Camelot Unchained is a sequel to Dark Age of Camelot in all but name - and even that's quite close.
It's being made by City State Entertainment and the project is led by Mark Jacobs, one of the founders of Mythic Entertainment and one of the leaders of the Dark Age of Camelot MMO project.
Camelot Unchained features three factions/realms fighting each other: an Arthurian English realm, an Irish Tuatha Dé Danann realm and a Viking Scandinavian realm. That's almost exactly the same as Dark Age of Camelot, which was split into Albion (Arthurian mythology), Hibernia (Irish mythology) and Midgard (Norse mythology).
The similarities between Camelot Unchained and Dark Age of Camelot are striking, then, but Jacobs doesn't consider it a sequel.
"I'd like it to be very clear that we are not making a sequel," Jacobs told Massively. "I won't try to tell DAOC players that our new project will meet all their desires in this regard. I have always valued their trust, so while I want the people who played my past games to look at this one and get excited, I won't go around shouting that it's the 'spiritual successor to the greatest RVR MMO evar!'
"I'd rather simply say that we are working on a great concept for a new RvR-focused MMO that draws on some familiar European myths and legends, then go from there."
There's to be almost no fighting PVE (player versus environment/AI monsters). Every aspect of the game, Jacobs said, will be focused on RVR (realm versus realm) fighting.
"We've lost touch with the portion of the playerbase that wants more challenge in their games," he said, and he wants to bring that back.
Oddly, City State Entertainment is taking to Kickstarter to fund this MMO. It's not clear how much Jacob hopes to raise there, but he said the project will need over $10 million in total - although only half of that to launch.
Is he going to ask for multiple millions from Kickstarter? I worry that he will. I also worry about City State Entertainment only having 13 employees. I worry because I care and so want this to work out.
When/if the game launches, Jacobs is looking at a multi-tiered subscription option and not free-to-play. He acknowledges that this will be a niche MMO and would rather have fewer people paying to play than millions sampling it for free in the hope that a small percentage will buy something.
But why should anyone back Mark Jacobs' vision when his last MMO project, Warhammer Online, flopped?
"Honestly, while WAR wasn't the game it should have been, I try to see it in perspective. It had a three-year development cycle that cost less than most if not all triple-A MMOs from 2004 onward, added a number of new things to the genre and was released in the heart of 'The Great Recession' against a major World of Warcraft expansion pack. Yet it sold a ton of copies, is still running and remains one of the top 10 highest Metacritic-rated MMOs," he said.
"It wasn't the game I thought it would be when I wrote the initial vision document, but when you compare it to some of the real financial and critical disasters in the MMO space, I'm not sure it would even make the top five."
Rumours of WAR costing $100 million were way off. "We weren't even close to reaching that number," he said.
"I've learned a lot from what happened at EA/Mythic and with WAR," he added. "Nobody was more disappointed in WAR than I was. At launch, it had lots of wonderful things in it, but it also had way too many bugs, balance, and levelling issues and, of course, crashes in Tier 4.
"It was my worst nightmare come true, and as I've stated before, I was the only one who believed that was the case before launch (or was willing to stand up and say so). I definitely made some mistakes (crafting system) but frankly, the last three years have shown me how foolish I was to put so much faith into what certain people were telling me about WAR.
"That will not happen again."