Prepare For Liftoff: Firefall Gets $23 Million, Not Doomed

When we last left promising yet embattled MMO-shooter Firefall, things had taken a turn for worrisome. Its PVP mode had gone down in flames, and CEO Mark Kern was given his walking papers/flying jetpacks at the end of 2013. Even with a solid core concept and admirable ambitions, the game had spent years tumbling all over the place in a wishy washy development cycle, and there was no “end” in sight. Meanwhile, Kern’s departure signaled that change was afoot, but was it good change or a turn for the worse in an already twisty saga? Well, now we at least have something concrete to go on: Firefall has secured another $23 million in funding, and it will finally launch for real this year.

Developer Red 5 made the announcement on its website:

“This additional round of funding will offer us the means to execute on our plan for successfully launching Firefall in 2014. This is the year Firefall takes flight. The entire Red 5 tribe is focused on creating top quality content that will take Firefall to the next level and we are excited for this next stage of development.”

In preparation for the big launch, Red 5 plans to add a new story-based PVE campaign about the Melding and Earth and things, and – after that – massive-scale open-world PVP. Apparently “whole armies” will light up the skies in hopes of putting on the ultimate fireworks show controlling new areas.

So that’s what Firefall’s 2014 will look like in a nutshell. Here’s hoping these new features will get proper time to marinate, as opposed to being rushed into a long-overdue launch. Who’s still on board with this one? Do you have high hopes for its eventual non-beta release?


  1. Brosepholis says:

    If this game ever amounts to anything then I will saute my fedora with garlic and chanterelles, and my wife and I will eat it in a romantic setting with a nice chianti.

    • Didden says:

      Says Indiana Jones…

      • Danorz says:

        indiana jones didn’t wear a fedora, indiana jones wore a stetson. indiana jones did not wear a fedora because he did not maintain unix servers and post on r/mensrights

        • Stompopolos says:

          Don’t worry, my Indiana Jones loving friend. Indy does wear a fedora, the people you described wear trilby hats.

        • brgillespie says:

          Stetson made “Indy” fedoras for Temple of Doom. Other companies made the fedora during the other films. He wears a fedora. The original came from Herbert Johnson Hat Company of Saville Row, London. You can still get one today… for, like, $300. :)

  2. airtekh says:

    Wow. I kind of assumed this was already out.

    With all these alphas and betas flying around the place it’s hard to keep track of what is actually ‘released’.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      We need to coin a new term for this. Beta Hell? Yellowlit?

      This and Mechwarrior online are particularly egregious examples but there’s lots others like Starbound and Rust that have serious problems. Plays hell with server populations and probably sales too when the games are finally “released”.

      • waaaaaaaals says:

        Eternal commercial public beta.

      • Tei says:

        Specialized mmorpg newsguys say “Softlaunch” for games that are in beta, but already take your money and promise “no wipes”. If you ask me, the moment you promise no wipes, a game is launched.

      • dorn says:

        Starbound and Rust early access are brand new. Not to mention they’re getting updated quickly. They’re a far cry from “beta hell”.

      • Shepardus says:

        Mechwarrior Online was released last September though, wasn’t it?

        • drinniol says:

          Yes, exactly on schedule (though not as feature complete as CryEngine has shitty netcode that had to be rewritten).

  3. dE says:

    I feel bad for the Developers. Firefall seems like a bad scifi movie. A desperate Skeleton Crew trying to save whatever they can salvage from a spaceship with a damaged main engine and a shorted out nonsensical AI randomly firing maneuvering thrusters – while the vessel tumbles into the atmosphere. The game looks like a very hard meteorite like impact to me. And not the good sparkly shiny one.

    • Arglebargle says:

      That plot is already better than most syfy movies ever made!

    • ersetzen says:

      Which is kinda sad, because the game as such is so promising. Open world mmo shooter with high mobility, open quests and so on. If it would become successful it might create room for newer and rather more interesting models for MMO games, at least much more interesting than even more WoW clones.

