Revival's development has been indefinitely suspended

We're sorry to report this afternoon that indie grimdark sandbox Revival is being put on indefinite hold. Illfonic's Adam "Snipehunter" Maxwell has posted that formal work on the client is coming to a halt and sales of homes in-game will end, though he's also hinted that unpaid work will continue and said "it's not completely dead."

"So, what went wrong? I suppose the mistake, if one is to be called out, came in the thought that we could soldier through on what we have available. It goes something like this: When we first set out to build Revival, we had access to expertise and resources that aren’t available today. Making up for their loss, be it as simple as lacking sufficient animators or as complicated as losing access to certain networking expertise, has been a costly affair, far more costly than we can honestly afford to bear. So, what does that mean? Is Revival completely dead?

Look, we’ve waited nearly 20 years to make Revival, and maybe we can wait a little longer, so no, it’s not completely dead. It’ll be a cold day in Animae’s realm before I give up on Revival and most of us at IllFonic feel the same way, but however we determine to move forward with it, none of us feel comfortable playing some “business as usual” game while we work it out. We’re going to have to figure some new way to make Revival happen, but we’re not going to lie to you while we do and that’s what this is about. So, is Revival dead? I really don’t know, but whatever happens, it won’t be moving ahead the way we’d planned its current form at IllFonic. We have some ideas on how we can move forward, but they aren’t a true plan yet and they aren’t a guarantee."

Founders who've already put money into the game aren't completely screwed.

"You can still access everything you’ve got access to today. Your renovation kits, your properties; all of it. We have no plans to turn them off or shut down access in the foreseeable future. We’re also going to unlock visitation access to all of the properties you don’t currently have access to, including the estates. You won’t “own” them, but you will be able to see every home that you couldn’t before. I know it’s not much, but you made a lot of work possible and you should at least be able to see it, right? Next, you will receive a steam key for Nexuiz, one of IllFonic’s first games and the first game Ombwah and I ever collaborated with IllFonic to make. Finally, you’ll also receive a steam key for Moving Hazard, one of the new projects currently under development here, and presently in Early Access in steam."

Revival was best known for its implementation of radical game mechanics, including slavery and prostitution. Here's a quick look at some of our coverage of the game over the past year:

Source: Official forums. Thanks, Kinya.
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273 comments
TukutoThePumpkinGod
TukutoThePumpkinGod

people who pay for founders packs shouldnt want stuff like refunds anyways, yuu give your money to people to help make a game that hasnt even released yet yuu cant expect that your money will still be their if something bad happens (of which, bad stuff happen all the time), and if the game doesnt make it (though this games development is only dormant now) yuu'll just have to deal with it, its more like and investment rather than yuu buying the game, its your own fault for being arrogant if yuu expect refunds and such.

((i just felt like bringing this up >.>  ))

i was looking forward to this game (among many others that also seem to dip into a cave), people ask for realism, and then they mock them for doing it, one of the more annoying issues.

TigsKC
TigsKC

I have invested financially and otherwise in a number of games in development, but I stayed away from that with this game.  While the ideas were compelling, I never trusted the Illfonic guys.


I feel bad for those who feel duped or disappointed.  But, ultimately, when a game you wanted to play fails, it is certainly a First World Problem.  Dry your tears and place your emotions with those who are suffering through real prrblems.


Madda
Madda

Definitely didn't see this coming.

Nope. Not at all.

chosenxeno
chosenxeno

I knew thisa was never coming. TOO NICHE. I got into a few tiffs over this game but there was never any real footage! I compared it to Patheon. Their team has been putting out footage over and over. Yet this game remained a mystery. Feels good being right.

anelacistine
anelacistine

@chosenxeno Niche isn't a problem.  Eve Online is very niche game that has been going strong for over 10 years.  There is nothing wrong with not trying to be the next WOW killer, we've seen tons of generic lowest common denominator MMOs come and go.  Thousands of loyal fans who can't get their itch scratched anywhere else can keep a game afloat and profitable just as well as millions who are constantly going game to game to try the next big thing.


The problem isn't what they were trying to do.  The problem is that they couldn't pull it off.

Wild_Phil
Wild_Phil

Damn...where else can I fulfill my gaming desires of being a slave or whore (including pissing and defecating on my chest)?!?!


This is sad news for MMO fans!

Jownz
Jownz

So what happens to the peeps that spent 600$ on a house LOL or the guilds that dropped thousands ? They get to walk around in the homes without the game. LOL

ashfyn
ashfyn

Another developer's dreams busted.  Didn't we just cover this in a column about ambitions?  Yea, but while we can't look away from train wrecks, remember there have been developers who have taken next to nothing and made it something (Obsidian, Pillars of Eternity) and others who had very little but managed themselves and their community well (Grinding Gear Games, Path of Exile).


