By Adam Smith on September 2nd, 2014 at 6:00 pm.
The last time we heard anything from multiplayer dino survival game The Stomping Land it wasn’t a stomp at all. It wasn’t a roar or a chomp, it was a statement about a change of engine. The dinos were gearing up for a switch to Unreal Engine 4, or so the developer reckoned, but it looks like the whole affair has come to a standstill. Like The War Z before it, The Stomping Land has been removed from sale on Steam. The page is still alive but there’s no option to buy and given the lack of updates, that seems like a wise decision. There has been no statement from either party (Steam or developer SuperCrit) and we can only hope that the game won’t emerge onto the store again in a few days, retitled as Dino: Survivor Stories or, Gabe forbid, The War D.
Our Graham wasn’t impressed when he tried the Early Access release and noted these words of warning on the Steam page: “If you wish to jump into a more finalized gameplay experience, it is recommended to not purchase the game until release”.
In the recent past, I was of the belief that Early Access was as dangerous as a pack of velociraptors (sidenote – a friend of mine had a Jurassic Park mug that said ‘Rap Attack!’ on the side and I thought it was something to do with hip hop for the longest time because it was always in a cupboard and the dino skeleton on the side could not be seen) but Divinity: Original Sin used the platform well and Invisible Inc. is already desirable.
Early Access itself isn’t the problem. Heading into any kind of commercial release (and Early Access involves cash purchases) before a game/team are ready and sustainable is a problem. Sometimes you find gold in Early Access just as anywhere else…but you might also find something else entirely.