Magic to Master goes crypto, ties down a publisher, and eyes a nebulous February early access release window


With all of the loud goose honking that came out of the gaming industry in 2023, it would be understandably easy to have forgotten about Magic to Master, itself being an allegedly unauthorized version of Gameforge-published Metin 2 that took some twists along its development track last year, including fake testimonials from multiple outlets (including us), fuzziness over its actual owners, DMCA abuse, a rebrand as LaniEngine, and a takedown by Gameforge over alleged stolen assets that developer Laniatus LLC claimed it was fighting in court – a suit that Gameforge says never happened.

It looks as if M2M’s goose has returned in 2024, as last week Laniatus announced its move to crypto, heralding the ability to let players enjoy a Web2 or Web3 version and claiming to be “the first Web2 to Web3 MMORPG crossover.”

This shift appears to be powered by M2M’s publishing and distribution deal unveiled at the start of February with MetaEngine, which readers might remember as the game engine and platform stack designed for MMO games, web3, and metaverse devs founded by former Idea Fabrik exec Alex Shalash. M2M’s official site also lists a partnership with Gaimin, a Web3 infrastructure company.

The publisher announcement sets its upcoming release target for sometime in February, with a final launch reveal slated for the first or second week of the month. However, Laniatus is also quick to point out that “the release decision and any potential delays are contingent upon MetaEngine and its affiliated subsidiaries.” Consequently, one of the MMO’s lead devs told confused Discord members that the studio is trying to “clarify the process” because “the publishing company has a different road map.” Furthermore, whenever it does release, it will be in early access.

Of course what this Web3 integration means for the game itself isn’t really explained in any great detail: Its official Discord isn’t otherwise answering player questions, the official site’s news section redirects to its lore booklet, and the forums that it opened in January are pretty much barren. Additionally, chatter in its Discord is pretty minimal and the tweet crowing about this Web3 enfolding only has one bot engagement at the time of this writing.

Meanwhile, M2M’s most recent development news is focused mostly on its closed build patches on Steam, though this new Web3 and crypto reveal further brings up the question of whether it will remain on that platform; presumably the distribution arrangement with MetaEngine could mean it will be removed from Steam soon. Unfortunately, it probably means we’ll be following this one yet again this year, if only to keep popcorn vendors in business.

sources: Twitter, Discord (1, 2, 3), official site (1, 2), official forums, Steam
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