A reflection letter from John (Swineboss)
Hello everyone! It has been awhile!
Quite a lot of things have happened, so today I wanted to let all of you guys know what has been happening.
As many of you know, our update activities on Mirablade have slowed down greatly. Ever since our second 9gag ad, the player base has been dropping. We’ve hoped that by introducing a new kind of event > Father Conrad and his apostles would be enough to regain player’s interest without us spending more money on ads, and it hasn’t worked.
During this whole time, we’ve been in close contact with several investors. Aside from pitching our models, we’ve also reported the problem about a dwindling player base (in retrospect, it was probably not a good idea). The general response we got was that for any online mobile game to sustain itself, the company must CONSISTENTLY pump a large amount of money into advertisement without stop. As a mobile gamer myself, I have definitely seen Final Fantasy Brave Exvius ads all over 9gag and several other places despite the game being released almost 2 years ago now (Still a great game btw). After some thinking internally, we’ve came to the general consensus that while we (a group of 3) are SKILLED ENOUGH to make an online mobile game, we are woefully UNDERPREPARED to maintain it, both content wise and monetary wise.
One of the potential investor and mentor we’ve came in contact with did offer a solution though. He was going to connect us with multiple large game companies in San Francisco and China for support. He even suggested us to prepare launch of Mirablade to China and Asia (We’ve launched everywhere else but Asia). The trade off, however, is to have us start operating as business people, you know, true Entrepreneurs: those who focus on pitching ideas rather than actually working on the game. In fact, he even told us that “Skills are not as important. With money, you can hire the best people with the technical skills to do what you want. You just need the idea.”
Unfortunately, I agree.
That is why we will not be doing that. Mirablade was our hopes and dreams. It was a game we planned for 3 years and worked on for another 2 years. The gaming industry is currently under a consumer revolution and we wanted Mirablade to be THAT mobile game that doesn’t have any predatory monetization model, and THAT mobile game that constantly talks to players. We’ve realized that while players have been getting the short end of the stick, thus justifying the revolution of revolting against big consumers, it just makes sense why free mobile games have to be predatory. We tried to hold the morale high ground, and it backfired monetary wise.
So we have 2 options: keep working on Mirablade and slowly transition it into a P2W mobile game and start the TRUE Entrepreneur route, or start looking elsewhere.
We’ve decided to follow Eric Barone’s (Stardew Valley’s creator) route. Our main team, Dhruv, Matt, and I, started Dot Dream because it is our passion. We love making games and we love seeing our ideas come to life after tons of hard work. Maybe it is our naivety or our “privilege”, but we want to stick to that route…just a bit more. We’ve learned from Mirablade that we can make great games (Being ranked amount the top 50 in 20+ big countries is a big deal for us) and we’ve also learned what kind of games we can manage. Like Mr. Barone, we want to indulge in our passion and make a game we are the most proud of without giving up our autonomy…at least not yet. Maybe it will work out economically too if players sense our passion.
We have begun the new project already. It is the most ambitious project we have ever done artistic, programming, and music wise (even though I’m not an artist. hue.)
I want to thank all the tens of thousands of Mirablade players for your support. We will leave the game online, and probably create some updates here and there! We are extremely grateful for all of your time and passion. You guys are the best and you guys sustain us. If Mirablade does, by chance, return to the thousands in Daily Active user, we will hop back enthusiastically haha.
We will start posting about what we are working on once we’ve reached a good point! FYI, I realized I can draw! (Even though I’m not an artist). I’ve blabbed on long enough, we will talk soon. <3