City Of The Shroud's developers hoped that the strategy-RPG's players would shape the game's continuing story, with each new chapter taking into account the cumulative decisions of the playerbase during the chapter before. As it turns out, the players have shaped the story by not buying the game. After launching in 2018 to "non-existant sales", the developers have said that the game will never be finished and will soon be delisted from Steam.
The developers shared the news in an update on Steam.
First, the hardest news: the game will unfortunately not continue development past what’s already released. The game launched to non-existent sales, which we tried to counter with a large-scale update to improve the game and an additional round of PR - sadly, it didn’t work. We continued working on Chapter 2 until part-way through 2019, but by the summer, it became clear that the game could not be developed any further. We explored a few options to continue the story, but they never bore fruit.
They go on to say that they're sorry for how development has ended, and that they're grateful to those who supported them. That includes people who bought the game on Steam and those who backed it via a small Kickstarter in 2016.
A different message was posted on the developer's website, saying that the owner and team leader had "abandoned the project and stopped communicating with the rest of the team."
Game development is difficult and risky, particularly for small teams trying new things. Aside from aiming to create a story that would branch based on player choices, City Of The Shroud was a strategy-RPG with real-time combat, an unusual fantasy world, and online PvP alongside its singleplayer campaign.
If you own the City Of The Shroud already, you will continue to have access to it on Steam and the online battle mode will continue to work.