Ashes of Creation’s Creative Director Explains What He Thinks Gets Players Hyped

A recent thread on Reddit questioning why players are hyped for Ashes of Creation saw a bevy of answers as to why the players are excited for the upcoming MMORPG. However, a telling response from Ashes of Creation’s own Steven Sharif detailed why he thinks players are hyped, and he lashed out at those that spread lies about his past with a Multi-Level Marketing company.

The thread is a question that we see quite often from MMORPG players that are looking for their next immersive world, many who have been playing this genre for decades want to know “what’s all the hype about” when a new game comes along. While there weren’t a whole lot of specifics from the responses in the thread, Steven Sharif’s two pronged answer as to why he believes some players are excited about the game, may answer some questions as to why, at least some of the hype, exists.

I think, as a player, there are 2 main aspects of Ashes that has some people excited.

First, What we are making… basically, risk vs reward, not everyone is a winner, a world that develops around the player, no p2w, no quality of life items, massive open world and emphasis on social/community driven systems.

Second, Who we are… we aren’t governed by greedy “corporate overlords”. I’m funding the project, so no investors or a board to answer to, no publishers to appease, we speak WITH (not to) our community, and we actually listen to feedback and value/respect our players.

Obviously we won’t appeal to everyone, that’s not the goal. Are we the “woW KiLleR”? Of course not, that’s not our goal…and it shouldn’t be.

-Steven Sharif, Creative Director, Ashes of Creation

The original post also accuses Sharif of making his money off of an MLM scheme, and compares the development cycle of AoC to Star Citizen. Sharif dismissed the notion that he made his fortune from Multi-level Marketing, in a point that was initially addressed in a Massively OP interview delving into Sharif’s business history and funding of the game back in 2017. Sharif states that the money made from the website, and fruit juice called XanGo accumulates to no more than 2% of his net worth.

I will say, It can be a bit upsetting to see people spread a lie about me in an attempt to smear the project. I never made my fortune from MLM. In reality, when I was an 18 year old kid, I made an e-commerce site that sold many products from shampoo to toothpaste and skin care, vitamins and weight loss products, AND a fruit juice called XanGo. I never recruited people into an MLM, I was never an employee of an MLM company or an executive… I never claimed it cured cancer…. and it wasn’t how I made my fortune. It’s sad to see a lie about yourself perpetuated. That website and it’s income account for less than 2% of my net worth.

Hopefully at some point that false narrative will disappear. Because it paints a picture that isn’t true.

-Steven Sharif, Creative Director, Ashes of Creation

Sharif recently came under fire for throwing stones at another highly-anticipated up and coming MMO, Amazon Game Studios’ New World, when information leaked about their potential changes to monetization of the game. Many commenters, including Sharif himself, pointed out that even AoC isn’t completely immune to the scrutiny of how they are handling monetization. After suspending Alpha One testing once again to June, and lifting the verbal NDA so that internal testers can speak about – but not show – the game, Sharif leaves the thread with a bit of advice. Do not preorder Ashes of Creation. There’s nothing that benefits you at the moment, but most of all, stop the blatant attacks just because the game may not be for you:

I’m just tryin to make a good game. You don’t have to follow us, or participate, or support us…I actively tell people, do not preorder Ashes, there is nothing that benefits you by spending money on Ashes at this point…We might not be your cup of tea. And that’s ok!

But don’t shit on us…The genre needs people/companies who take risks. Who try to innovate. Who maybe respect the player again?” 

-Steven Sharif, Creative Director, Ashes of Creation

A sentiment I’m sure many game companies would love to express as well. Unfortunately criticism seems to be an inherent feature in the gaming industry these days, we just hope that Ashes of Creation will continue on and live up to Sharif’s vision.

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