Although similar in name, Grimoire: Manastorm has nothing to do with the cRPG that is set to launch on August 1st. It is an indie FPS/MOBA hybrid in which players choose one of six classes of wizard and do battle in an attempt to take control of various capture points. Unlike many other MOBAs, Free-For-All Deathmatch and single-player Survival modes are also available.
On July 18th, after nearly two and a half years on Steam Early Access, the game went free-to-play. The free-to-play business model closely mimics that of other MOBAs, with a rotation of free classes and the ability to unlock new classes using points that are earned in muiltiplayer games. Those who owned the game previously would automatically be given all classes for free.
The announcement was accompanied by the following, fairly dire, notice.
“While development will continue no matter what happens, the scale and pace is entirely dependent on drastically increasing our revenue, so if you want to see the game really take off please consider purchasing a class.”
Yesterday, 10 days after the free-to-play launch, Omniconnection owner and Lead Developer Brent Caulfield took to the Steam Community to discuss the state of the game. According to the announcement, the move to free-to-play brought in a total of 7000 new downloads and enough revenue to cover “basic maintenance costs.” However, it is also noted that “revenue has been well below what was expected.”
Caulfield explains the situation in further detail as follows.
“Our marketing efforts have not met our goals and although the sales conversion rate is close to where it needs to be the total number of new players is simply too low to pay anything but server bills.”
As a result, Grimoire: Manastorm will launch at the end October with a significant number of planned features cut from it. At present, the team only has enough funding for “one month of full-time contracted programming work” and will no longer be able to add features such as “new movement/utility spells,” a spectator mode, and new classes. You can find the full list of what will make it into version 1.0 here.
In an attempt to give new players and longtime players alike new ways to support the game, Omniconnection has set up a merch store. Furthermore, in the announcement, Caulfield urged players to buy classes or support the company on Patreon, as securing more funding is the only way that the team will be able to continue to add new features. He ends the announcement by stating that “no matter what happens [Omniconnection] will release a fun game that most FPS players can enjoy.”
Those who are interested in trying the game out for themselves can download it via the Steam store page.