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22cans Confirm Godus Team Shrinkage, Admit Mistakes

Yesterday we reported on the giant mess that 22cans’ Godus appears to be in. After a lead developer on the project stated that Kickstarter goals will likely not be met, and woefully dissatisfied backers lamented the lack of progress in the PC version, it appears some damage limitation is now in effect. A new video from the studio attempts to put minds at rest, while mostly achieving the effect that it was written by Ricky Gervais.

Coming out of this video, we learn that the Godus team has indeed been reduced, with less money going into the project. While some key figures at 22cans have recently left, it seems others are being moved onto Molyneux’s latest scheme, a not-yet-revealed mobile project called The Trail. We also hear Molyneux acknowledge that he let down PC backers by focusing on the mobile version of Godus, that he did things “badly and incorrectly”, blaming this on his never having done a Kickstarter before, nor having released a game on Early Access before.

Molyneux sits down with Jack Attridge and new Godus designer Konrad Naszynski, to explain what’s happening with the game, in response to some extremely frank questions offered by the community:

There are a few issues. Not least that the opening question, regarding whether Kickstarter goals will be met, is wildly ignored with irrelevant rambling on a number of other subjects, finishing with Molyneux and Attridge congratulating themselves for how well they’ve answered it.

A favourite moment comes at 1:25, with Naszynski’s face when Molyneux declares that Naszynski “absolutely loves Godus”. There’s not even an attempt to pretend otherwise – and nor should there have been, with the new developer having already publicly stated that he fought to work at the company because he wanted to rescue it from being so bad. Naszynski also goes on to list the ways in which the game is falling far short of where it should be, in stark contrast to Molyneux’s weary-sounding optimism.

Later in the video, Molyneux makes some really enormous statements, in the form of apologies. He says that if given the chance to do it over again, he would finish the PC version before releasing the mobile port. That’s quite the claim, since he also states that it will likely take “months and months and months” to add in the scant few features they’ve said they’ll work on with the now reduced Godus team, and the mobile version is what’s been bringing in money. He also says,

“I take the point that some of the pledges should have been met, and that we should have taken the time to work on them.”

Which is… astonishing. All of the pledges should have been met. If that’s not going to happen, then Kickstarter’s terms and conditions at the time of the Godus campaign suggest refunds should be offered – and the acknowledgement in the video above would seem like all the evidence that’s necessary for backers who have not received pledges to claim one.

Once story has been added, we’re told they will next begin work on overhauling the game’s combat. Beyond that, nothing has been revealed. No mention is made of the multiplayer, nor the persistent hub world. And indeed what that means for the “winner” of Curiosity.

It would seem there is a lot more to be learned about what’s happened with Godus. If you would like to contact RPS with details, send an email via my name above this article. We’ve tried contacting Peter Molyneux and 22cans but have so far heard nothing back.

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John Walker

Senior Editor

One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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