      Open world pvp battles sound quite promising, though. It’s pretty much what I thought of when I heard about the game for the first time.

      • Nucas says:

        i feel like i already played this game, when it was called tabula rasa. that bombed in short order, and that had richard garriot’s name attached to it.

        i’d like a game like this to succeed some day but i don’t think this is that game.

  4. Bobtree says:

    The RPS forum thread has thoroughly dissuaded me: link to

  5. Maruk says:

    I played Firefall for a bit. The game was fun but suffered from being too small in scope and having no story line. Lots of good stuff too. Excellent firefights, racing across the landscape on cool bikes, jet packs, gliding, invasion creep, etc. Getting into some tense moments of do-or-die happened frequently when exploring solo and with friends. The great thing was the smooth and extremely responsive maneuvering, which made it feel like you had real control of whether you made it or not.
    Weapon/equipment breakage sucked in my opinion, making certain things ridiculously expensive/annoying. Could have been fixed by now. I will give Firefall another look once it launches for realsies this time.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Yeah I agree with this. The game is mechanically very good but I feel it lacked direction, most of the time was spent wandering around aimlessly due to the weak mission/quest system in the game. Also the PvP was very unimpressive, which is a shame because class based arena shooter with jetpacks definitely has potential, but the matches seemed to mostly devolve into one sided stomps with one team getting spawn camped for 5-10 mintues. Might give this another go to see what they’ve improved in the last 6 months or so though, as I did enjoy the gameplay in general.

  6. Baines says:

    So, their new plan is to: Work on the part of the game that people actually cared about, but which the developers apparently didn’t. Once that is done, turn the game into Planetside 2.

    I’d like to see it happen. It could be something worth playing.

    I don’t see it happening, though. Firefall’s ship has sailed and already hit the iceberg. It doesn’t matter if they call it an alpha or beta or whatever, people have already tried the game, found it wasn’t what they wanted, and moved on. Short of some miracle overhaul, it isn’t going to regain what it has lost, what the developers squandered.

    • Notter says:

      That is 100% true.
      and that is, i think, a big glaring issue with putting up a game for players to expirence in beta, when the game is vary lacking.
      since we have been used for “beta” to be an almost ready game, even for beta to mean a “demo”.
      so we have played it, we saw it’s boring, and we probably won’t be trying it again.

    • Rizlar says:

      I disagree with that last paragraph. The core game was a lot of fun, the combat and the open world map excellent. I suspect what made people lose interest was a huge dearth of content, with the game seeming to entirely revolve around grinding.

      The core of an amazing game is there, they just need to churn out a lot more content.

      • Horg says:

        They have a great engine to work with as well. I only spent a week or so with Firefall but the tech impressed me a lot more than the game play did. If they can come up with a better concept I will give it another look.

        Also… I the only one who thinks the featured screenshot makes it look like an arcade side scroller from the 80’s?

    • blacksun_redux says:

      I disagree. Or at least, I hope you’re wrong.

      I played Firefall for a few months and I had a real good time with the core gameplay and world. I understood it’s flawed but still being worked on. So I decided to take a break and come back when they claim to have addressed things. Now it would seem that this is happening, and I look forward to going back. If they manage to fix the flaws and make it shine, it may not be a blockbuster hit due to the ruinous history, but it may become a cult hit, which is a good place to be imho. Or, it could still kind of suck lol. We’ll find out on the next big patch.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Yeah I dislike this attitude from some people to consign a game as shit/boring/whatever after playing a beta. At the end of the day if they make Firefall good, enough people will go back to it, it will get good press and gradually get people to try it again. The main issue with the game before was a lack of content. It has solid mechanics, a nice engine and good overall aesthetic, they just need to make sure they put enough in the game to keep people interested before they release it fully.
      They can get away with the “well the game isn’t officially released yet” argument as a reason why people got bored, if it is still lacking after people try the full release then the game will fail very quickly though.

