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.