Wild West Online gets funding, will sidestep Kickstarter and include female characters from outset

When a western-themed image began circulating online last week, many facets of the interwebs assumed it was tied to Rockstar's as yet console-exclusive Red Dead Redemption 2. The following day, we exclusively revealed said image was from Wild West Online—an upcoming western MMO from newly formed outfit 612 Games. Within Steven's interview with Stephan Bugaj, the creative vice president of publisher DJ2, we learned a Kickstarter was on the horizon which would ask for $250,000 with stretch goals tied to additional funding. 

Now, 612 Games has received additional funding from the game's initial investors which means it will no longer pursue crowdfunding, nor will it enter the game into Steam's Early Access pre-release initiative.  

This is said to be down to an "overwhelming response to the game’s reveal, which included thousands of emails and over 200,000 site visits"—something that has also prompted the devs to launch the game with some of the features previously tied to somewhat questionable stretch goals such as the inclusion of playable female characters.  

"In addition Wild West Online will now release with its previous stretch goals in place at launch, including female characters, rich role-playing and social activities such as card games, and localization," reads a statement. "After launch 612 Games will release additional content and gameplay features as part of several expansions in order to continue delivering the ultimate Wild West experience on PC."

Stephan Bugaj adds: "The community’s response to Wild West Online is something we never imagined and thanks to it we’re able to fully develop a robust Western experience for PC. We’ve been fortunate enough to have our initial investors step up and provide additional funding to make the game we wanted, without having to raise money via crowdfunding. Westerns are lacking on PC so we can’t wait to release the game to the public."

More information on Wild West Online can be found via the game's site, including more on its forthcoming Alpha and closed beta phases.