Hello, our dear Community,
It’s been a while since you received an update from us founders. So, we’d like to take this opportunity to talk about Early Access and the latest developments for Blankhans as a company. This will be a bit to read, so bear with us.
We often get asked about our opinion on the success of Early Access, and it’s a tough one. We planned to release the game that early from the beginning. We never wanted to work behind closed doors and wanted your feedback as soon as possible. In that sense, Early Access has been a success so far. We learned a lot and had a relatively stable launch without significant issues. That’s unusual for a game, especially in such an early stage. But we had some hard learnings.
Like many of you, we were hyped by the enormous attention we received throughout the Alpha earlier this year. We hoped to deliver at a much higher level with Early Access, but we fell short. The numbers are on the same level, and with a bit of distance and analysis, it’s only logical. The majority of players are waiting for the full release, and that is and was to be expected. So, while the numbers are low, everything we have seen and heard since is pointing in exactly this direction. Too many broken promises on Early Access in the past by other games have made players wary of where to participate these days.
We also learned that we did not do a great job explaining the game. Many players expected an MMORPG, not a survival game. Understandably, they were disappointed by the game they played, which led to many bad but well-deserved reviews and disappointment among this group of players.
Not only was Coreborn in progress, but we as Blankhans were as well. There have been several topics that will affect our way forward.
The eight weeks before Early Access were a crunch mode, something we always hoped to minimize. By “minimize,” we mean up to two weeks at most. We failed here due to bad planning and some unforeseeable circumstances. This time took a significant toll on the team and led to a phase after the release where we had to take a breather and release fewer updates.
Some team members suffered from this time more than others due to the big time difference between them and most of the team. They had sacrificed their personal life for the sake of Coreborn and Blankhans for too long.
Finally, due to the hype from the Alpha, we had scaled up the company to the point that the full release was at risk. We therefore had to take some steps to stabilize the studio. But more on that in our learnings.
As you can see, many things have happened and required our attention. We couldn’t update you on all of that early on, as it took us some time and energy to get everything sorted. But from now on, you will be part of the journey again. Let’s start with what we have learned and what’s most important for you.
On August 31st, the last possible day, we received news that we would receive governmental funding for the Liquid Meadows Update. We immediately started planning and conceptualizing it. We shared the first update with you in September. This should help us bring Coreborn to full release and ensure we bring further updates to you.
All of these things led to the fact that we had to review our roadmap. The things we had planned and the work on Liquid Meadows had to be put into a new order. But you will hear about this soon!
One factor that influenced this new roadmap was the aforementioned communication failure. In the future, we want to better communicate what type of game Coreborn is. That will hopefully help to create a better survival experience for you, our players, and help others to understand what to expect from the game.
As mentioned, the development of Coreborn was a burden for some parts of Blankhans, especially Hauke. He became the face of Coreborn and Blankhans while heavily involved in development. This was not a healthy environment and something we had to resolve.
Therefore, Hauke’s position in the further development of Coreborn has changed. He will now oversee the work and provide direction. We will also share the responsibilities of representing Coreborn to our community across the company. So, in the future, you will see some new faces sharing insights on Coreborn. Hauke will still do this regularly, so don’t worry.
But most importantly: Coreborn is our top priority, and most of the Blankhans Team will be dedicated to delivering new and improved content for the game. We’ll explain why not all of the team will be working on Coreborn in the next section.
As you have learned, we were too optimistic about Early Access, but we are fortunate, unlike many other studios at the moment. We can react to this situation, and for us, this means that we have to diversify our studio.
We spoke extensively about our way forward, and in the end, after analyzing the market, we agreed that we should start looking into other income opportunities next to Coreborn. Therefore, you will see us talking about new and other games in the future. Separate teams will develop these, and we will hire new staff. Still, the funding will go entirely into the development of Coreborn!
This change allows us to create a healthier work environment. Coreborn development will be centered around the Europe team. This way, we avoid burdening dear colleagues in other regions. At the same time, we can have these colleagues work on these other games.
Why is this important to you? Only in a healthy environment can excellent work be achieved. That’s what we believe, and we want to live up to that belief.
For you, this means that we will share with you more information on these new games as well. It will be up to you whether you are interested or not. But as we already did with Coreborn, you can and will be able to follow our journey on these as well. This will all start on our Discord, which is bound to become the Blankhans Discord. It is already where we spend our working days, and it will be where you will find information about Coreborn, Blankhans, and everything related.
What’s left to be said?
You see, a lot has been going on lately, and it’s been a tough time these past few months. But we want to say thanks to all of you. The support you have given us is incredible. It was a wonderful experience to meet many of you at Gamescom, an experience we want to have again.
Many things have happened, and a lot of sweat and tears went into this process, but we are thankful there is a way forward to go together with you.
Big thanks to all of you, our community, and supporters of Blankhans!
Markus, Hauke, René