Temtem drops monetization as developer confirms that no new content is coming after the next update

A week after sparking a sometimes acrimonious debate over whether or not its game is really an MMO, Temtem developer Crema has announced that no new islands, Tems, or passes will be released for the game following the upcoming 1.7 update, and that all microtransactions in the game are being removed.

Temtem was brought to life by a 2018 Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $574,000, far beyond its initial $70,000 goal. Crema described it in that campaign as a “massively multiplayer creature collecting adventure,” although it clarified in an FAQ that its vision for the game “is a lot smaller” that conventional MMOs. Even so, the use of the term set expectations among some players for its long-term future—expectations that many of them feel haven’t been met.

That was the crux of the conversations that began in February when Crema announced a new game called Temtem: Swarm, which some members of the community took as a sign that the original Temtem was being abandoned. 

Crema CEO Enrique Paños Montoya did not smooth those waters when he waded into the fray on Discord, saying that if Temtem fans wanted the series to live on, “what you would really ask for is for us to stop improving Temtem 1 and start working on something new. As of now, we are improving Temtem 1 just for you, even if it never seems enough.”

A studio rep later told GamesRadar that Temtem is not going away, and that it will continue to receive more updates alongside development of Temtem: Swarm. In a lengthy new statement posted today on Steam, Crema provided details about its plan for Temtem’s future: The 1.7 patch, expected to arrive in early June, will feature a new season, new Tamer Pass, and the usual mix of bug fixes, balance changes, and quality of life improvements; it will also eliminate all real-money microtransactions, so anything that was previously purchasable with the Nova premium currency will be available with Feathers instead. It’s also planned to be the last update with a new season and Tamer Pass.

The 1.8 patch, which is further down the road, is planned to be “the last feature-filled patch of the usual size,” although it won’t be the last patch: Crema said it will “continue polishing, fixing bugs, and balancing Temtem for as long as it needs it.”

Most of today’s announcement is actually focused on providing an in-depth rationale for Crema’s decision to end new content development, ranging from technical debt—more content, more problems, basically—to the fact that the work involved in creating new islands and Tems simply wasn’t paying off: “Many players would finish a new island in around 6 hours, when it had taken our team 9 months to make,” the studio said.

Crema also said that it’s not currently “contemplating an offline mode,” something widely requested by players. On Twitter, Crema clarified that point as well, saying that if the servers do have to be taken offline at any point, “we’ll make sure we find ways to make the game available for everyone, even if it means an offline mode.”

(Image credit: Crema (Twitter))

The reaction to the announcement is mixed: Some players are happy to see the removal of monetization and an acknowledgement of where Crema got it wrong, while others remain steadfastly angry and continue to insist that work on Temtem continue. The mini-review bombing campaign on Steam continues: Only 130 new user reviews have been posted in the past 30 days, a small fraction of the more than 30,000 total, but they’re “mostly negative” due to unhappiness with the decision to end new content updates.

Crema also reaffirmed that the promised Arcade Bar is coming, and will roll out with the 1.7 update. Along with a trio of “Temtem-based arcade minigame(s),” the Arcade Bar will also include a “super-simplified” version of Temtem: Swarm, although that part of it may be added on in a future patch.

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