Godus’ Designer Has Left 22cans, No Time Frame For Release

The grim tale of Godus‘s development seems to have gotten a lot grimmer. Lead developer Konrad Naszynski’s contract expired shortly after the release of Godus Wars and wasn’t renewed, 22cans confirm, and a source tells us there’s no one left working on the game.

Rumours began to circulate earlier this month that the small team had either left the company or been moved over to work on 22cans other in-development project, The Trail. A source confirmed these departures to us last week.

We reached out to 22cans for comment but heard nothing back. Now company CEO Simon Phillips has spoken to Eurogamer to confirm the departure of Naszynski, but he denies that there’s no one left working on Godus.

First, on Naszynski:

“”Konrad was actually a contractor and was tasked with building the levels on Godus Wars,” Phillips said.

“He completed these for the last update so his contract ran down. Of course, as and when we need more content we’ll talk to Konrad as he knows the process well.””

Konrad being “tasked with building the levels” might be true, but he was also originally described by Molyneux as one of the “main architects” of the game’s still-absent multiplayer mode, and heavily implied to be its lead designer in the game’s February 2015 community update video.

Then on whether development has stopped:

“”No. Godus is an ongoing project, on both PC and mobile,” he said. “There’s lots of areas to support on the project, as you can imagine. We have a bit of a rhythm in moving from PC to mobile and so on.”

[…]

Again, Phillips denied the claim that 100 per cent of 22cans is working on The Trail.

“Not quite,” he said. “We shift our resources around depending on what we want to achieve, be that design, PC or mobile code, art resources and so on.””

Phillips wouldn’t offer a particular timeline for development of the game however, and his statement that Godus is ongoing is cold comfort considering that Godus Wars’ last update was on March 2nd.

It’s important to put this in context. Godus was 22cans’ second project following on from block-chipping Curiosity. A Kickstarter was launched in November 2012, which raised over half a million pounds, and promised the completed god game for September 2013. Godus remains a very unfinished, feature-free release on Steam, ostensibly still in Early Access four years on. In February of this year, a second game called Godus Wars was released, which seemed to exist to provide the promised combat elements of the original game. It was free to all owners of the original Godus, but now it too remains unfinished in Early Access with no communication as to its future. And this is all after the brouhaha of last February, when we wrote that the game was in complete disarray and followed our reporting up with an interview with Molyneux in which a huge long list of new promises were made.

Over the last year and a bit, nearly all of the many, many promises made in February 2015 have dwindled away to nothing. Promises of regular updates stopped as soon as last April, live streaming of development quietly went away, any evidence of such streams erased, and now for a month or so Godus players have been begging on the forums for some information about what’s happening and been met with complete silence.

Speaking to us last year, Molyneux was emphatic that Godus would take another half year to finish.

“But I am still dedicated and this team, especially the gameplay team, not the GUI team, and not the graphics team, is still dedicated to making Godus a great game. And it’s going to take another six months. And that is the absolute truth of the matter.”

Sixteen months later, very little has changed in Godus, and Godus Wars has seen very little change since its launch a year after that statement was made. The promised story mode turned out to be a few diary pages to collect as you played, and the most frequently promised feature, multiplayer, has shown no signs of appearing whatsoever.

It now seems increasingly unlikely that any of it will ever happen.

From this site

67 Comments

  1. gbrading says:

    Ok here’s what Molyneux should do:

    1. Refund everyone who bought Godus or Godus Wars out of his own pocket and stop selling the game on Steam.
    2. Retire and leave video games forever.

    Sorry Peter, the writing is on the wall. I have deep respect for your earlier work, but a shambles is a shambles, and this is an omnishambles.

    • Flopdong says:

      I agree with your second point, but I have no sympathy for anyone who bought Godus. Peter Molyneux games have been synonymous with crap for over a decade. When he announced the game, it was pretty obvious that it could never live up to the hype (even for a molyneux game)

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      3. Become Prime Minister.
      Sure, everything would go wrong, but he’d have some great (and wildly overambitious) ideas ;)

  2. Ur-Quan says:

    Can we start a petition to rename their new game into “The Trail of Broken Promises”?

    • Burningvillage says:

      I’m going to steal this cleverness and claim it as my own.

    • yusefsmith says:

      Trail implies that the game is going somewhere.

      • Ur-Quan says:

        Rumor has it it’s going to be one of thos walking simulators.
        Wouldn’t it be hillarious if you literally not be able to go anywhere in it? XD

      • Premium User Badge

        amusingthebrood says:

        I don’t know; I’ve walked along plenty of trails and paths that have looked well trodden before suddenly completely disappearing shortly before I was set upon by rabid squirrels.

  3. Horg says:

    If kickstarter funding ever drys up, Mr. Molyneux should try his hand at politics. Seems like a natural.

  4. Morcane says:

    The head developer of Godus was … a contractor?

    rofl what a joke 22 Cans and Peter M. are. It’s also pretty sad since it seemed the contractor cared more for the game than its inventor ever did.

