Money Blocks: Notch Funding Age Of Wonders III

By Jim Rossignol on February 13th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.


The news funnel at Eurogamer has become all clogged up with the surprise news that Minecraft-enrichened indie dev Notch is the mysterious benefactor behind Age Of Wonders III. Lennart Sas, managing director of developers Triumph (who previously made Overlord) told EG: “We noticed Minecraft’s random title-screen blurb mentioned Age of Wonders, so I thought what the heck and I sent Notch an email.”

This, as it turns out, was a wise move, as Notch is a big fan of the old myth ‘em up. Despite publisher interest, Triumph decided to let Mr Notch put his Minecraft dollars in because he didn’t push for the same harsh terms as a traditional game company: “He’s a fan of the game and didn’t insist on owning it like many of the publishers do these days when they fund development,” explained Sas. The game is now due in the autumn, and it looks pretty good, as you can see from the announcement trailer, below.

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43 Comments »

  1. Jack-Dandy says:

    OOoooohhhh… Daaaaamn. Well, it’s a good use of his money, that’s for sure.

  2. DarkFenix says:

    Fuck yeah. Always liked the AoW series, good to see its revival, it being publisher-free is just the icing on the cake.

  3. Rhuhuhuhu says:

    It’s worth noting that they had to lay off a lot of staff after their failure of Overlord 2. As such, they had to run a lot on interns and outsourcing during a large part of the development. When they received funding for this project, it wasn’t possible for them to just hire new people since they sacked their previous lot with the ‘we can’t pay you argument’.

    How the product will turn out, I can’t tell.

  4. caddyB says:

    Fuck I never realized I’d be helping the gaming community in such a way when I pre-ordered Minecraft when it was on alpha.

  5. Drake Sigar says:

    Really like both the Overlord and the Age of Wonders series. Hopefully without a domineering publisher, they won’t collar me with any DRM. I think Overlords 1 & 2 were totally free of it.

    • caddyB says:

      You can see the GOG logo at the end of the video, good sir.

      • Suits says:

        that’s a digital distributor not publisher

        • caddyB says:

          GOG sells everything DRM-Free does it not?

          Forget activations or malicious DRM – every game on GOG.com is 100% DRM-free

          That means if they are going to sell it there and you buy it there, it’s going to be DRM-Free.

        • wengart says:

          However all of GOGs games are drm free.

        • Liudeius says:

          Are you sure?
          GOG is owned by CD Projekt RED, and they have used it for both their Witcher titles, so perhaps they are moving to be a publisher?
          Though I suppose “publisher” generally suggest they are providing funding as well.

          Speaking of which, why does GOG have a countdown on its front page? “System Found, Loading in 9:00:00.” Am I about to spend a bunch of money?

          • caddyB says:

            System Shock II, no?

          • El_Emmental says:

            The Witcher 1 and The Witcher 2 do not have any DRM when purchased on the GOG.com platform.

            … Bought one of the Witcher game on another platform (like Steam), and now regretting it ?

            Don’t worry, they thought of everything: http://www.gog.com/witcher2/backup

            ^ Here you can get your “backup” gog.com copy, by entering your non-gog.com copy serial key.

            The “backup” copy is the entire game, minus the Steam/whatever DRM.

            TL;DR -> people who bought The Witcher 1 or The Witcher 2 on other platforms than gog.com, get a free, DRM-free, gog.com copy simply by entering their serial key.

            CD Projekt are like that.

  6. Vorphalack says:

    If I had as much money as Notch, this is one of the top 3 personal indulgences i’d use it for, giving the developers all the time in the world to make this installment the best it can be.

    Only i’d have also purchased a few tigers, and made sure the developers understood that if they fuck up even slightly, they will be eaten. With that much at stake you need SOME insurance ¬ ¬

    • caddyB says:

      I used to play AoW hidden from my parents late into the night with the lights and sound off and when I finally went to bed I’d dream of being a Highman Avenger.

      This was the game that made me.

    • Suits says:

      Looks like this was his second choice when the Psychonauts 2 price tag was too hard to swallow

  7. P4p3Rc1iP says:

    Heh, heard about this last week on a Dutch gaming site. Should have maybe shared that news… :P

  8. Soulstrider says:

    Well I never cared about Minecraft or Notch but this was pretty awesome of him.

  9. Jockie says:

    Let’s hope the game is awesome and everyone involved makes buckets of money, including Notch, who clearly has good taste and knows how to spend.

  10. Suits says:

    Thanks for caring for Dutch devs

  11. bitbot says:

    Finally he’s using all those millions for the good of gaming! What a hero.

  12. SkittleDiddler says:

    As a HUGE AoW fan, I take back everything I’ve ever said about Notch and his legion of brown-nosers.

  13. b0rsuk says:

    So if they are no longer terrorized by a publisher, why do they use the bleh 3D graphics ? Because, let’s face it, the graphics *are* average at best. It looks like a generic *RTS* game.

  14. Didden says:

    All I want to say is ‘Yay Yay Yay!’ lol

    Loved the originals, and Elemental never managed to get close to their feel. Good for Triumph.

  15. scorpion_wins says:

    What ho chaps,

    Sorry for my lateness to the party, but have we established that this is indeed turn-based and not as was typed at some point in history, an RTS?

    • Chris D says:

      I believe so. It’s described as turn based in the Eurogamer article and there are visible hexes in the first screenshot, so it seems probable unless one of the factionsturn out to ba a race of giant bees. Also the “RTS” in question was typed by John Walker, who is a fine journalist in many, many respects, just not necessarily my first choice to explain the nuances of strategy gaming.

      • Vorphalack says:

        Considering the first game had Dire Penguins, I wouldn’t lightly dismiss the possibility of a bee based faction…

  16. Bhazor says:

    Oh Notch. One of those rarest things, a nice guy with a disgusting quantity of cash.

  17. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Game funding options, 2013:
    1) Kickstarter
    2) Notch
    3) Indie fund
    .
    .
    .
    .
    ??) traditional publisher

  18. meatbagggggg says:

    I wonder which Dev’s chimney is Santa Notch going to squeeze into next time?

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