Design Notes

WHAT HAPPENED TO AQ3D, LEGEND OF LORE?

Posted by on 28 comments

AQ3D logo

Most of you guys know me, and most of you know that I try and answer your questions when I am able to. A lot of you have been wondering what happened to our 3D browser game, Adventurequest 3D: Legend of Lore so I'm going to try and explain it. 

First, I think it's important to say that the project has been shelved. This does not mean that we've given up on it but it DOES mean that halted most work on it (pretty much everything, really) several months ago. We have no CURRENT plans to continue developing it but we hope that our situation changes and we will be able to continue working on it at a later time down the road. 

We were a Flash based company. All of our games had been built in Adobe Flash and we were building AQ3D in Unity with plan of delivering the game through the next generation of Flash Players (Kind of like how YouTube plays video files through the Flash Player) After about a year of development on AQ3D, Adobe (the company that puts out Flash and other programs such as Photoshop) announced that it was halting all work on the next generation of Flash to change direction. With Adobe no longer making the next gen of Flash Players, Unity dropped all 3D support for Flash, meaning that we would NOT be able to deliver our game. 

This left us in a REALLY bad spot. We had already spent a year making this game and suddenly, over night, we had lost the ability to deliver the game to our Flash enabled players which, being a Flash game company, meant everyone. 

Making games is expensive. Just the programs alone cost heaps (and you can't use cracked versions for legitimate games), not to mention the skilled developers, the server costs for an MMO, the bandwidth bill for (hopefully) hundreds of thousands of users, and advertising costs because you need players to survive and you can't just build a game and HOPE that people show up. That's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how much money it takes to keep a single game going. If we couldn't deliver the game to OUR players then we would have wasted a lot of time and money in a time when we can afford to waste neither.

So, either we keep working on this very expensive 3D project knowing that our market penetration would be pathetic and the game would essentially be dead-on-launch... keep making web-based Flash games in a world where more and more gamers were leaving the web for smartphones and tablets... or shelve the 3D project, continue development on our currently active and profitable web games and set a new course into the Mobile world, where we might be able to build smaller, faster and less expensive projects and maybe even reuse the 10 years of fantastic art that we've gathered over the last decade. The choice was obvious.

Here we are in the present. Adobe has more or less abandoned Flash in favor of HTML5 and Java. Unity continues to produce a very powerful 2D and 3D engine that is getting better release day and MIGHT (one day) once again give AE the power to make a 3D MMO that we can deliver right to your browser. 

Until that day, we will store the work we did somewhere safe and cherish the memories of running with you guys through one of our buggiest and funniest Alphas ever.

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Gjappy
Gjappy: I really hope that chance to start on it again will be really soon!
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kraken
kraken: Me Too!
Cysero
Cysero: Me too too!
dragonmaker
dragonmaker: me too too too
Barrel
Barrel: Me toox4
AgentAAA
AgentAAA: Well, it's nice to see an answer on where AQ3D is at the moment. I hate to see this project get shelved, but the reasoning behind why makes perfect sense.
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AgentAAA
AgentAAA: On this note, I would like to ask, since the way this has been presented seems to imply it: Is AE as a company done with Flash as a whole? Will Mobile be the target from here on with the market? And on that subject... Are there plans to shelve existing artix entertainment flash games in the future?
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Cysero
Cysero: Flash is still a powerful design tool for the web and as a deliver method it's not going anywhere for a while but Adobe's choice to stop developing for it means that it is eventually a dead end. We will keep making games that you can play on the web bu we're shifting to a Unity house so that the mobile games that we develop can be easily ported to the web. Can't do that with Flash.
Shumylys
Shumylys: I agree with all you stated here, but why not give a try to client based game?
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Shumylys
Shumylys: I tryed the alfa phase of it and was really cool, but still was draining my internet conection and wasn't stable at all (sure it was alfa... so much work to do and big huge bugs around), just for once i think would be nice to give it a try to client based game, i love AQW and certanly spend so much money in it and i would really love something more, games like WoW and Allods, Linage 2 and some others have proben client based games worth it, why not to try it? I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE AMAZING AQW ARMOURS ON A CLIENT BASED 3D GAME YAY :3 just my humble and careless opinion (and request?) CYSERO REPLY! (or ARTIX :) )
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Cysero
Cysero: A client based game would be entirely possible but pretty far out of our scope right now. We have spent 10 years building a community of people who play web games for one reason or another (usual because they played at school, the Library, Internet Cafes or their parents didn't trust any kind of download) It would be a good move to expand into new growth areas (like mobile since mobile gaming) is going through an explosive growth period) but a bad idea to change direction and make a game that most of our existing player base could not play (for the same reasons that they COULD play web games). Plus, the move to mobile means that we can keep making small, relatively fast and inexpensive projects and trying new things while a client based game would be a HUGE commitment in time and resources that we, frankly speaking, don't have. Add to this that we would be competing with other entrenched client based hits like League and Minecraft and it would essentially be committing professional suicide to try to make a client based game right now.
Glerax
Glerax: Where would I be able to play the alpha of this game?
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phlynch
phlynch: If you use java, it will work much better with protect omni.
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gijoe528
gijoe528: Man, this stinks. Well, thanks for letting us alpha test this hopefully to be released game. BATTLE ON!!!!
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JDOG5624
JDOG5624: Maybe I'm a bit late to this topic but Unity is going to officially release Unity 5 soon, which supports browser game play without the need to download a plugin or anything like before. This seems like a great alternative to flash. If you guys at AE haven't heard about this yet, I'd suggest you drop by their official site for more info
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JDOG5624
JDOG5624: Oh and I know just how hard developing a game is, I've also messed around in Unity a bit myself. I have been an AE fan since the first AQ, and I really was pleasantly surprised when I heard that you guys were developing a 3D AQ. Needless to say, I was heartbroken when I heard that development was put on hold. Although I loved other games such as Mech Quest (to which I also want a sequel), In my opinion too many side projects are being focused on instead of your main titles. And I am just one of the many fans who are desperately waiting for AQ3D, so I beg you guys to consider resuming development. Also, if I may be permitted, I have a few ideas of my own to throw at y'all. I'm not going to nag you about graphics or animations much, as they aren't going to be amazing at this stage of development
AlexanderN75
AlexanderN75: When will you launch that game for non-VIP players?
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