Few examples of gaming, online or otherwise, can boast the kind of longevity of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, but Guild Software’s Vendetta Online has been up and running for just as long. The space exploration and trading MMORPG kicked off in 2002, and its dedicated, independent four-person indie studio has been diligently updating and improving it on a regular basis. The game is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and Windows 8 hardware, maintaining a persistent game world across each, and now Guild wants to bring it to iPad, too, and is turning to Kickstarter for help.
The Kickstarter project set up by Guild Software is looking for $100,000 to fund the title’s development, which will make Vendetta Online available for iPad 2 and later, complete with Retina display support and voice-overs added to early missions. The money will also help with the development of the newest Vendetaa patch, version 1.9, which is set for release in late 2013 and which includes “expanded and polished gameplay,” including improvements to graphics and sound as well as in-story elements like the economy, player-owned ships and the game universe in general.
Vendetta Online has been around for over 10 years, as mentioned, and it offers the kind of satisfying space trading and combat experience you might be familiar with from other games like EVE Online and the awesome single player Freelancer. Where Vendetta differs is that it tends to focus more on players getting hands-on, and definitely probably isn’t a good fit for casual players. That said, it has managed to attract an audience of dedicated followers, and recently debuted on Android, where it receives top marks on the Google Play store.
Guild Software, the company behind Vendetta, operates out of Milwaukee, and has been working on the game and the engine that powers it by paying close attention to user feedback and requests for years now. It’s impressive when a massive studio like Blizzard can keep the doors open on a MMORPG for multiple years – for a small, four-person team to manage not only that, but also porting said title to virtually every console imaginable is actually Herculean. The company has proven it has the chops to build and ship software, time and time again, so in that regard this is hardly a risky project. On the other hand, they’re targeting a pretty niche market, so I have to wonder whether that $100,000 goal might not be a galaxy too far to reach.