Post-Post Apocalyptic: Earthrise

Edit – comments closed on this because it’s attracting an insane amount of spam, for some reason. If anyone desperately wants to add a comment to this story, just lemme know and I’ll open ‘er up again.

All eyes are on Conan and Warhammer, MMO-wise, at the moment. While both are undeniably exciting, they’re still clinging onto the same fantasy lifeboat as their established competition. Rippling muscles, mystic blades and snickering goblins – pah, I say. Pah. With Tabula Rasa proving that you can make a classic-model MMO that’s built around shooting instead of stabbing, there’s clearly room for a few more science-fictional efforts.

The announcement of Earthrise earlier this week is surely good news for laserbrains, then.

It’s the first game from Bulgarian developer Masthead Studios, who I pray one day merge with Flagship Studios in order that we might then have The Most Nautically-Named MMO Developer In The World. Until that happens, Masthead are at least Bulgaria’s largest game development company, they claim.

Earthrise apparently looks like this:

And apparently it’s going to be awesome because:

“This will change the way we play sci-fi MMOs. Our team is creating a game that will introduce the next innovative approach to the genre, and we feel to MMOs themselves. We based the game in a vision of society’s future, where the technology and economics of today have ensured an unavoidable cataclysm. Earthrise won’t be just an MMO, but an experience in a new, never-before-imagined post-apocalyptic world.”
-Atanas Atanasov, CEO of Mast-head Studios

Well, we’ll have to take his word for it on that. Confident chap, innee? The screenshots carry a faint tang of bullshot, but it’s a year off yet, so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. The setting is post-apocalyptic, which always makes me prick up my sticky-outy ears, but it’s far-future post-apoc rather than the Mad Maxian or steampunk variety. This means power-armour, big guns and, enticingly, big robot exo-skeletons. And something to do with cloning, which is always a convenient excuse for dealing with that tricky death problem in MMOs.

There aren’t many details on how the game will play, though there are vague promises of skill-based advancement, no fixed classes, a player-driven economy and a PvP emphasis that might suggest Masthead have been playing Eve. There’ll also be vehicles and robo-pets. In fact, it’s kind of an MMO player wish-list, which immediately makes me worry it’s far too ambitious, and that there’s no way it can possibly make its 2009 release date and keep all those promises.

I’m certainly curious, though. A bold MMO based on a fresh IP and from a new developer is cause for cautious celebration. The newly-launched website does a remarkable job of scattering many gobbets of information across its various ornate pages while failing to give a concrete sense of what the game will actually be like, but it’s well worth checking out to help form an early opinion about this young upstart.


  1. Meat Circus says:

    No fixed classes? Yay! Skills based? Yay! No level treadmill? Yay! Player-based economy? Yay! Open PVP? Yay!

    That’s why I’m still in love with Eve. This thing, though. 2009? No chance.

  2. Aimless says:

    Well, it already sounds better than Tabula Rasa to me. Although surely no one really expects all those features to be in for launch? Look how long it’s taken Blizzard to finally introduce a single Hero Class, and they’re riding the most successful mumorpuger ever.

  3. Zeno, Internetographer says:

    Conan at least goes the low fantasy route… :(

    But yay, new IP.

  4. Chris R says:

    Hehe Mumorpuger… love that word.

  5. Stew says:

    Damnit, why can’t we have something new? EVE is all well and good, assuming you suck the dick of free-market capitalism, but where’s the socialist equivalent? Something that nobody’s done before.

  6. Zeno, Internetographer says:

    Because even in a fantasy world, socialism wouldn’t work.

  7. malkav11 says:

    Post-apocalyptic? YAY! Open-PvP? Oh. Nevermind.

  8. Chris R says:

    Haha Zeno, ZING! You’re absolutely right. Silly Socialists.

  9. Dracko says:

    Yeah, my idea of fun, profitable times isn’t being shot behind bicycle sheds.

  10. Garth says:

    I’ve wanted an FPS-MMO for so damn long. I’m not sure who decided that a good story and character customization somehow requires both a Fantasy environment and 3rd Person View.

    I hope this does well, but I wont hold my breath.

  11. Stick says:

    The EVE school needs more students. \o/

    where’s the socialist equivalent?

    The Culture Online? I’d play it. It’d be like StarTrek in reverse. “Your prime directive is to find primitive people and deviously manipulate them into becoming civilized. Oh, and try not to wreck too many planets in the process.”

  12. Simon Westlake says:

    Oh, I know this game will never come out in the state it is being described but.. it sure sounds perfect. Sigh.

  13. Nuyan says:

    Sounds like the most interesting upcoming MMO out there for me, besides Darkfall Online..

  14. Mortal Online | Rock, Paper, Shotgun says:

    […] from Swedish start-up devs Star Vault. The official website offers similar outrageous claims to Earthrise, which makes me wonder if promising the sort of moon on a stick every WoW-fatigued gamer is baying […]