Lots of good discussion. I’m sorry, but I don’t have any updates I’m afraid, though for the time being Square Enix continues to cover the costs of running the game (as we have done for some time). Speculation around whether income has been higher than costs for a while now or not is fair, though obviously I can’t really comment in any detailed way.
Ultimately, we have been looking at ways to continue to update the game; just throwing marketing dollars at it isn’t a viable solution though - it’s fair to suggest with no visibility there is unlikely to be many new players, but there’s a lot more to it than that.
Thank you for the reply and information, very appreciated! I don’t want to read too much into things, but the wording “for the time being” does worry me, has me a little scared that looking for ways to continue to update the game might be eliminating that cost after the update so as to focus on content development… if that is the case, while sad I do understand, I just hope we have plenty of time to prepare, and possibly be able to migrate copies of existing worlds as well.
There are many of us here willing and really eager to help. I agree just throwing marketing money at it isn’t a good idea, like mass hitting MC fans and hoping a few stick. But the game does need more exposure, there are many out there who would still love it just as it is – they just don’t know about it! Some of us here are in a position to maybe help on that front, for example if we can get things like promotions on the SE Collective and Boundless twitter to share – a few of us are pretty involved in the NMS community there, which is trending strongly, we can get things there under the noses of that community. Of course we need more than that, but showing excitement and passion, giving us stuff to share, I think could go some way here to building up the base again.
If it comes down to a matter of costs on the servers too, could always try some fundraising as well, I’m willing to help on that front and I know others here are too. I think the public worlds going offline or scattered to private hosts here would kill what is left of the community, if there is a way to keep it going it would be good to have that chance if possible, and letting those of us who can help probably better than say turning to a monthly subscription plan which would lose even more players.
I am thinking back on the opening the game to be updated & developed by the community - also matching the running costs of the servers. It super successful, an agreement could be made with Square Enix? Anything but death is better.
If the servers would be shut down, I wouldn’t play on private servers unless the source code would be accessible, so we can receive further updates and content…
To be honest in its current state, I’m quite happy boundless doesn’t get too much exposure. I know I’m a very small sample size, but I’ve been running around Gellis often for the past couple weeks and I’ve seen quite a few obvious beginner camps. Some of them never went over the “campfire -> crafting table -> beacon” stage. Some went to a simple house and then whoever made them stopped playing. So my conclusion is that the new play experience is very lacking. As we all know the game is also very grindy and while I personally pushed through the grind, I can see that turning off a lot of new players too. Also don’t get me started about the questionable balancing around ridiculous crafting times. When I started playing during the first humble bundle spike, this situation seemed even worse.
What I’m trying to say here is that while we may love the game as it is, I fear it is not yet ready for prime time exposure. Seems to be a rather tough spot to be in… Not enough players to warrant more development time and not enough development time to warrant more exposure. :-/
Totally agreed that improvement to the NPE is an absolute must before any sort of real push should be made, and that the initial efforts to get and bring back players should be on a smaller scale - can’t just dump thousands in all at once, not just for technical reasons, but the economy and all. But it does sound like - and once again, reading in here, but that post worried me - we do need some growth, maybe better monetization, in order to at least stabilize the future here. The wording “a lot more to it than that” on bringing in new players, I’d be interested in elaboration on more of SE’s concerns there.
The first few hours absolutely seem to weed out a lot of players sadly, I’ve worked directly with one I gifted the game to where he encountered a number of problems that would have led to a quit then if he didn’t have help. The barrier for entry and speed of progression at the outset needs a rework. But I don’t have any easy answers on that front. As it is, it is still a great game, but will be a more niche audience - however, any niche can be sizeable. Market is pretty saturated though, any long term plan to really get the game to boom will probably require some innovation in content after the NPE improvements and then some serious marketing genius.
Thank you for taking the time to read through players’ concerns & for making a comment.
As far as updates & events go, 2021 has been quite different, when compared to all previous years. This is a bit alarming, when you are a player that is investing time & money into a game.
Finishing off this year without the big 249/250 update, a 3rd Anniversary event, Halloween & Oortmas would be very disappointing (and the 1st time we haven’t had these). If contractors or outsourcing is needed to get this done, then it should be considered.
Almost every single person I’ve spoken with about Boundless has never seen it or heard about it. When I show them screenshots & videos, they ask what it is and how to get it.
I don’t know what the costs would be, but paying a SFW family-oriented influencer on YT, Tiktok, or Twitch to play the game for a month(or 200 hours) might be more helpful than posting a screenshot on an obscure Instagram account with 4000 followers. I’ve also watched lesser games receive more prominent positioning during steam events, gaming conventions/events, etc. It would be nice to see Boundless included once in awhile. Otherwise, no one sees it.
We have some great content creators, but they aren’t being given keys to hand out & their content isn’t being featured anywhere.
