Since apparently one of the developers used to work on Roma Victor project, I wanted to look up how that game developed and compare it to another product that is quite successful - Wurm Online.
Something that really shocked me is this from wiki:
"Roma Victor has been sporadically 'in development' since its release in 2006. While there have been many patches and new content added, some intended gameplay features such as player-built roads and fortifications, territorial conquest, and mounts have not yet been implemented. There are also a number of known bugs in game that have yet to be fixed."
Which sort of reminds me of Xsyon's situation right now. Released in an unifinished state with lots of promises that might not be fulfilled.
Apparently Roma Victor crashed earlier this year, wiping out the entire popular and instead of fixing the problem the devs decided to "focus on other projects" and just basically left everyone in the dark.
Both games were on paid pre order and although Roma had no subscription, Xsyon has a pricey sub now as well.
Free beta for 3 years while the game was developed.
Slow development, but lots of implementations over time.
Went p2p in 2006 and had a steady number of people playing it, not too many, not too little. The sub was quite low, so many thought it was fair enough to support the devs and since you didn't have to buy the game and the trial was awesome too, the game overall was pretty well developed. Nobody really expected it to be a hit, but the devs did well with that one and it even features on several tv shows and was talked about on Java channels for its complexity and originality.
Notch, one of the devs, then went on to create Minecraft with a few other people and without ever promoting the game reached a 1 000 000th sale earlier this year through the word of mouth.
I'm yet to hear a single negative comment about that game and it will most likely be the goty in 2011 once it's completed.
In any case, I'm definitely not regretting paying for Minecraft and it has huge a potential, but I think I would regret buying Xsyon, especially hearing how many people got their refunds recently.
Actually I was very close to buying this game until I read the new refund policy where it pretty much says "NO REFUNDS NO MATTER WHAT". Which is really not acceptable since there's no trial as of now.
So I just hope Xsyon doesn't follow the same path as Roma Victor and crash&burn after a few years.