Ion, a simulation-heavy space game inspired by role-playing adventure Space Station 13 and announced by Dean Hall back at E3 in 2015 has been cancelled, reports Eurogamer. A sad day for fans of dying from a lack of oxygen in a floating metal cylinder, but perhaps not surprising given the ambition behind the game. “I want a game that is not a game," Hall had said at the original unveiling. "I want a game that is a universe. A universe built not on scripts or quests, but on the laws of physics, biology, and chemistry.” Looks like that was aiming quite high.
The game was being made in a partnership between Hall’s studio RocketWerkz and British developer Improbable but both parties have told news digger Robert Purchese that work on it has been discontinued.
"We're not actively working on Ion, no," said Hall. "I am not involved in that, no. Nor is RocketWerkz studio in New Zealand.
"When I look at Ion," he added, "Ion could only happen with a company like Improbable, with the scale of technology like that, and that's not a game we could do alone."
But Improbable likewise have no plans of their own to go ahead with it.
“Ion was initially conceived as a project for co-development between Improbable and RocketWerkz,” a statement said. “A lot has changed since then. Dean Hall moved back to New Zealand from London, RocketWerkz has started work on a number of other games, and we have grown increasingly into a platform for games to be deployed on.
"We can definitely say that Improbable is not currently working on Ion. However, we have not previously commented on and cannot now comment on RocketWerkz' current or future plans.”
It’s worth reading the whole shebang at Eurogamer, which took Rob weeks of back-and-forth questioning between the parties, yet me mere moments to grab and smear my grubby churnalist mitts all over. The latter part of the article explores Hall’s thoughts on the cancellation, while not exactly illuminating the exact reason for it. But it does include this nice quote:
“I'm definitely of the opinion that you don't deflect blame to someone else simply because it falls at you. There was a phrase I heard often in the military, 'It went wrong and you were there.'”
This is sorrowful news for myself, a lover of both ill-fated interplanetary antics and the superfine detail of sims like DayZ. Imagining the ruthlessness of some of my Cherno encounters but on a crumbling space station was enough to get me excited. Oh well, goodbye sweet vacuum-wrapped human. We barely knew ye.