Peter Molyneux promised big things for Godus when he took it to Kickstarter in 2012, where he raised roughly $800,000 to support its development. And the PC version of the game is in fact available on Steam, albeit as an Early Access title. But as Rock, Paper, Shotgun reported today, the future does not look particularly bright.
Molyneux has apparently moved on to another project, which in itself isn't particularly concerning. But a January forum post by designer Konrad "FuriousMoo" Naszynski, a relatively recent addition to 22Cans, painted a rather bleak picture of the future. "To be brutally candid and realistic I simply can't see us delivering all the features promised on the kickstarter page," he wrote. "A lot of the multiplayer stuff is looking seriously shaky right now especially the persistent stuff like hubworld."
In a February 5 post Naszynski said he was "starting to feel cautiously optimistic" but noted that the primary focus is the mobile version of the game, because that's it's primary source of revenue. He does have ideas for improving the PC edition, but added that he only expects they'll be implemented if they affect the mobile version as well. "I'm betting a lot of my PC only proposals are going to be shot down and there will be things I will be told to work on that won't contribute to improving PC," he wrote.
Of course, Molyneux has a reputation for over-promising with his games, and we would be remiss if we didn't (again) note the irony of his January warning to Microsoftabout the perils of overselling Windows Holographic. Yet to me this comes off as considerably worse than, say, an underwhelming Black and White or Fable; Molyneux raised a big pile of money by trading on his glory days of Populous, then released it as a free-to-play mobile game and left the PC version in the hands of someone who "was never given any indication of what Peter's vision was of Godus as an end product beyond the Kickstarter pitch."
Molyneux built up a tremendous amount of goodwill among gamers through the 80s and 90s, but his inability to deliver on his sky-high promises saw his status wane dramatically over the past decade and a half. I think a certain degree of hope had persisted that he'd one day rediscover the old magic and give the world a game that could live up to his legacy, and some of us even thought that Godus might be it. But now it looks more likely that it will be the one that finally brings whatever relevance he had left to an end.