Boundless should be allowed to flourish. It’s as if something is holding it back & we’d like to know what that is.
For any newer players reading this thread, this may be helpful:
I appreciate the input and it’s good to know more eyes are still on the game and the forums than most believe. It is good to see that looking at options for the continuation of updates is still happening, but it is a little disheartening to hear that is an issue. It would seem that Boundless would be low on the proverbial totem pole when it comes to development and I suppose when thinking on it that this makes some sense given the low popularity, sales, and just overall income.
Sadly, all the updates that are coming and that have been said to be coming won’t lend to a better NPE, it won’t extend the game to the extent it would change very much and add a whole lot to the end game and all in all the only true update that I find that would truly make the game more marketable would be the single player experience and while that is more marketable and may make the game more visible I still believe it will ultimately hurt the MMO universe. With that said, being able to create our own MMO universe … even starting over from scratch, would be a positive in my eyes. I’d hate to lose all the hubs and great builds, but being able to have a universe we can control may be a viable solution.
Looking at it financially from a developer and business owner point-of-view it makes zero sense to me to continue development if there aren’t some form of funds coming in and the only true solution to me at this point is either crowdfunding or taking a loss to develop more and then market but that would be a pretty high risk solution.
Im in hopes that Square Enix or anyone involved could see this game and community and all the potential it has and realize that with a bit of development, a bit of funding and a whole lot of marketing could make this game relevant again. But all that is risky… I just hope someone can see that risk as a worth it.
I don’t agree with this. The update includes many features that will help newer players. Things such as being able to use all skills/points on one main character, a boost in the # of paint sprays per craft, a large selection of melee weapons + shields, etc.
Local/Singleplayer modes will appeal to some, but the game shouldn’t do a 180 and put all it’s focus on just that. It will just be an additional way to play the game, as James has always spoken about.
? Players are continually buying Gleam Club, cubits, and rental planets. There are “funds coming in”.
Some funds are coming in, yes. But while the costs of running the game servers are stable and scale up or down with player numbers, the two haven’t been balanced for a long time.
We invested quite a lot upfront into development to get the game to 1.0 release, plus some more into marketing; it’s unlikely we’ll recoup that amount. Right now our focus is on the monthly costs, to see if there’s a way the game can be self-sustaining. However, we don’t own the IP and we don’t have any hand in the development, so there’s really nothing that Square Enix can do (if you assume that just pouring more money in really isn’t a viable option, unfortunately).
So for the game to become self-sustaining, I’d assume we would need to increase the amount of monthly coin from our side right?
I dont know if that’s an answerable question cause I honestly have no idea what I’m talking about to be honest lol
But to be blunt, this game is a one of a kind imo.
I’d be happy to do whatever was necessary including spending coins, to achieve stability so who decides to play can continue playing until our consoles die. I bet theres more that would agree
Sprays won’t be a thing for a new player and most likely the one main character won’t affect a new player either. It is mostly that few weeks of play that a new player needs to get through at least from the 2 new players that I have gifted the game to and had to help them out here and there. It’s things like the beacons and a few others things that were issues, adding swords and shields won’t solve that…
Most of these may not be able to be answered, but Is owning the IP an option? Is there something we as players can do to help with the monthly costs? Wouldn’t pushing out the single-player and allowing the players to create their own version of the MMO universe an option to self-sustaining?
In the absence of a real marketing push to up the player count, one option to consider here: better monetization of those of us who may fall into the Whale category.
The big one that I think could easily work, and wouldn’t be unfair I think if done in the way I suggest here: allow players to sponsor the special exoworld types, T7s and particularly the color cycling ones (and Gleambow ones, once that is ready). This could be priced where you could make a pretty good profit off one and there are at least a few of us who’d be happy to throw some cash at it. At $100 for a 3 to 5 day world, I’d probably do a few a month. Groups could also pool together for them. A win-win if they were only allowed to be public worlds, these planets have things in short supply, and at that price point they wouldn’t I think be spammed to the point of breaking the game economy. But let’s face it - I think most of us would rather the game economy take a dip from an influx of goods than to lose the public servers.
In a bid to help Turbulenz keep developing, we also agreed to forgo any of the income from planet rental, so that money goes straight to them. I have no idea what that brings in each month, but it doesn’t go towards covering server costs.
It’s an interesting idea; on the assumption that any changes would require dev time, I don’t know whether something like this is possible or not. Currently server costs are in the low thousands of dollars per month, so in theory it wouldn’t take a huge amount to make it self-sustaining.
At the moment revenue received from Steam from game sales or in-game items sales comes to us (after tax, Steam cut, etc).
EDIT: We agreed to a provision that after running costs of the game were accounted for each month, the next chunk of income would go to Turbulenz to help cover dev salaries, before we would make any actual inroads into the recoupment of our investment. Unfortunately that’s really been a moot point for a while.