About a month ago, Oath was hit by a bombshell. Ocean Spark Studio, a small art studio insinuated serious allegations against Ready-Up, suggesting that Oath is being developed by a team of amateurs and is nowhere near completion. This alleged scandal raised serious concerns within the community, and have even prompted mass refund requests. The drama was even escalated more when threats of lawsuits by Ready-Up were targeted against YouTube Star Cryyfuu over his coverage of the issue. Fast forward a month later, the Oath Discord is still under civil unrest, as fans and players are left at a perplexing situation. To believe Ready-Up or to believe the allegations against it. Today I’m joined with SunnlightBro, a volunteer moderator of the Oath Discord for his take on the subject.
Disclaimer – SunnlightBro does not represent Ready-Up in any official capacity, his opinions are his own. When asked the same question to other Moderators. They have opted for “No Comment”.
Squishy: SunnlightBro, as you know Oath is entering its 3rd week of “Civil discourse”. The Official Discord is still rocked with allegations. As a moderator, how do you diffuse these situations?
SunnlightBro: To be honest, it is hard for me as a Moderator to speak out my mind even if there are allegations. I was never hired by Ready-up studios, nor did I get paid whatsoever. Everything was voluntary. With that said, I still uphold an image for Ready-up to stay professional as much as I can. That said, I would remind the community that there are rules on this discord and to not cross the line or break any rule. If this was ignored, it was the usual routine like any other place. They get an automatic warning in DM’s stating why they have the warning. After x amount of warnings (depends on severity) they get muted/kicked or banned. This, what I just mentioned is how it would have gone normally. But since we are talking “after” the allegations and civil discourse, I handle things differently. Instead of warning a member, I would rather just try and diffuse the situation and show that I do care and that even though I am a Moderator, that I also have my opinions. But that this is not the place to do so. For the most part, this works.
Squishy: What made you want to invest in the Oath project? Are you still invested in the project?
SunnlightBro: I am still invested in Oath project, yes. Both financially and as a Moderator. However, I do not know how long I will be able to be a Moderator for Oath for, Since I have other projects I am working on. But this is not the only reason. I will go in depth later about this. What made me invest in Oath is basically the video they put out. It made it really seem that they do care to make one of the best MMO’s out there. Something unique and new? No. A really good MMO though, yes. That video is what made me hyped for the game and invest so much money (hundreds of euros) and my time in this project.
Squishy: I think we all know that in your specific position, it isn’t easy. A lot of people in your shoes would immediately disassociate from a project with this many alleged allegations. What makes you stick around?
SunnlightBro: Hope. Like anything else, literally hope. I am in the range of 27-33 years old. And having played so many MMO’s in my life, I can honestly tell you that the Kickstarter video and wording made me stick around since they rekindled the fire of my youth with well known classic MMOs. However, slowly this changed, and slowly I lost motive. Especially after hearing the recent news, that the October promised video will not be released. That literally made me kind of almost give up on this whole project. People have to realize that as a Moderator for Oath, this literally means nothing. Moderators are just Members with the right to kick and ban. It does not mean we know anything more than a member. See it like this. A member knows 70% about Oath, a Moderator, knows also 70% about Oath. So, our job, as a Moderator, was extra hard in my opinion. Since many things we were unaware of and things conflicted at times. Small occasions I had to laugh how I answered a question, thinking it was 100% correct, while the spokesperson says something totally different. As a Moderator to go “wait, really? Oh, I did not know” feels kind of unprofessional. But can you blame us? In the end we really were JUST members with kick and ban power.
Squishy: From a personal opinion, do you believe Oath has what it takes to change up the genre? (All allegations aside)
SunnlightBro: No, not at all. They will not bring anything new to the table. We can only hope an indie developer will come to make a difference in the MMO genre, but this indie developer is not Ready-Up for sure. At least, not with this project. What they are going for however, is ambitious. But it is not groundbreaking.
Squishy: What would you say to the players who still have faith in the project?
SunnlightBro: Keep that faith, and look/check all the information that is out there. I or anyone else cannot tell you to lose faith or keep the faith (even though I just did) for this project. In the end, it is your choice. Just like I made my choice to slowly shift away from Oath, you will have to find that for yourself.
Squishy: From your experience working so closely to Ready-Up Staff, what are they like?
SunnlightBro: Working so closely to Ready-Up? I chuckled a little. We did not work close to Ready-Up. Heck I do not even know who the developers are for this game, I just know its “ready-up”. The only person we had contact with did not always answer questions we had, sometimes even avoiding them completely. But this is a whole other story I am not going to delve into right now. The studio clearly wants to make this game happen. There is no doubt about that. However, how things are handled are super unprofessional in my opinion. They seem to lack a lot of experience in all the departments.
SunnlightBro’s final words: It has been up and down like a roller coaster for all of us. Both Ready-Up and the community itself too. Regarding me still being Moderator for Oath, it really depends. I am honestly thinking to step out of the position since I have other projects I am working on. But also, I do not like how things have been handled. Personally, I think Ready-Up is really unprofessional on how things are being handled. I had small to non-communication with the spokesperson for the company. Everything was secretive. I think what made people really angry is that they asked Ready-Up to clarify them being a company and who the developers are and to show them registration number/documents of the company existing. But Ready-Up felt silent. No words, not even clarifying why they are so secretive. This, to me, is a big no no. Especially since I am involved in a different project now, and seeing how this project I am working on is so open and communicative. Everything feels “Real” in a sense. This, and everything that has happened in the past, is what will perhaps be the reason I am stepping out of my position.
Regardless of what I think of the company, I just hope, with everything I said, that Ready-Up gets better than how they are now, and to strife in the future and make some really good games that DO have an impact in the industry. For now, however, it does not seem like it is happening.
Oath is still in the midst of a very turbulent and precarious time. As of the time of writing, there are still countless arguments and requests for proof of the game’s development in discord. There is also a rumor of a petition in requesting ReadyUp to release information on their supposed “New Art studio”. As of right now, public opinion on Oath is at an all-time low as potential players/investors are wary of the alleged scandals surrounding the MMO. It is in my opinion that for Oath to redeem itself in any way is to release a Public-Alpha testing. Showcasing to the public that the game is at a state that is somewhat reasonable. Until then, it looks to be that communication between developer and community is lacking. It also appears that the community wants more tangible evidence of the game’s development. Concept art is not going to cut it anymore. The fact that there hasn’t been a gameplay video since the initial trailer is highly concerning.