From time to time games just drop off the radar. Sometimes they’re quietly shelved, sometimes they just go quiet and other times they just get overlooked. This week we’re taking a look at 7 games that have been in our collective consciousness for a few years now but haven’t made it to release. This week we’re wondering what ever happened to…
Heroes and Villains
This year marks the 5th anniversary of the shut down of City of Heroes and while none of the spiritual successors have launched yet there is one that has gone quiet, Heroes and Villains. Of all the CoX spiritual successors it was the underdog, the least vocal. But actually, they’ve been quietly making weekly updates on their website for years. They let people know what they’ve been working on that week. The update is usually only a couple of paragraphs and doesn’t include any images. The last new images we got for Heroes and Villains were character models and that was just a few months ago.
So while there may not be anything for the media to jump on it’s clear that Heroes and Villains is still in development. From the looks of things, we shouldn’t be expecting to see Heroes and Villains launching anytime soon. But the fact that it is still in the works is a good sign for the still wounded City of Heroes community. It also gives us hope for the other spiritual successors who are also still in development.
Remember way back in 2015 when everyone was talking about Firefly Online? Around that time they just got the actors from the show and because of that, they had to go back and make some major changes. Sadly this seems to be where their troubles began. The website for Firefly Online hasn’t been updated since December of 2015. Facebook is only a little better, the last update there was March 2016. You can still find Firefly Online Cortex, an app that was designed to help you keep up with FFO news and updates, on Steam. It has a few mini games you can play around with and the fact that it hasn’t been removed from Steam yet makes some diehard fans hopeful that Firefly isn’t completely dead yet.
An article from io9 in early 2016 took a deep look at what is happening with Firefly Online. This is when the developers revealed that they had to go back and redo some things to take the actors into account. Spark Plug Games, the studio who were making Firefly Online have been silent since 2015 and no games have been released, though the website is still up, which again is giving fans some hope.
However, there were rumors going around in 2015/2016 that there were problems with licensing and Fox. While there may be some who are still holding out hope that Firefly Online will release one day the radio silence is telling. We can’t officially declare Firefly Online dead and gone, but I wouldn’t count on it ever seeing the light of day.
An MMO based on Tad Williams’ famous books, Otherland was for a short while at least the talk of the town. For fans who had been following Otherland the MMO this was the second time a studio had tackled the game. During the beta, it enjoyed moderate popularity and it looked like Otherland would secure itself as a B list title. In fact, unlike the other titles on this list, Otherland actually launched! It was a quiet launch back in September 2016.
Unfortunately, it has also been plagued with problems and has been offline since the end of May. The studio has said that they took the game offline to work on optimization and provide a better player experience. On Facebook, they said the game would be returning in early June but so far there’s no sign of it.
If you head over to the official forums for the game there has been complete silence from the devs and there are spam posts in every section of the forums. It may be a bit early to say Otherland is gone for good but when forums are left in the state they’re in now it really isn’t a good sign.
We’ve been following Star Citizen since 2012 when Robert Space Industries first launched their wildly successful Kickstarter campaign which ultimately raised $2 million dollars. Since then they’ve gone on to raise more than $150 million! Recently there have been concerns that RSI has run into financial troubles but in January 2017 Chris Roberts told German website Gamestar.de that even if they were running low on funds he was confident the sales from Squadron 42 would be enough to finish Star Citizen.
In April of 2017, they released a new page on the RSI website that looks at how development is going. It is pretty regularly updated. It has a lot of very detailed information but without context, it is somewhat lacking.
Will something come of Star Citizen eventually? Almost certainly, but there are already comparisons to No Man’s Sky and Wired.com included Star Citizen in the 2016 Vaporware Awards on account of not having a release date and the seemingly endless development taking place. There’s a lot of doubt about the title and this year’s financial concerns aren’t helping matters. Especially when you start asking where $150 million dollars has gone. For now, we’ll keep watching Star Citizen and hoping that it doesn’t disappoint.
Civilization is one of the oldest and most beloved game series of all time, so when it was announced that there would be an MMO you can imagine how much hype there was. It was made by Korean studio XLGAMES along with 2K and only ever released in Korea. It had been scheduled to launch in China and Taiwan as well but late 2016 saw the end of Civilization Online.
But, not all hope is gone for the title. In February 2017 it was said on Facebook that the game has been put back into development and they are still planning a release in China, so there may still be a chance for a western release. I wouldn’t hold my breath though, there’s still plenty of opportunities for this title to never be heard from again.
If you haven’t been following Kickstarted games or MMO drama you may have missed out on all the drama surrounding Greed Monger. Back in 2012, the indie title raised $100,000 on Kickstarter. By 2015 it was in development hell and the lead programmer quit due to not being paid. Around this same time, the game was canceled due to a lack of funding after a key investor backed out.
Almost a year later in January 2016, Greed Monger was back! This time being led by the lead programmer who had previously quit with no signs of the project lead. But it was short lived and by the end of March 2016, Greed Monger was canceled once again. There has been no sign of Greed Monger’s project lead or the Kickstarter money raised, which many people believe he took with him when he left the project.
Today, if Kickstarter comments are to be believed there is a lot of finger pointing between the former developers still, and it would seem that some people who backed the project aren’t ready to let it go just yet. While we will never see the game, the story and drama around Greed Monger may not be finished yet as at least one hardcore fan seems to be putting together a case to report them to authorities.
It launched, then it was shut down, and now it’s back again. The journey for The Repopulation has been filled with ups and downs. Recently, The Repopulation was sold to Idea Fabrik, the makers of the HeroEngine which it uses. The game is back in Early Access on Steam but it also has some serious issues the developers have to work on. As a result of all the bugs, the lack of new content, and the fact that people just moved on the population is currently very low. Once Idea Fabrik works through all the bugs and updates they need to do, they promise to make more releases for the game to get it into a state that the game can be launched in. There is no timeline for any of the work they’re doing and updates from the studio are rare, only coming out every couple of months. Thankfully they are still actively communicating via social media so it isn’t complete radio silence.
Those were just a few of the titles that we see people asking what ever happened to them, there are of course many, many more. This is the second time we’ve done an article like this. The last one was back in 2014 and featured games like World of Darkness and End of Nations. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.
Are there any games that you feel have been forgotten? Wondering what happened to a game you were hyped for? Let me know in the comments and I’ll feature it in a future version.Related: Civilization Online, Column, Firefly Online, Greed Monger, Heroes and Villains, Kickstarter, Listed, MMORPG, Otherland, Star Citizen, The Repopulation