It’s time for a long overdue update on our Jagged Alliance Online.
As many of you know, JAO was a “work for hire” product for a very long time and developed by us under the direction of a publisher. The initial concept we had in mind had to be changed and adjusted to meet our contract’s goals in time and budget, which essentially meant that we had to make compromises and dismiss some of our original ideas. The results weren’t always perfect. From skills and grenades to a lot of things that fans wished for in the game, Jagged Alliance Online has its limits.
However, we kept trying to improve the game on our own, took over the operations and put in a great deal of money and manpower - way beyond what is “safe” for us as a small independent company. We didn’t give up on JAO and wanted to deliver the best product we could under the circumstances. And we simply didn’t want to disappoint you guys. I think we managed a lot of changes and improvements (beginning with massively slashing prices, changing the business model and continuing to produce content to reworking the entire combat balancing). The result is the game you play today – and we know there is a lot of room for improvement.
Now, the other side of the convoluted history of JAO is the fact, that several parties participate in any revenue generated by the product. From the licensor to the publisher to the platform, everyone takes a cut out of every dollar we make. For us this means we see about 25 cents from that dollar reaches us, but we have to carry 100% of the cost of operating it. We have poured more money into the game than we can afford and it has now come to a point where it is clear that continuing to put more work into JAO is not going to be financially viable for us and in fact threatens our livelihood as a small indy developer. It was a really tough decision for us, but, now that the merge of our servers is done, we decided to concentrate on future endeavours.
JAO will remain online via Kongregate, Steam and Gamigo and we will continue to operate the game of course, investigate and fix major bugs (if they occur) and provide customer support, but there won’t be a team here dedicated to bringing in any major new features or content. But this does not mean, JAO won’t be kept alive! Our team continues to be SO dedicated to the game and its great community that our lead coder and some of the JAO team decided to spend their free time to personally take on the task of continuously improving the game. And knowing them, they will be able to do magic with it! As always, we will remain an active and responsive voice in the community, but please keep in mind that most of the actual changes will be done by a few guys in their spare time over here. The following 3 points are on the list for future updates:
• Music On / Off button – long demanded options for controlling the sound
• More Hotkeys
• Weapon range indicator on the cursor; keep an eye on the forums for this one!
Many of you have supported us a long way and we want to thank each and every one of you. Without you, the decision would not have been as hard as it was and we would long since have given up trying.
Thank you all for the wild and wonderful ride that is Jagged Alliance Online and we hope to see you all in our future titles, as well.
Your JAO Team