My takeaway from this?  Make sure your game's initials are POE. 

DamnDirtyApe
DamnDirtyApe

Welp, there go all my dreams of playing a game with features like “taking a shit, pissing, having sex, slavery, serial killing abilities, and more".

skoryy
skoryy

The huge vocal demand for super hardcore sandboxes just never quite catches up to the actual financial supply.

Lethality
Lethality

@skoryy What gives you the impression Revival is "super hardcore"?

nshelton
nshelton

Start a kickstarter for a hard working man to get a vacation and you get flamed, people do shit like this and get applauded.

santiagodraco
santiagodraco

@Damonvile @nshelton No genius, like taking peoples money without a solid plan on how to accomplish their development goals.   This should have been a kickstarter with a high minimum (enough to deliver the game) which would have failed had it not reached the funding level.   Instead they duped people out of tons of money with nothing to show for it but a demo environment.

talast
talast

aww I was keeping a vague eye on this game, see if it turned out to be something..guess not.

Hounddog74
Hounddog74

"Hey guys, thanks for the money, here's a free house tour for your troubles!"


And people wonder why I don't drop a dime on this pre-release shit anymore.

playerxx
playerxx

Bad news after bad news for MMMORPG. The heck...



I knew it must be hard to make it sex/pee/poo combo, but still.

Psionicinversion
Psionicinversion

If it's the same illfonic I'm thinking of they struggled with simple gameplay mechanics and massively struggled on animation with star citizens FPS module so it's not really a surprise they can't do this. It seems to be way outside the skill set

Psionicinversion
Psionicinversion

Yeah I do Sean Tracy, Steve bender and Travis day had to go out there periodically to help them fix stuff that they simply couldn't do on there own. TD was out there 6 weeks before they gave it to the crytek guys in Frankfurt. They were struggling badly. That's just from whate know they were working on it for like about 2 years before we knew who was making it and they would of had to of been baby sat through that looks like

Lethality
Lethality

@Psionicinversion You don't have any actual insight to that. The fact is when you outsource, you routinely if not permanently have staff onsite to manage the tasks. 

If you don't believe what Chris Roberts or anyone at CIG says about it, then there's no helping you.

So feel free to draw your own paranoid conclusions.

Psionicinversion
Psionicinversion

@Lethality @Psionicinversion illfonic was a cheap developer the simple fact is as what they were told to do was getting more complex they didnt know how to do it. You dont send sean tracy out to manage tasks. 


They were struggling, they kept missing deadlines because they were struggling on how to do it. If they were tasked with getting the 1st and 3rd camera unified we'd be here till 2020... crytek guy 1 line of code.


Fact is they were a budget developer that couldnt do everything asked of them, fair play they could of done what was originally asked but they couldnt do what needed to be done in the end now crytek is going to take the character models way beyond what illfonic could do.


Its like outsourcing your port to Nixxes and iron galaxy. You know Nixxes will be a good job but you can almost guarantee iron galaxies effort will be under whelming. There are different levels of skills a dev can do. Its why some devs games are really good, others average and others plain crap.

MrEllis
MrEllis

People seemed to over invest in this one. With the train wrecks becoming the norm you figure we'd learn by now.

Lethality
Lethality

@Greaterdivinity @MrEllis I'm sure you're not implying people do it because they're dumb. 

Knowing that's not the case, there must be other reasons... some really good reasons.

ZephW
ZephW

@Greaterdivinity @MrEllis People are just looking for something to capture their imaginations again. Revival was offering a compelling vision of a virtual world and a game that allowed players the freedom to play exactly how they wanted to. I don't think it's any wonder that people who value that kind of thing in their MMOs would be interested in supporting Revival. Speaking for myself, I'm exhausted with the genre's current offerings and Revival has been a much needed source of fresh air and new ideas.

MrEllis
MrEllis

@Malrowe @Greaterdivinity @MrEllis People speak of it as if it were the best game never made. Spoiler alert: all of them are. Every single game not made could have been anything and people will enshrine it in rose tint and wax on poetic about how awesome it would have been. At this point a large chunk of folks like to kickstart the dream and just imagine with the dev how awesome it would have been after it fails. It's become a meta mmo where you talk about how awesome the game will be with others, pay a fee to speak with "authority" about it then everyone gets to help accept some of the blame when it crashes.

Don't worry, we'll give them endless chances. First adoring fans will defend said dev then once name recognition kicks in witless publishers will prop up that curtain and the Wizard can carry on. 

