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Troubled Steam MMORPG returns today after extended shutdown

Steam MMORPG Fractured Online returns in early access on the Valve store today, following a failed test period in 2022 and publishing woes.

Troubled MMORPG Fractured Online returns to Steam for new early access - A sorcerer with the head of a deer.

Troubled Steam MMORPG Fractured Online looks to start a fresh life as it returns to the Valve platform today, with developer Dynamight Studios switching to a self-publishing model following a failed stretch in early access throughout 2022. Following its initial Kickstarter success in 2018, the sandbox game first launched on Steam in September 2022, only to be pulled back into closed testing for a massive overhaul just a few months later. Now, Fractured Online is back.

If you’ve been looking for a new MMORPG to play and aren’t in the mood for the likes of FFXIV, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, Lost Ark, or OSRS, then Fractured Online might be your new love. Its Kickstarter promised to build an “open-world sandbox MMO-ARPG appealing equally to lovers of competitive and cooperative gameplay,” but troubles with its original publisher Gamigo caused the game to be pulled back into testing, as developer Dynamight parted ways with its publisher.

“We’d like to thank you all for sticking with us during this through last year,” Dynamight says in its launch announcement ahead of its Steam return today, Wednesday, November 8. “We’ve had to rebuild a large chunk of our backend, go self-published again, and improve the game in almost every aspect – all with half the team and barely any budget left (yes, we’ve all been working unpaid for months now).”

Dynamight says the game has had “a ton of improvements and new features” since it was removed from Steam in January 2023. Players who previously bought the game on Steam (or do so going forward) will be asked to connect their account to a Fractured Online account upon first launching the game. Unlike its previous iteration, however, you’ll be able to do all this in-game.

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Among the new features introduced are alchemical potions, the ability to rest to boost your recovery outside of combat, the return of item enchanting, and the replacement of the charisma stat with a new spell-focused wisdom attribute focused on support. The game’s talent tree has now been completed, and the game’s challenging ‘legends’ have been reworked as “part of our plan to add a ton of new mid to endgame PvE challenges to Fractured Online.”

Following its relaunch, Dynamight says it’s planning to release the Demon race as playable during the game’s early access. However, its planned release of new planet Tartaros “will have to wait since we have features with higher priority already in the pipeline, including a new city tech tree and overall player city improvements, territory control, duels, NPCs, and more.”

Dynamight also says there are “no wipes planned unless strictly necessary” following this launch and says that even in the event of a dramatic incident such as an economy-ruining bug, “we’ll try to go for a rollback rather than a wipe.” Here’s hoping that, after several years of struggles, today marks a brand new dawn for Fractured Online.

Fractured Online returns to Steam - A group of adventurers in a field of colorful flowers.

Fractured Online launches Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm GMT / 7pm CET via Steam Early Access. If you want to get involved during the opening week, it’s 20% off until Wednesday, November 15. You can find out more about the game’s relaunch courtesy of the official website.

Alternatively, have a look through the best new MMOs in 2023 to see what other options are out there. We’ve also picked out the very best sandbox games on PC if you just love that sensation of being able to influence the world directly. You can also follow us on Google News for daily PC games news, reviews, and guides.