Some people would say Chronicles of Elyria (CoE) is simply a new MMORPG in development and others would say its an ambitious game that is doing something never seen before in MMO's, and is taking the promise of what MMO's could have been before the WoW era and bringing it forward using the latest technology. Whatever decision you make about what this game is, it helps to understand where this game came from first.
The idea of the game and the concepts that form it started with one man, Jeromy "Caspian" Walsh. Jeromy has been a fan and game master of table top rpg's, board and card games, and fantasy literature for over 20 years, and he has had the concepts present in CoE in mind for much of that time. Jeromy has also been an instructor in the Digipen Institute and a Senior Software Engineering Lead at Microsoft. This experience shows in how Jeromy approaches development as a software engineer rather than a game designer. He has also worked on programming MUD's and first person shooters with game companies like Pandemic Studios as Senior/Lead Tools Programmer.
Deciding to take a chance and make his dream a reality, Caspian sold his own personal property to raise the starting funds and opened a simple website at the end of 2014 with little more than word of mouth to spread the news of what he and several others were trying to do and plans for a kickstarter to get things off the ground.
In between the time the website appeared and the kickstarter began, Caspian began unvailing his vision for CoE and the systems and mechanics he presented fired people's imaginations and brought them together into a community that would reach 10,000 members by the time of the kickstarter. This community was aware that there were significant obsticles that would make it difficult to make this game a reality. However, they also knew that this was the only way for a game this innovative and risky to be made. No large publisher would be willing to put forward an idea like this without confidence it would work. Caspian was so patient and eloquent in his explantions and gave off such a sense of patient competence in his close engagement of the community that it couldn't help but believe that if anyone could pull it off, it was going to be this guy.