  7. theoriginaled says:

    Its good to see that it will keep on. I put it aside when they were having their issues but I played it a lot in Beta. If you know how to make your own fun it can be a blast chugging around the continent to find the best minerals, fighting of waves of baddies. Risk versus reward: do I take that slightly bigger thumper for a larger haul and risk something big coming out of the ground and steamrolling me? The missions that spark up and reward you just for taking part, It all felt a bit like gw2 in some regards. If youre fine just tearing around the playable area joining in on whatever is going on and mining for mats to make better equipment, it can be a lot of fun. But if you need a more directed experience stay far away.

  8. Shakes999 says:

    I played it at SXSW 2(!) years ago and it seemed finished to me, not to mention pretty fun. Im not a huge MMO guy but it was great to play something that wasn’t just watching skills cooldown for hours on end.

    Hope it gets released finally, Id give it a try.

  9. Megakoresh says:

    Copy pasted from my forum post:

    Not surprised, we saw this coming for quite some time (the release year that is).

    Too bad about the “about” section being only 50% truth, but unfortunately we have been watching it become such for quite some time also. I only wish Red5 were more transparent and honest about not making the game they set that expectation for and conjured up that sentence about true shooter gameplay for, and not aggressive, defensive and even disrespectful at times. If they just explained it plain and simple “We didn’t have good enough of a plan and direction. Our tech doesn’t allow us to do this. The game will not be what was originally the goal”, I think it would have helped to avoid a lot of the negativity that was seen around these parts.

    It won’t be a hit or a game many have envisioned when they signed up with all the buzz in the past years, but it will at least release, which is more than many would-be MMOs can say for themselves.

    As for refreshing the MMO genre and bringing actual depth and freedom to gameplay… Well, maybe this genre really is hopeless. If in so many years, even those who have tried, have failed at removing the grind, the power dominance, the content burnout and all the static. Can there be an MMO without grind? Without number pumping and levelled/closed-off zones?

    Can there really be an MMO where 300 people on a map filled with mobs doing some dynamically changing things, can just go, get resources, craft different interesting guns, equip them without any number crunching, and drive some cool car or jumpjet/glide to a hot zone and slaughter the mobs to get more resources to craft more interesting guns, to slaughter more mobs? Where all the complexity, all the number crunching and effort of the developer go to just the very shooting and the behaviour of guns and the variety and behaviour of enemies and keep the rest very simple? Well, time will tell. Unfortunately Firefall won’t be such a game though.

    I am sure some people will find it fun when it releases, as they wouldn’t have false expectations set in their minds. I hope it can make back the money it consumed.

    Firefall is and it seems like it will be a MMORPG where you can aim at enemies and it uses soft-blocking for content, making content tedious and infuriating for under-levelled players, as oppose to blocking it off altogether (but it’s certainly not “sandbox skill-based free-roam shooter”, the content is very much levelled and progression-dependent). It’s gameplay depth that of any standard MMORPG, i.e. almost zero by shooter standards. Most of the “combat” is determined at the town area when you outfit the character and tweak some stats on on your items in the crafting system.

    The progression in the game is purely vertical, and crafting does not offer any gameplay variation either. They have some gameplay modifiers in the code, that are pre-programmed and more of a “for a tick” feature, but those are also very badly balanced and have a drop rate so low, they most certainly can be neglected.

    Do I have high hopes? No. As someone who has been in the beta since it ran for 4 hours a week and was 1 map PvP only test, I do not. This game is the definition of broken promise to players like me.

    But I think it might hold some appeal for those who are coming into it fresh, so long as they do not expect anything but a traditional MMORPG, with a few extra elements like free movement, aiming or instantaneous quest pickup (meaning you pick up quest instantly soon as you enter quest area, not come to some NPC, complete the quest and then run back to the NPC to return it). Consequently to the shallow gameplay their “dynamic missions” are also not dynamic in any way and play exactly the same every time. There might be some number variation, but it’s just numbers and does not reflect on the flow of gameplay at all.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Know how you feel.

