The precogs should have seen this coming

R.I.P. SolForge

One of the more popular CCGs on the App Store that wasn’t Hearthstone was SolForge from Stone Blade Entertainment. Turns out it wasn’t as popular as we thought. Yesterday, Stone Blade bigwig Justin Gary announced that not only was SolForge suffering from a terminal illness, but that it only had a few weeks to live.

SolForge has been available for three years, but will cease to exist on January 31, 2017 when the servers go dead. Here’s the full announcement from Mr. Gary.

This is a very difficult announcement for us to make. The journey to create SolForge began more than 5 years ago when I had the privilege of working with Richard Garfield and an incredibly talented team on the initial vision of bringing trading card games properly into the digital age.

Thanks to backing from fans and years of hard work, we launched SolForge in August of 2013, and continued to support and build this amazing community for more than 3 years. Thousands of players have enjoyed millions of games.  That is an amazing milestone that few games will ever reach.  Our community has always been incredibly warm, welcoming, and one of the best I’ve ever seen in my 20 years in the gaming industry.

Everyone here at Stone Blade is honored to have been a part of this journey. Unfortunately, that journey is coming to an end.  As of today, we are ceasing development of new content for the current implementation of SolForge.  We will continue to maintain the servers through the end of January 31, 2017.  This isn’t the way any of us wanted SolForge to end. Unfortunately, we bit off more than we could chew trying to build a digital game of this scope and have learned many hard lessons along the way that we will apply to future games (including future incarnations of SolForge).

I want to apologize to anyone who is disappointed by this decision and let you know that we poured our hearts, souls, pocketbooks, and years of our lives into the success of SolForge. We remain passionate about the SolForge community and we are not done exploring the world of Solis.  We are also speaking with potential partners who may be able to take over the SolForge IP and remain hopeful that SolForge will return one day, better than ever.

Thank you for being a part of this community and for allowing us the opportunity to bring this vision to light.

-Justin Gary

CEO Stone Blade Entertainment

Well, that sucks. Here’s hoping Stone Blade succeeds with their next project.

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Notable Replies

  1. rinelk says:

    I guess I waited too long to redeem my kickstarter pledge.

  2. Gamers are such poor businessmen.

    SolForge had plenty of gameplay and UI issues, as well. I could go on at length about that. But nothing will trump the fact that most gamers should not be allowed anywhere near money.

  3. Neep65 says:

    Real shame, always happy to support the team behind the game as they were really responsive and seemed to work so hard on it. Have to say I preferred it before the big makeover. Best of luck with future ventures guys.

  4. I was almost going to pledge for that back then! I am so happy I did not.

    “… including future incarnations of SolForge…”
    :joy::joy::joy: some people will never learn their lesson.

  5. rinelk says:

    I resemble that remark!

    Speaking of which, I should really get on the whole advertising thing. A period of user base growth and working out kinks is all well and good, but at some point we should make enough money to keep the site sustainable.

  6. alone.[quote=“rinelk, post:6, topic:199”]
    Speaking of which, I should really get on the whole advertising thing. A period of user base growth and working out kinks is all well and good, but at some point we should make enough money to keep the site sustainable.
    [/quote]

    If it’s just to maintain the site, you could try the Patreon route first and potentially keep the site ad free. I will gladly chip in a few $ a month to keep this site and forums ad free and out of the hands of gaming companies…and I suspect I am not alone.

  7. Ditto. I’d consider it like my old subscriptions to GamePro and PC Gamer back in the day.

  8. js619 says:

    I have no idea what a Patreon is, but I’d definitely consider a monthly / yearly sub to keep it ad free and independent… heck, I support BGG and BGA, why not SP?

  9. rinelk says:

    On this point, you certainly need have no fear. Our staff wouldn’t tolerate that. I’ll discuss Patreon vs. advertising with the team.

  10. Yes. I’ve had a bit of experience there and do NOT intend ever having that experience again.

  11. CTD says:

    Some sort of subscription would be something I would also support.

  12. I played a bit, traded a bit and followed the scene for 6 months.

    Suggested lessons

    • never set up a system that allows you to go “infinite”. It creates huge differentiation and the ones you want dropping cash are the hardcore players.
    • UI, that thing was awful both v1 and v2
    • don’t stay in beta for five years, especially not open beta

    The game itself was interesting. The underlying structure had risk management and you had choices every turn.

  13. Yeah, not ever breaking down the UI barrier was not good for SolForge. Making a deck, for example, was sheer torture.

    I also questioned some of the mechanics. Not so much the level-up refresh, which I finally adjusted to, but the both-sides-attack every turn thing. It was hard to keep creatures on the board. A lot of times in lane-based games, only one side gets to attack.

  14. that nails it! a very strange mechanic that was :confounded:

  15. I loved Solforge in its first incarnation. It was the first CCG I had tried and I guess that didn’t make me query the mechanics, or the UI, both of which I grew to love - familiarity eh.

    What made me question everything though was the decision to appeal to Hearthstone (et al) players, I think. All the flash bang wallops they introduced appalled this devotee of ‘simple makes sense’ and merely served to highlight its shortcomings.

    I still have the original app backed up and occasionally dip into it.

    Sigh.

    Which begs the question, what are the games that anyone here preferred before the inevitable updates wrecked them, in your opinion?

  16. Hands down, it’s New Star Soccer for me. The F2P balance shift that came with a bunch of otherwise cool features destroyed any interest I had in that game.

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