    • Flopdong says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who thought that was ridiculous. If you don’t care enough about your game to hire the most important person on the team full time, its pretty clear that something is seriously wrong with the whole project. What a joke

    • Stardog says:

      He was a community hired guy to get the game back on track, so he was there on a contract, I suppose.

  5. ScubaMonster says:

    Nobody should ever give Molyneux a single penny ever again, whether it’s from consumers or publishers/investors. This man is finished.

    • Guzzleguts says:

      Unfortunately he will always be the BBC’s go-to guy on gaming because he is of a generation that they’re comfortable with. Sadly, I think he’ll be around for a while yet.

  6. omf says:

    WHO COULD’VE EVER FORESEEN THIS OUTCOME?????!

  7. MiniMatt says:

    On the upside, it gives an opportunity to scrape the rust off my “Bryan’s still not the Messiah and Peter’s a very naughty boy” joke.

    (Bryan Henderson, God of Gods Wot Never Wos – and yep, feeling the need to explain my bestest of jokes is one of the many reasons my professional comedy career never got off the ground)

  8. Ur-Quan says:

    Peter Molyneux is the best possible evidence that great ideas are a dime a dozen.
    All his fame should really go to his old devteam at Bullfrog.

  9. R says:

    The Donald Trump of video games.

  10. Yachmenev says:

    For everyone’s peace of mind, this project should be laid to rest.

    I can understand why 22 Cans doesn’t do it, with the further headlines it would give them, so I don’t expect anything else then that this game will fade away.

    I’m one of the backers of this, but I dropped any expectations that this would become the game I hoped for years ago. And I don’t want them to try anymore. The game is what it is, the funds are gone, and there’s no money going to be gained from it. All they would do by continuing to focus on this is beating a dead horse.

    This project cost them money, grief and and reputation, and I don’t ask anything more from them, for the £30 I paid years ago. Don’t care about the money, don’t care about the game. It failed, we move on, with the gained experience and knowledge.

  11. spacedyemeerkat says:

    Pathological liars. The lot of them.

  12. King in Winter says:

    To quote Nietzsche: “Godus is dead.”

  13. wyrm4701 says:

    I’m not even sure if I care about a refund at this point, at least not as much as I’d like a statement from Valve on this sort of Early Access fraud. Stuff like this is why I’m going from ‘never buying Early Access’ to ‘not buying from Steam’.

    • Tuor says:

      Maybe you should take the tiniest amount of personal responsibility when it comes to choosing what to buy. A little due diligence would probably have saved you some grief here.

      • Arkayjiya says:

        They took personal responsibility the second they gave the money to Bullfrog. Now it was Bullfrog’s job to be responsible with it and Steam’s job to fight against the abuse of their own system. As wyrm find both to be lacking (which is well withing is rights), he choose to act accordingly. There is nothing wrong, not even on an ethical standpoint, in his attitude. There is something wrong however, in yours.

        • asret says:

          This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait

          Straight from the Steam Godus Wars page. Also on every other Early Access title. Valve make it clear that you’re buying the existing product, not the promises.

          Caveat emptor, yeah? If you purchase dung, don’t be surprised it stinks.

        • malkav11 says:

          Bullfrog hasn’t existed in 15 years, so if you’ve been giving them money, that’s probably not been your best move.

    • Yachmenev says:

      Pretty much that. As failed as this project is, pledging on kickstarter or buying early access is buying risk.

      It’s not really up to Valve to take responsibility for that. They’re stance on everything has been to let the market curate itself. With full products, early access, DRM, DLC, microstransactions etc.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      1) Buy only half the games you’re coveting
      2) never buy early access except in very rare cases (like Divinity), never because you like the game idea
      3) refund

      Helps a lot.

  14. Tuor says:

    Peter should change his last name to Albatross.

  15. AngoraFish says:

    Didn’t this game die more than two years ago? Why is this a surprise to anyone? It’s not like anyone would actually play Godus now, let alone buy it, even if it was inexplicably replaced with a new game by the same name that actually turned out to be good. Any further investment in the game by 22 Cans at this point is just throwing good money after bad.

    • Creeping Death says:

      “It’s not like anyone would actually play Godus now,”

      Weirdly, according to Steamspy, there has actually been over 3000 players in the last 2 weeks.

      I don’t know why either.

  16. Chem says:

    Did Peter really use the word “truth”? I thought just saying the word burned him.

    • tigerfort says:

      That’s a mistranslation. It isn’t saying truth that burns him, it’s speaking truth. Hence all the problems.

  17. Turkey says:

    Just watched 2 parts of an incomplete series on Molyneux by Kim Justice. So far it’s covered everything from Bullfrog to when Lionhead got bought up by Microsoft.

    link to youtube.com

    Good stuff. Highly recommended.

  18. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Molyneux and others are selling their name basically. In the 21th century great games are rarely made by a singular genius however.

