Originally planned to be Shining Force Online, Shining Empire has survived a cease and desist from Sega (some fan games are okay, others are a huge no-no). Arcade County, based in Texas, are moving forward with their game, slightly changed of course, which will hit Steam and Windows later this year (hopefully). Right now though, Shining Empire is on Kickstarter where fans can throw support behind the project and have a direct hand in making it happen.
“We had just really started the beta but Sega was quick!”, says Mulvany. “Fan made games are tricky because some publishers are ok with it and some aren’t. Sega’s own terms of service (at least the ones I read) didn’t seem to discourage them. The Sonic 2 HD remake didn’t seem to bother them, so last June I decided to build an MMO for Shining Force. Several fans had attempted it in the past but they always seemed to fizzle out quick. There just aren’t really any party-based MMO’s out there so I thought it would be fun to try. I emailed Sega back in June but I didn’t receive a reply. I figured if it was going to be an issue they’d tell me in advance.”
Right now, Arcade County has plans to release Shining Empire for $10 with future expansions free. Fans can support it right now on Kickstarter and help make magic happen- and possibly show Sega that the Shining Force series has a lot of fans that want more content in that series.