It’s almost been a year already since we launched Mages of Mystralia on Xbox One and Playstation 4. Except for a few patches and public events (Pax, GDC, AMA with Ed Greenwood), we’ve been keeping a low profile. On my part, I feel like I’ve grossly neglected fans and friends alike. I thought that an update on our situation was long overdue, so I decided to write this blog post. I’ll tell you how our year has been at Borealys and what our short and long-term plans are for Mystralia.
About Mages of Mystralia
The video game industry changed considerably between the moment we founded the studio (2014) and the launch of Mages of Mystralia (2017). On Steam only, the number of games published per year went from 1771 to 7672, throwing us into an extremely competitive environment. We were lucky that Mages had a fair media coverage, beginning with a great Kickstarter campaign and a number of prize nominations (including “Grand Prize” at BIC festival and “Public Choice Award” at SXSW). Our user reviews have always hovered around the 90% mark across all platforms. For that we have you to thank for. Thanks!
Above, number of games published on Steam since 2004, according to statista.com
Still, sales of Mages of Mystralia were not high enough to hire and maintain two production teams like we hoped: one for updating Mages and porting to more platforms and one for developing a new instalment or even a new IP (a sci-fi one, we hoped).
For obvious reasons, we sought to increase the profitability of the huge investment we made in Mystralia. We scaled down to one single maintenance team and since January, dedicated our efforts exclusively to porting and localizing Mages for new markets, including Asia. This put us behind on our Kickstarter rewards schedule, but it’s being addressed, now.
As a result, we added Japanese, Hongarian, Polish and Korean as language options for the game. Huge shout out to the players in our community who helped us in translating and testing those versions! You guys rock! Seriously.
We also signed a publishing deal with H2 Interactive for pushing Mages in Korea, Japan and the south-east of Asia.
Lastly, we signed an agreement with Tencent Games, the Chinese behemoth that operates League of Legends through its subsidiary, Riot Games. With their help, we were able to go through the Chinese government approval process and launch in China on the WeGame platform! We’ve been there for two months already, again maintaining a user review average of 90% or so. Our sales in China now represent a large part of our revenues.
I suspected there was potential for us in Asia ever since I went to the BIC festival in Korea. The hype was palpable. Our success there was a turning point for our strategy with Mages.
Our plans for Mages of Mystralia
Some clever players and bloggers noted something new on the Korean website for age ratings: Mages of Mystralia for PS4 and Mages of Mystralia for… Nintendo Switch?! This small detail was enough to warrant a new page on metacritic.com.
So… I might as well say it: yes, we are working on a version of Mages of Mystralia for the Nintendo Switch. The version is progressing well, but we can’t announce a date yet, sorry. Rest assured, we will shout it very loudly over every communication channel once we do have one 😉 .
These port and localization efforts of the last months has rekindled our love and appreciation for the world of Mystralia that we worked so hard to create. Comments from new players all over the world made us realize how under-exposed our game is. We believe more than ever now that Mystralia can remain a decent product for years to come and that there is room for more instalments in the series. So we started working on concepts and prototypes for a new game in that IP. A sequel, kind of, with a whole new kind of magic crafting system.
However, ours is a very unpredictable industry (sometimes even cruel). It’s still too early to tell if we’ll rapidly be making that sequel, or if another project (that sci-fi concept maybe) will begin production first. It mostly depends on the funding options that we’ll be offered in the next months. For now, we got funding for a Mystralia playable prototype/demo. We’ll see where that leads us, but Mystralia remains at the top of our priorities list if we’re given the choice. There’s still much to explore in that game universe. I promise I’ll keep you posted on developments in this matter. Soon!
Thanks for reading this. Thank you for your constant support and kind words. To all our fans: we are grateful! GG!
Pat Mondou, creative director of Mages of Mystralia