    Exceptions are like Isaac (Edward and friends?), Adom (Thomas and decades of work), Axiom Verge etc. and other stuff that is usually free or finished and noone’s asking for millions in cash up front and have nothing to show for it.

    The good games are usually 90% finished in EA like Divinity.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Molyneux’s name has dropped in value more than the Pound. Prior to Godus.

  19. RaunakS says:

    I’ve never actually played the game, but it looks very pretty from the screenshot above. I wonder if its good enough for a time-pass game while waiting for stuff on another monitor. Is the game stable atleast?

    Also, its kinda sad to see Mr. Molyneux fall so far. I had loved his original creations.

    • sinisterandroid says:

      Neither Godus nor Godus Wars could be described as “stable”.

      I will agree that they’re pretty. I do love the art style. Godus is really only good as something of an “idle” game – because the timers on building things increase exponentially, and you’re fairly soon hit with having to wait 8 hours or even over 24 hours just to do anything. And there’s nothing (effective) you can do to speed those up. But even as a a sort of time-waster while you’re doing other things, it’s incredibly shallow.

      Godus Wars, on the other hand – despite owning it, I haven’t played it or even installed it. But from the forums, there’s many reports of crashing early on, and have been for a while, and no one from 22cans is there to respond.

      In sum: definitely not worth paying for (even at the 75% off sale price). I wouldn’t even say it’s worth playing if you get a free copy – there’s far better ways to spend your time.

  20. TK-093 says:

    Just remake Powermonger already and be done with it.

  21. vahnn says:

    Ahaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahaahahahahahaa*deep breath*aaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

  22. Morgan Joylighter says:

    PM: “And it’s going to take another six months. And that is the absolute truth of the matter.””

    RPS: “Do you consider yourself a pathological liar?”

    16 months later…

  23. Premium User Badge

    DantronLesotho says:

    If they’re done, they should just say that they’re done and they couldn’t do what they wanted. SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Silence is the worst policy.

    • Sound says:

      I think their goal at this point is to avoid all press, in order to retain the viability of their current and future projects. They probably think that if they were to apologize, offer refunds, or take really any sort of action, it would likely generate headlines. They probably estimate that ghosting us will make fewer headlines, so I think the silent treatment is exactly what we can expect.

      • Marr says:

        I’m really looking forward to their next attempt to see how this strategy works out. I’m sure nobody will bring up any awkward history.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    Poor Bryan.

  25. ErraticGamer says:

    Notorious scam artist continues to not deliver on decade-plus string of broken promises: Story at Eleven

    I really don’t know how they go on to release whatever Trail is, after this, but there I go making the mistake of thinking Trail is a real thing any more than Godus has been.

  26. Cimeries says:

    Makes John’s interview seem a little less harsh in retrospect, doesn’t it?

    Also I think we all know what’s going to be at the centre of the galaxy in No Man’s Sky…
    Molyneux’s resignation letter.

    • Emeraude says:

      However harsh it may have been, it was well needed.

      I’m only sad it takes such a breaking point before we get game journalism to actually start holding the people they interview accountable to their bullshit.

      • Frank says:

        We’re lucky we got it even then, what with the hostility shown towards John by the RPS community in response to it. We probably don’t deserve interviewers who give a damn.

        • Marr says:

          It’s sort of like you can get a better reading on people meeting them face to face than by theorising based on media image.

  27. Core says:

    People are way too hard on Molyneux. So the game didn’t turn out they way people wanted, so what? It’s not like he did it on purpose. He gave it his best and failed. Give the man a break, he has made some great content over the years, and nobody sets out to make a bad game.

    • Marr says:

      Pity ‘his best’ amounts to conning a bunch of suckers into funding him to divert attention from the nothing happening for four years.

  28. frightlever says:

    About four years ago I bought Kenshi, in alpha at the time, and there was something of a game there but not much. It’s made by a one man band and is in no danger of being finished any time soon, as far as i can tell. I’m happy enough about that. Star Sector is another longterm game I bought in alpha, which is still shaping up. There are probably others I’ve entirely forgotten about.

    But, in general, is there a case for Early Access games having a hard time limit for completion? Godus could drag on for years, issuing minor updates every so often to show that development is on-going. There’s no way to distinguish between a game which has a consistent, but slow, development cycle and one which is just never going to be completed according to the initial promises.

    Or perhaps there’s an argument that buying in Early Access disqualifies you from expecting a refund if the game isn’t finished, assuming you’ve exceeded the playtime requirement for one.

    • knowles2 says:

      There is no time frame. An the only way I see Godus becoming what Molyneux wants it to become is for 22cans to have a hit game that allows him to properly fund his studio and Godus development.

  29. GlennRH says:

    I backed Godus and according to Steam, I have played it for 4 hours. At this point, I just don’t care anymore.

    I think I have finally learned my lesson when it comes to Molyneux though.

  30. DrollRemark says:

    Time for a Molynexit.