to make City of Titans truly persistent; able to survive the demise of Missing Worlds Media itself. We want our gift to the community to be just that; a gift that to an extent we cannot take back.
Without the burdens of a brick and mortar studio or separate corporate overseer, we are currently a truly global project and in many ways a pure creation of the internet community itself. And with your help, we may be only the first of our kind: a truly functional and distributed company, made of, by, and for the fandom. There is a new city on the horizon and we hope to see you there.