      At first they promised e-sports and competitive PVP. And took people’s money to fund such a game. Of course, they then changed their minds and used the money given to them to fund that game, to instead fund an open world, PVE based shooter with horizontal progression and no gated content. And no levels.

      Then they took the money given to fund THAT game, and turned it into a gated, leveled, gear-grinding mess with tiered enemies, zones and gear. Then they gave the gear a durability limit, so it wears out over time, every time you are in combat. Getting hit and dying do not matter; there is no reward for skill. IF you are fighting something, ALL of your gear is wearing out.

      The developers have blatantly lied to their fans time and again. Frankly, I hope it dies a slow, painful death and the executives in charge find themselves blacklisted in the gaming industry. It would be no less than what they deserve.

  10. Thrippy says:

    I played it a lot. I like parts of it enough so that I continue to accept the flaws that could be conceivably remedied. It needs creative focus and direction. That’s a polite way of saying of stop the chronic serial bad decision making. What was that recent jazz about of the ignorance of crowds? Firefall is an example of insular development gone astray.

    I agree that the whole MMO idea needs greater structure before random PUG players magically coalesce into cooperative teams performing more complicated tasks than team deathmatch. Firefall won’t be that game.

    Just because there are so many gamers out there, none of the beta participants could show up for launch and Firefall could still become successful. Tried it and didn’t like it isn’t a issue.

  11. knowitall011 says:

    I tried the game, couldn’t even play due to shit servers they used. no idea how the servers are now. I honestly didn’t like their crafting and item system. the game also lack a traveling system, making it hard to get to events on the map, which is the biggest feature of the game.

    shitty designers.

  12. HaVoK308 says:

    Maybe now they will get a proper installer. The current one fails to download/install for a lot of people. Myself included. The workarounds they are offer remind me of PC gaming from ten years ago. Something that should be so easy and intuitive was botched horribly.

  13. racccoon says:

    Jump jetting all the time just made it a constant repeater, it lacked any real game play apart from ten minutes of fun and then a total wear off. When there’s only one thing that’s able to be done, that’s all that is reached in the game. The game needs real direction and manipulation to succeed to go outside its box that its stuck in..

  14. Sunjammer says:

    In all seriousness, it’s just been way too fucking long. I can NOT give a hoot about FIrefall.

  15. coldvvvave says:

    23 mils more? Funny thing, STALKER was made for 5 millions. Sure, there is inflation, it’s a MMO, it’s developed in the West but really. How much did they sink into italready? Hundred? More?

    • Megakoresh says:

      $120 Million. Funnily enough more than half of it was a complete waste due to “Let’s do all this shit and see what happens” type of development, where good ideas were not supported by anything, and the game had no direction or a plan of any sort, which resulted in it completely failing to become something that is even close to what they have set expectations for in the beginning.

    • Blackcompany says:

      To be fair to the devs, Mark Kern once made a comment about having $120 million to fund a triple A production.

      Then he went out and bought/founded a Cosplay program, including travel and costumes for a year. Also, a custom made bus from West Coast Creations, complete with a LAN where Firefall can be played on the road. Add this to the money wasted on excessive floor space at numerous conventions, and the cost of Mark Kern’s own video production company, and then allow the rest for the game.

      What they had was a CEO funneling money from the company into his own pet projects whilst claiming at every convention, board meeting, etc, that he was a video game developer. Sans game, of course.

      • knowitall011 says:

        can’t he be sued for this? a simple firing doesn’t cover the crime to me.

  16. Onemoar says:

    damage is done
    game sucked anyways repetitive cloney-missions and a grind fest

  17. Voice of Majority says:

    I did like the gameplay but I haven’t played after they put in the equipment erosion.

    • knowitall011 says:

      it would be fine if they allow us to repair it, but nooooo. after certain number of uses, your uber gear becomes worthless.

      shitty designers they got over there.

  18. Jaks says:

    Who in their right mind would give this unbelievable turkey 23 million dollars? They should have just given me 23 million dollars. Then at least one person would be pleased.