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Kickstarter game Untamed Isles goes on hiatus after crypto crash

Enough of Untamed Isles is wrapped up in NFTs that developer Phat Loot Games is waiting out the current crypto crash before resuming production on the game.

Justin Carter

August 19, 2022

2 Min Read
Screenshot of the MMORPG Untamed Isles from Phat Loot Games.

Developer Phat Loot Games announced that its monster hunting MMO Untamed Isles has currently paused production. According to CEO Josh Grant, the game's cancellation is due to the recent collapse of the cryptocurrency market, which he admitted the studio "leaned into" after its initial boom. 

Throughout 2022, cryptocurrencies have lost $2 trillion in value after a surge in 2021. Crypto is often unstable as a currency, and it's been very easy for one or more individuals to walk away with millions.

Untamed Isles launched on Kickstarter in 2021, billed as an open-world monster catching MMORPG. The title managed to secure $527,000 in backing, and was scheduled for an October release. 

With the fall of cryptocurrency, continued Grant, Phat Loot has been left "heavily exposed," as much of Untamed Isles' funding was connected to crypto. But while the game's been made "game first," he said the studio will wait out the current crypto turmoil. 

"Until the crypto situation is resolved - and we're confident it will be at some stage - then we have to hibernate development on this project," he wrote. "in current circumstances, it means that we have to take a pause and rethink our approach."

During a recent livestream, Phat Loot explained that a backlash against NFTs from combat designer Wolfe Glick and the a YouTube video from MMOByte both contributed to the game's downfall. Glick admitted that he had to convince the developers to not implement NFTs into the game beyond the optional marketplace. 

"It was all going really really well. Then the crypto crash occurred and we lost that funding very very quickly," said Phat Loot during its stream. Studio investors quickly began to pull out, leaving Phat Loot without much in the way of funding.

Through an FAQ on Untamed Isles' website, Phat Loot admitted that as its cash reserves are empty, it won't be able those who funded the game via Kickstarter or Backerkit. However, pre-order packs will be refunded. 

A recent study by Perforce showed that 49 percent of developers don't have faith in NFTs mattering to games. Several anonymous developers called them a fad at best and at worst, a scam. Events such as these certainly make you understand why developers would see things that way. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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