You get some free stuff as an apology
Hidden Path has announced via its Steam Community Page that it will be ceasing development and shutting down its ‘social sandbox game’ Windborne, which has been in early access since early 2014:
“We’ve been trying very hard over the last year to pull together the resources needed to take Windborne farther in its development. We reinvested every dollar earned on Windborne back into the game, but haven’t been able to afford to continue it at the level required to make significant progress. We worked to have a smaller team continue to work on the game, but that also became more costly than we could afford.
There have been many near opportunities to partner with others to continue development on Windborne, but they never fully materialized and at this point, it is likely best to recognize that we don’t have the resources to continue development and end our efforts to continue Windborne’s development. “
Since that post, the game has indeed been removed from Steam, and Hidden Path have seemingly stripped mention of Windborne from their website.
It’s also said that the game won’t be released to the community for them to complete, as they still hope they can resume development one day, and that players will not be able to receive refunds for the game.
Fortunately though, it seems as though Hidden Path has at least tried to make it up to players, by giving each one five giftable copies of Windborne. Those who bought Windborne: Order of the Dragon will receive three copies of both Defense Grid 2 Special Edition and Defense Grid: Containment as an apology.
I’m a pretty avid supporter of early access. I think it’s a great way for some games to get the funding they need or get community input into the design of the game. Games like Kerbal Space Program, Minecraft, and Subnautica all benefitted from being in early access.
But then stuff like Windborne happens, and it makes me think again about the process. At least Hidden Path is trying to do right be its customers in some way. It’s just a shame to see games fail like this, especially when it seems like Hidden Path tried to do everything they could think of to keep it going.