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Confirmed: Hero Engine in deep financial troubles

DakeruDakeru Member EpicPosts: 3,795
edited November 2015 in The Rumor Room
The post is by Alex Allen, CEO of FoxySoft, a tiny indie company creating a MMO set up in Ancient Rome.
She was previously a developer for Star Wars Galaxies etc.


Ok the game is on hold until we confirm the closure of Hero. 

For those of you who do not know, it is the hero engine and services that we built Venus Rising on. I chose hero engine because they offered a great package for indie developers that included server hosting, billing and account management and a lot of backend stuff dealing with basic MMO engineering.  The engine itself isn't that great but those services were invaluable to us at the time of start up.

Hero ended up not having any billing system when we were ready to start charging and we had to implement that with them which is why it took so long for this last update to come out. So the day we were ready to test out our new payment plans and system and push out the pay to play beta I was told that hero was shutting down and none of the games developed on it would be launching. 

This all happened last week.  I waited for an official announcement from Hero before saying anything but that has yet to surface.

At this point I'm not sure if any of this is true, or if I'm just being jerked around, since the servers are still running and Hero seems to be acting that its business as usual. But the fact remains that we can not proceed at this time.

If Hero does indeed fold we are entitled to the source code of the engine but lose the services.  It is an option to take that source code and engineer our own hosting and backend systems.

I'm also in negotiations with a capital fund raiser to start from scratch and get it done professionally, which in the long run would be the better option.  It would mean a much better game for you all.

I'll let you know how we decide to proceed as soon as something shakes out.

Harbinger of Fools
Post edited by Dakeru on


  • DakeruDakeru Member EpicPosts: 3,795
    Update - The company behind HeroEngine confirmed that "the issues we face right now mean a possible black out"

    Harbinger of Fools
  • goboygogoboygo Member RarePosts: 2,140
    edited November 2015

    I feel bad for them (edit : meaning the Hero Guys) but at the same time, its by their own hand. This engine was never designed to be shared outside the company of those who built and understood how to use it.

    I spent about 6 months development a game with their engine and all I can say is the code is a mess to work with.  The learning curve is steep and the community support and documentation just isn't there compared to other solutions. 

    If the engine performed better and looked better it would be worth the effort but it doesn't and its not.  I had a feeling this was inevitable, and again I feel bad for any company that is struggling because it's really not from lack of raw effort on their part.  Its just that the code base was never built to be shared, there are too many things going on that only the original coders understand.

    Unless you have a team like BioWare did that has the time to work through the 10's of thousands of lines of raw code to figure out how their class / methods and client server side technology works your in for a long road.

    I also have allot of respect for the guy that figured all that out for the repopulation game. He basically did it on his own, I can assure you he's a very smart guy.

  • ArChWindArChWind Member UncommonPosts: 1,316

    I saw this coming a long time ago. I was thinking this would come to a head around 2016 so looks about right. Other ones that are not considered MMO engines lasted about 5 years before getting the axe.

    The problem is long term projects fail more often than they succeed and to get any turnaround the engine makers has to get something back. I was browsing the board a few weeks ago. The postings are following the same path as Multiverse. fewer and fewer post equals lowered interest.

    Look at where MV landed. No one evens looks at it anymore and the same will happen with HE.

  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,814
    What does this mean for other games using it or in development?
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,338
    edited November 2015
    What does this mean for other games using it or in development?
    For a large game like SWTOR it means nothing. They've got enough money to buy their way through troubles and do everything in-house.

    For a smaller game like Repopulation it might mean trouble. Even if they have a license that would allow them to edit source code and run everything themselves, it'll likely cost a lot more money than being able to rely on Hero Engine devs and their cloud services did.
  • AdagiaAdagia Member UncommonPosts: 2
    What does this mean for other games using it or in development?

    SWTOR is no longer dependent on HeroEngine.  They had purchased a beta version of HeroEngine and heavily modified it for their own use.
  • BaitnessBaitness Member UncommonPosts: 656
    edited November 2015
    Gorwe said:
    Good riddance.

    Now if only SWTOR agreed to change their Engine. Hell, I'd pay 90$ + monthly for that.
    While I am not nearly as enthusiastic as you, I also would really love it if they could get off this godawful engine.  I understand they have an early version, and "hero engine is better now!" but the terrible engine is holding this game back far more than any other aspect.


    Also ESO says they only used the Hero Engine for development, but goddamn if whatever engine they are using now doesn't suffer from 90% of the problems Hero does.  Performance issues, weird rotating 2d grass, awful draw distances, all while not offering anything compelling visually.
  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,218
    I never found a problem with Hero Engine before. I think they suffered because they didn't plan to license the engine. Out of all the editing software I used, Hero Engine was a dream that I still don't see from other engines. The stability was also pretty good for me when I was messing with it in 2006. As far as content creation, its an incredibly strong suite with its editing software and cloud based collaboration.

    If they do go under, I hope someone grabs the engine and integrates its editing features into Unity or Unreal.
  • DakeruDakeru Member EpicPosts: 3,795
    DMKano said:

    They could also go with any MMO publisher and use their hosting, billing, account management, analytics and a hell of a lot more than Hero engine offered.

    Choosing to raise capital to build their own platform in house is a terrible decision IMO, thus is what financially sinks many game companies.

    The big guys have spent tens of millions of dollars into their platform systems  (hosting billing account mgmt, analytics etc...) and have years of expertise in those areas.

    Anyone who read a post or two by me knows what I think about devs who try to cash in on promises and half finished games.
    The reason why I stuck with Alex was because she wasn't that stereotypical scum stinking of fraud - she was just someone with a dream but all her visions were way beyond her capabilities.

    Now after 3 long years she pulled the plug on Venus Rising and while it's a shame I feel it's the better choice.
    If she had opened the game for subscriptions in its current form the whole thing would have gone the Pathfinder Online route.

    It's better to end this with dignity.
    Harbinger of Fools
  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Member EpicPosts: 2,380
    What does this mean for other games using it or in development?
    SWTOR isn't technically using the Hero Engine anymore.  They bought the source code from the company many many years ago and they modified it so much that the people who owned the Hero Engine at the time told them that they were on their own from that point on.  The ties have been cut and SWTOR is doing it's own work based off of the early Hero Engine code.

    Repop, on the  other hand... who knows.  Have they made any kind of official statement regarding this?  How far along is repop in development?  If they have a product that is near-ready to ship, then maybe this won't be as much of an issue for them as I'm sure they'll have access to the source code as well.  

    Sure would be nice to hear from a repop insider on this issue as I know they frequent these forums.
  • DaikuruDaikuru Member RarePosts: 797
    Die HeroEngine!
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    - Albert Einstein

  • mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,629
    H0urg1ass said:
    Repop, on the  other hand... who knows.  Have they made any kind of official statement regarding this?  How far along is repop in development? 

    Last update I've seen from them was April patch notes (April 21) for some bug fixes. Their comments mention further Spring and Summer updates so; As recently as the past month they appear to still be moving forward and there's been no indication of a change (yet).


    "There's a point I think we're missing.
    It's in the air we raise our fists in."
    -from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

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