Spintires returning enhanced & expanded in MudRunner

Back in 2014, the RPS treehouse shook with everyone thundering around pretending to be trucks stuck in squelching mud. Such was the captivating magic of Spintires, a serious simulation of simply trying to drive across rough Russian terrain. But ongoing development got bogged down by a drawn-out spat between developer Pavel Zagrebelny and publishers Oovee Game Studio, and Spintires seemed to be left to rust in the cybermud. Well! In a surprising and confusing twist, Spintires is back with a new edition coming from another studio and a different publisher (update: with Zagrebelny still leading it). Focus Home Interactive today announced Spintires: MudRunner [official site], an enhanced and expanded edition of Spintires coming in October.

Spintires: MudRunner is being worked on by Saber Interactive, the folks who made Will Rock and Inversion and also chip in on games including Quake Champions. Focus Home say what to expect:

“A huge upgrade over its predecessor, this edition comes complete with a brand new Sandbox Map joining the original game’s 5 environments, a total graphical overhaul, a new Challenge mode with 9 new dedicated maps, 13 new vehicles and other comprehensive improvements.”

Seeing as this is an upgrade rather than a sequel, folks who own the original Spintires on Steam will be offered a 50% discount.

No, I’ve no idea how a new Spintires is coming seemingly from a whole new set of people. Presumably Focus bought or licensed the rights but how did this come to pass and how much is Zagrebelny involved? Zagrebelny did discuss a new version during a Russian interview in July so it seems he’s doing… stuff? But Focus only mention Saber. I’ve dropped Focus a line to ask what’s going on.

Update: Focus Home tell us that Zagrebelny “is back at Saber Interactive as vision holder & lead dev on Spintires: MudRunner.”

The development of Spintires has been confusing. Since its successful crowdfunding campaign in 2013, tensions between Zagrebelny and Oovee have left the game’s fate in question. The back and forth over several years included accusations of Oovee abandoning it, temporary reconciliation, sabotage rumours and the game being pulled from sale, and fixes and returns and terse statements. Whatever the new arrangement is, Focus are at least a stable and predictable publisher.

It’s a shame that all this hangs over such an interesting game. As Adam said in his Spintires review:

“In Spintires’ world, feats are measured by inches of control rather than miles per hour, and the terrain churns and deforms as vehicles traverse it. It’s a game in which overapplication of the throttle can doom the driver. It’s verbs are not overtake, drift and vroom, but churn, grind and calculate. The latter is perhaps the most important. For all of that it is made of mess and mud, Spintires is a game of precision and care. To traverse the changing angles of the roughest terrain, every nudge of wheel and pedal must be perfectly timed and measured.”

It feels so very PC gaming: a serious simulation of something so niche that it sounds like a gag game but is genuinely engrossing.

22 Comments

  1. Jaykera says:

    Good news ! It was so sad seeing this game left abandoned.

  2. Skiv says:

    Wow. Even tho i own Spintires, payed for it via Kickstarter, now I will have to pay for an “enhanced” version? Even tho original Spintires is content lacking boring game with no clear goal?
    Nice scam yo

    • Amake says:

      No, you don’t have to pay for it. If you don’t want to play it, it turns out you can just not.

    • fuggles says:

      Isn’t the clear goal get out of the mud?

      • colw00t says:

        there is actually a “goal” to each map – unlock the other garages, and then transport logs from one location to another. Spintires is actually One Person Siberian Logging Transport Simulator 2014.

    • Kunstbanause says:

      Skiv , you seem to be horribly misinformed:
      link to eurogamer.net

      After reading the article in the link you should be very happy that the developer was able to continue to work on his life’s dream with a publisher who understands and acknowledges his genius.

      I think we can agree that we all will be very happy to pay for the game “again” if this enables the development to continue and thrive.

      • Skiv says:

        Because Zagrobelny has returned as the lead dev, Im happy and will prolly rebuy Spintires: The Rebirth

    • April March says:

      Man, on the one hand, I agree that having to buy again a game you’ve funded on Kickstarter and have owned for years is pretty bad. But on the other hand, if you think Spintires as it stands is a content lacking boring game, then you’re not waiting for a better Spintires, you’re waiting for a different game.

  3. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    The ghost of IP Limbo hovered menacingly over the East Siberian Taiga, waiting, knowing it’s time would come…

  4. megazver says:

    Well, judging by the details Zagrebelny has mentioned, he was working on this version, so I’m sure it’s all good.

  5. setnom says:

    All I want to know is if we can now save co-op sessions. If, again, I’m not able to resume the map with my buddy, I’ll skip it.

    • JB says:

      Yeah if there are multiplayer saves then I’ll consider picking it up, if not then it’s no sale for sure.

    • Son_of_Georg says:

      Same here. This is why I only played Spintires for 3 hours. That was one evening, and then realizing that we couldn’t save our game. In fact, I might buy MudRunner if it is just “Spintires, but with multiplayer saving.”

    • OrangyTang says:

      This, so much this.

      I like the original, and love it in co-op. But playing for a good couple of hours to unlock garages on the map only for the game to crash and all progress to be lost is just horrible.

      Plus ‘completing’ a map takes like 4+ hours (for me at least). There’s no way I have the time for that in one sitting any more.

  6. Vorrin says:

    if even after this, it doesn’t support multiplayer saves, I’ll be the bitterest

  7. soijohn says:

    it looks like a game i would mud myself into tho… and imagine if you please (i know it is right in the current trend but still) a game with these mechanics coupled with a Long Dark or a Stalker vibe ? having to survive with big trucks shipping stuff from camp to camp ( helping people survive in these camps, failure to do so imply they will wither and die ), choosing factions to help, sometimes loosing a truck and having to go on foot to find tools to repair it but beware, monsters are on the prowl… dream game is like super close by.

  8. jellydonut says:

    Please for the love of God let me sit in the actual driver’s seat instead of hovering in a drone outside my truck this time.

    • jabbywocky says:

      For some reason the camera orbit in-game tends to give me a crick in my neck, particularly with some of the bigger trucks.

  9. vorador says:

    While Spintires had a good core, at the end it was Mud Simulator 2014. There was very little in the way of mechanics besides going from A to B with a load of logs.

    Hopefully this is a proper game.

    • April March says:

      Describing Spintires as a game with “very little in the way of mechanics besides going from A to B with a load of logs” is a bit like describing Deus Ex as a game with very little in the way of mechanics besides going from A to B while killing or avoiding enemies.

  10. Peterkopf says:

    Looking at the truck going across the bridge made me think of Sorcerer. They should really add some horribly unstable dynamite.

  11. April March says:

    It’s difficult to grasp just how awful Zagrebelny’s situation was until you notice how much better of he must be now after being picked up by friggin’ Focus Home Interactive.

    Having to buy again a game I already own is the kind of thing that would make me shy away, but I’ll readily pay a fee to get them rid of Oovee.