Greaterdivinity
Greaterdivinity

@MrEllis It's strange. Games that have little to nothing in the way of playable builds, with grand promises that seem impossible to deliver on, with teams that show little experience or skill at actually making a game, somehow manage to find small but insanely vocal and dedicated communities to follow them. I mean, Trail of Ascension is a great example of this. The game has been kicking around for years and years, and despite having done little more than open a single small map for what can barely be called alpha testing it's still got ardent defenders who think the game is the WoW killer.

The internet is a truly vexing and confusing place.

ReesRacer
ReesRacer

Many won't offer a confession (if any, given the news), but I will. 

I bought a property. Not one of the big ones, mind you. 

I wanted to support the vision.

I don't fund this sort of project with any regularity. 

I'm disappointed in the news, but not crestfallen or bankrupt because of it.


This is the nature of game-development today, it seems. My family made money in drilling oil wells...perhaps it's that part of me that takes the risk. This one was dry. 


Now, back to fun with BDO and The Division!

luxundae
luxundae

Sigh, there goes another one that seemed like it could actually be different.  Not terribly surprised, but still somewhat sad.  Tough year for the industry so far.

Jacra
Jacra

Surprised. Not.

I feel sorry for the estate buyer though.

A Dad Supreme
A Dad Supreme

 "We’re also going to unlock visitation access to all of the properties you don’t currently have access to, including the estates. You won’t “own” them, but you will be able to see every home that you couldn’t before. I know it’s not much, but you made a lot of work possible and you should at least be able to see it, right?"

======

Art imitates life.

Silverlock
Silverlock

Hopefuly they'll find a way to move this interesting project forward again sometime in the near future.

ManastuUtakata
ManastuUtakata

"Revival was best known for its implementation of radical game mechanics, including slavery and prostitution."

That seems more reactionary than radical to me. And something I wouldn't touch with a 100 mile poll and a pigtail. :(

That said, there still seems to be strong interest in this from certain sectors. For that I am truly sorry to hear the for the loss of this game. I do hope some developers who is able to stick with their plans, build a game to these players liking. My condolences and best wishes for their gaming future. I hope they soon find what they want. /bows

ManastuUtakata
ManastuUtakata

@Karl_Hungus @ManastuUtakata 

That was a term I did not know about. When looking it up, it was thing I really didn't want know about. But I guess in the context of this game, I could see why they would get off on it. /shudders

EpicViking
EpicViking

Revival looked cool.. on paper at least, but they had zero to show for it. 5 minutes of walking around in a house you spent... 300$ on? Best game evar.

ZephW
ZephW

This is so heartbreaking to me. I fell in love with MMOs in 1999 when I logged into Ultima Online for the first time. The game sold itself to me earlier the same day purely on the promise of an adventure in another world with people all over the globe. It's a simple and powerful idea, and it has always been the core of what makes these games not only fun and interesting, but powerful and truly meaningful social experiences. That virtual world fabric is what holds all of the disparate features and player types in a game together. Revival was a project with a team that understood that in a visceral way, and who understood why so many players like myself feel disillusioned with modern games. Some of their design ideas were weird, sure, but at the heart of their project was a passionate commitment to that original MMO promise.

pid
pid

You said well. A promise. There were no mmo elements at all, if not on paper. Have you ever logged in and seen other players with which to interact?

No? Well, that's because there never was an mmo in this game. A log in screen is not enough.

I mean, if I put a sticker with mmo written on it on a trashcan is it an mmo?

No? Why? Because there is no implementation. The sole intention to do an mmo is not enough. By looking at the codebase I'm sure you wouldn't be able to say that it was an mmo.

So why call it mmo if it never was one? Because of intentions?

Look at other projects like earthrise or tabula rasa or project gorgon or repopulation. THOSE were actual MMOs! And failed. I'd shear tears for those rather for revival, which was nothing but a non-mmo.

Sunken Visions
Sunken Visions

Well this is definitely the year of disappointment, and it's not even April yet...

pid
pid

Black desert makes up for it. Not a disappointment at all. It's the best year since a long time, already.

Roughrider
Roughrider

Well that really sucks... This was something I was looking forward to, yet TBH with a bit of skepticism they could pull it off.

zyrusticae
zyrusticae

Man. 

There really is nothing to look forward to in the near future of MMO-dom, huh? So sad. 

pid
pid

Vr based MMOs?

Greaterdivinity
Greaterdivinity

@zyrusticae Continued great updates/expansions for existing MMO's.

That's more than enough for me, I can't even come close to keeping up with those, much less keep adding more games -_-