Putting out an MMO fire, Temtem devs confirm the last big update for the "MMO-lite," cut "all of the microtransactions in the game," and tease another new game

Temtem trailer
(Image credit: Crema)

Formally addressing community unrest stirred in part by recent comments from its CEO, Temtem developer Crema released a lengthy statement explaining the future of the game, why it's sort of but also not really an MMO, as well as the other games it's working on.

Let's get the biggest news out of the way first: after update 1.7 and then update 1.8 this year, Temtem won't be getting any more "feature-oriented" patches. Crema says it's prepared to keep the game's servers on for "a really, really long time" and will release polish and balance patches as needed, but big updates are done. 

This hammers home what was said previously: large updates are not financially feasible for Temtem anymore. This includes adding new islands to explore, new creatures to tame, and additional game modes. Crema attributes this to multiple factors, from tech debt to the size of the studio to return on investment. It says that an update that takes nine months to make may only hold players for six hours or so, with no appreciable bump to the game's permanent population, which it can't justify any longer. 

This leads into another recurring point in this statement: the curse of the MMO. Crema says it "should've acted quicker" to curb expectations set by the MMO tag, and clarifies that "from the get-go, we at Crema have described Temtem as an MMO-lite." Right as the game winds down, the studio says it's "working on making it clear in the stores to try and avoid this issue in the future." It also reckons that this MMO-lite structure will benefit the game in the long run because it means that "the game will remain enjoyable even with a low playerbase." 


(Image credit: Crema)

"Many activities have been designed, created and included out of the community’s request for a more fulfilling MMO experience, such as Lairs, the Trading House, and Dojo Wars," Crema says. "This has made Temtem grow far beyond our original intentions, and even beyond our grasp." 

"In short, we are heavily indebted to the Crema of the past, who designed Temtem to be a finite, yet endlessly enjoyable online world, and this prevents us from being able to expand its limits to the points where everyone would be satisfied," the team adds. 

As Temtem approaches the end of its extended roadmap, Crema's looking to set the game up for its soft retirement by tying up loose ends and cutting out monetization and FOMO. 

"We also have to extend an apology for the one feature from the roadmap that didn’t come to fruition: PvP Draft," it says. "We did some initial testing of the feature, but its implementation wasn’t reaching our standards and the amount of bugs that it caused was a cautionary tale. On top of this, it would further divide the PvP player base, so we instead opted to include it as a PvE activity in Tamer’s Paradise." 

"Also outside of the roadmap, but deserving of mention here, we wanted to apologize for not being able to deliver the Temtem API. While it wasn’t in the official roadmaps, we’ve openly talked about it and promised to deliver it. Once we put our nose to it, we discovered integrating a working, useful API into a game this progressed was a task way more complex than anticipated." 


(Image credit: Crema)

Oppositely, one planned addition, the long-promised arcade minigame collection, has been expanded slightly. The arcade will now include a "bite-sized" version of Temtem: Swarm, the upcoming Vampire Survivors-like roguelike spinoff, which some players mistakenly thought was meant to be included in the arcade in the first place as part of a Kickstarter stretch goal. 

"Over the course of these past few weeks, we’ve read so many of you talk about how Temtem: Swarm was created from an Arcade Bar minigame, that we’ve ended up being convinced!" Crema jokes. "Although it is not the case, we asked ourselves if it really was that fitting, why not?" 

Finally, existing features are getting big updates to reduce friction. "As of 1.7, all of the microtransactions in the game will be gone," for starters, with the premium Nova currency replaced by Feathers earned in-game. Likewise, update 1.8 will make all old Tamer Passes available, with the premium versions available for Feathers, letting you earn any and all cosmetics "by simply playing the game." 

Monetization is out, content updates are coming to an end, and outstanding features are either coming soon or officially dead. Finally, we come to future Temtem games, and not just Temtem: Swarm, which poured some fuel on the community fire. Crema is quick to stress that work on Swarm, now over a year into development, didn't pull away from Temtem's resources. 

TemTem: Swarm trailer

(Image credit: Crema)

Tying things up, Crema says isn't ready to announce Temtem 2 because a worthy sequel is something that "we don’t currently have the technical knowledge, the time, nor the ability" to bring to life. However, in addition to Temtem: Swarm and non-game installments like an upcoming animated series, Crema is working on something codenamed Project Downbelow.

"We have expanded our team to focus some of our development resources on an unannounced, untitled, new game in the Temtem universe," it says of this mystery game. "This project is being developed fully in-house by our dev team, and we’re keeping our aspirations fresh, big and grand. We’re also developing this project on a new engine, so foreign and uncharted territory which is both exciting and scary!"

After such a wordy bombshell, the response from the Temtem community has been unsurprisingly mixed. This is, after all, the effective end of the game's development, but hey, the microtransactions are gone. No sequel is planned, but hey, the Temtem IP is still going pretty strong. If nothing else, after some messier communication arguably dating back to discussion on what kind of MMO this was going to be, at least this statement gives people some definitive closure and answers. 

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Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.