Here it is: January 22nd, 2008!
That’s our launch date. For Real.
It’s been a very long trip. We started this project in the fall of 2002, so by the time we launch, Pirates of the Burning Sea will have been in development for more than five years. Even our closed beta program has been running since December of 2005, so that’s coming up on its two-year anniversary.
During that time we have grown from a handful of people to more than seventy full-time staff. The scale of the project has grown as well. When we started, there weren’t even going to be human avatars! Ports were just a menu where you clicked options. The whole game was much, much smaller and a lot less interesting.
At this point, we have a big fat slab of game: a giant, player-driven economy; incredible ship combat; swashbuckling swordfighting; a thousand missions; eighty towns; a conquerable world; and more adventure than we ever expected. Behind the scenes, we are working really hard to fix bugs, adjust gameplay, balance and tune the numbers, and generally get the game ready for launch. There’s still a ton of work to do and we’re hard at it.
Is January 22nd a long way away? It sure doesn’t feel like it to us! But if it does to you, consider picking up a preorder box when they go on sale October 23rd. Besides getting a soundtrack CD to get you in the mood, you’ll get exclusive in-game weapons and an in-game parrot for your shoulder.
Oh, and you’ll also get to start playing on January 7th.
Yep! For two full weeks you can be in the game and playing your real character, learning the ropes, getting your economic empire spun up, and preparing for the bigger battles ahead.
Preordering the game gets you a lot of great stuff. And we really appreciate it as well. The more preorders we get, the more the retailers know that people want to play this game. So help us and help yourself: preorder October 23rd, get your two-week headstart locked in, and be ready to play a few days after New Year’s.
I know there’s another question you want answered. Yes, we will be doing a very large-scale beta when we’re closer to launch. Far more people will get a chance to play than ever have before. The NDA will go away and the world will get a real look at what we’ve been making. We aren’t ready to announce the details of this mega beta period, but look for more news later this fall.
Finally, I want to thank our community for hanging in there. Many of you have been with us on this journey for years. Some came early, wandered off, and returned. Others have shown up only recently. We’re grateful for all of you. From the start we have tried to be as open as possible about what we’re building. Interacting directly with our community has been a pillar of our development from the day we announced the project. Your feedback has helped us immeasurably and your enthusiasm has kept us inspired even when the going was tough. At long last, we’re almost ready to show you what all these years and tears and dreams have wrought.
In January, you will sail the Burning Sea!
—John Scott Tynes
Producer, Flying Lab Software