This is what happens when you go offline for a week or two and stop paying attention– Alaric shows up at the gates and sacks Rome! As Tobold reported (via WarCry) and the G&H website, its official: Gods and Heroes: Rome [not] Rising has been killed (aka put on “indefinite hold”) so that Perpetual can focus on Star Trek Online and its platform business.
All this the very afternoon that I signed up for the beta after reading the closed beta distribution story linked in Virgin Worlds. Not that this is an especially bad thing, but the fantasy MMO market is starting to look a bit like the U.S. sub-prime mortgage market: soft and shaky with foreclosures on the rise. Most often the result of aggressive and questionable development decisions.
Certainly this year’s nonstop stream of continually delayed offerings (Conan, Tabula Rasa, Warhammer Online, Pirates of the Burning Sea and until now Gods and Heroes) has foretold both the industry’s recognition that polish matters *cough vanguard cough* but also perhaps that YAFMMO may not be the sure thing that many companies have been counting on.
Creative destruction may yield many improvements for which we will all be the beneficiaries, but one must lament the commitment of resources to develop a project this far only to send it to the shit can at this late a date. Not to mention the disruption these kinds of events have in the lives of the countless dozens of folks who have devoted endless hours crafting a game not likely to see the light of day.
Glad to see Perpetual is willing to make the tough calls when it comes to preserving a franchise like Star Trek, but such is the bane of such an IP. To achieve less than amazing success with STO would be a complete failure– the blessing and curse of such a well known IP. Ask Turbine or SoE about having a ready made fan base for a game… Past success is a jealous master. At the end of the day, they simply couldn’t afford to half ass STO so they ate their own young in the guise of G and H.
Here’s wishing good luck to all the G&H folks back in the market.