Pokemon-like P2E MMORPG Untamed Isles canceled

The development of Untamed Isles, a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game with play-to-earn mechanics, has been suspended indefinitely after investors bolted out of the project following the cryptocurrency market crash.

As a result, Phat Loot Studios, Untamed Isles developer, were left only with the money from the game’s Kickstarter backers — which the studio also invested into cryptocurrencies, leaving it “heavily exposed” and effectively out of funds to continue development, much to the chagrin of those who backed the project.

Untamed Isles was first announced on Kickstarter last August. Its supposed gameplay was inspired by Pokemon. However, unlike Pokemon, the game doesn’t have a specific type of monster to catch. Instead, it would allow players to create their own unique monsters with various body parts and personalities.

According to Phat Loot Studios, the game is “game-first, crypto-second” and doesn’t require players to join the blockchain community. The game’s play-to-earn mechanics, buried in the middle of the Kickstarter page description, said that the game would allow players to tokenize various items and monsters and sell them on an online marketplace.

Backers demand refund

Over 3,000 backers pledged up to $527,342 to help the project. After the unfortunate announcement from the studio, Untamed Isles’ backers have been using social media and the game’s Kickstarter page to criticize the company and demand a refund.

“I doubt I’d get it, but I’d like a refund,” a Superbacker commented on the Kickstarter post that announced the cancelation of the game. Another backer wrote, “Refund thanks. My pledge was for the game not for you to invest in crypto to get more funds/profits. How can you go from ready to launch this year to having to stop production?”

Untamed Isles’ backers were previously promised they would get their full refund if the game didn’t launch. However, the company now said that due to its current financial situation, it seems unlikely that this will happen. However, the company has confirmed that all Steam pre-orders will be refunded.

According to Justin Grant, CEO of Phat Loot Studios, the studio’s founders and investors are now exploring various options to ensure that Untamed Isles, which was initially scheduled to launch on October 6, can be completed and released “when the market has improved”.

‘Too short of a runway’

Grant wrote in the announcement: “Since we started the journey in 2020, the economic landscape has changed dramatically both generally and specifically for cryptocurrency, and we are not confident in the current market. We ran out of financial resources and we can’t carry on the development at this moment,”

“We leaned into the crypto market and expanded rapidly off the back of the positive interest. When the crash came, we ended up heavily exposed with too short of a runway. The game remains game-first, crypto-second in design, but crypto funds have become, and remain, essential in getting us to the release,” said the CEO.

Despite all the negative perceptions surrounding blockchain games, Grant said he was unwilling to remove the game’s blockchain elements because it would be unfair to the investors who have already supported the project. Of course, ultimately, it is now unknown whether backers would see the final project at all after the company’s latest announcement.