Early Access Title 'Towns' Abandoned by Developer

Early Access Title 'Towns' Abandoned by Developer

Remember: Early Access titles can be just as much of a gamble as Kickstarter campaigns.

Towns was an interesting little game that drew attention for a couple of reasons: it was one of the first ten games to make it through Steam's Greenlight process, and it was one of the first games to launch on Valve's platform in an unfinished, early access form, well before Valve's Early Access program was well-established.

Yesterday, developer Moebius (real name Florian Frankenberger) announced on the game's official forums that the team was abandoning the project due to the fact that it wasn't selling as well as hoped. Frankenberger noted that he was already working on another project which he hadn't been paid for yet, and that between that and Towns he wasn't making enough for rent and food with his own small cut of the project's takings. Gamasutra reports that at last count, the game had sold over 200,000 copies -- quite respectable for a small-scale indie game, but apparently not enough.

It's a shame, because Towns was looking quite promising; its isometric perspective brought back memories of 16-bit "god games" from the Molyneux heyday.

He then went on to note that he and original developer Xavi Canal were interested in developing a sequel to Towns, in which the pair would be able to include all the things that would be impractical or difficult to implement into the current game. He also noted that he believed it would be a good opportunity to start afresh and build buzz from scratch, but seemingly failed to take into account the negative reaction from those who had already purchased the game in its incomplete form. He did at least note that there would be some sort of "reward" for existing owners of Towns if and when a Towns 2 were to surface, but his promises fell mostly on deaf ears; the store's Steam page is now flooded with negative reviews, and the forum thread where Frankenberger announced the abandonment of the project features a number of posters who claim they are going to actively encourage others not to purchase future titles from this team.

This news comes just one day after Valve had to pull open-world survival shooter Earth: Year 2066 from sale following widespread complaints that the Early Access title was unfit for sale. At the time of writing, Towns is still available to purchase on Steam, with no indication that the game is an Early Access title -- it launched on the store before Early Access was implemented -- nor any mention of the fact that it is an unfinished project.

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