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Friday, March 12, 2010

The Passing of Gatheryn, a Steampunk MMORPG


The last airship leaving Gatheryn...

In late 2008, Mindfuse games announced plans for the first Steampunk-specific MMORPG, which was to include a series of mini-games, adventures, social interaction options, and a variety of other unspecified Steampunk activities.  Alas, after the end of their Beta trials (in the fall of 2009), it appears that Gatheryn (and Mindfuse.com) have passed along into the great beyond.



A view of the seaport, near the edge of the Beta map

I admit to being disappointed in seeing its demise, but having played it, can see that it had a number of huge hurdles to overcome.  The main coin to obtain items in Gatheryn were obtained by completing mini-games - which would require a good amount of time to collect even enough to purchase a "Steampunk" hat (sigh).  Seriously, with limitations of the ability to personalize one's avatar after the initial av design, a lack of in-world build options (unlike Second Life), and perhaps the most damning of all, the lack of participants (in spite of extensive media coverage in the MMORPG blogs and magazines), it didn't stand much of a chance against other established Steampunk online communities (again, most notably being SL, but Neo-Steam and a few other sub-communites (e.g. in the now-defunct There.com)).  The last bit of information (via Massively.com) was that the company "ran out of funding", and sounds like it fell victim to difficult economic times.


A docking bay in Gathryn, which is sparsely occupied, as one can see

So, it was a noble effort, but excellent screen captures cannot make up for the shortcomings that plagued Gatheryn.  A visit to the Mindfuze website produces the dreaded "Link is Broken" display, essentially placing a period at the end of the adventure for Gatheryn.

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