Dean Hall’s space sandbox MMO Ion is dead

Way back in 2015, Dean Hall announced Ion, a ridiculously ambitious sci-fi space sandbox MMO built using Improbable’s SpatialOS. And now it’s dead.

Eurogamer went digging and got statements from Improbable and Hall that imply it’s game over for the game; Improbably says it’s not working on Ion but wouldn’t really comment further, and Hall said that he and his New Zealand studio aren’t working on it either — in fact, it hasn’t been active since fall of last year and couldn’t be done without Improbable. There’s clearly plenty left being unsaid.

And just so we understand exactly what we’re losing here: Hall was adamant at E3 2015 that the game was an MMO. “We had a lot of marketing people saying, don’t call it an MMO. Everyone will think it’s orcs and wizards running around,” he said at the time. “It’s stale [the MMO genre]. My point is, that’s exactly why we have to own it as an MMO. It is. It’s inspired by EVE Online and Space Station 13. I’m hoping that we can show there are so many areas you can innovate in terms of MMOs.”

Dammit.

Source: Eurogamer
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25 Comments on "Dean Hall’s space sandbox MMO Ion is dead"

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CloakingDonkey .

He’s a grenade, though.

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Alberto

It was dead the minute Dean Hall’s names came up for me….. its a shame but I guess Hellion will have to give me my hard core space survival fix.

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Sorenthaz

That’s incredibly disappointing. Space Station 13 is one of the real gems that have come from BYOND. Hell there are games on BYOND that are pretty much 2d sandboxes like DB Finale and its several spinoffs/rips. Basically was doing things better than Dragon Ball Online and Xenoverse in terms of getting to make a character in the series universe and build up power and skills and do stuff around a pretty large 2d universe.

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Rottenrotny

Bummer. We really need some more sci-fi MMOs.
All the current ones are faceroll casual fests or vaporware.
I don’t really count Eve as an MMO. :P

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Robert Mann

Sad, but expected.

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Greaterdivinity

Considering the fate of DayZ (year 3 of paid alpha, baby!) this should come as a surprise to nobody.

Can we go back to ignoring him and whatever the next vaporware project he works on? That would be real nice.

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nobleeinherjar

Pretty much this. I had no idea this project existed but I can’t say I’m surprised to hear it got canceled.

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MesaSage

There was a drive-thru coffee shop that went up near me called “Bean and Gone”. Cute. It lasted less then six months. Words have an effect and you should choose them carefully.

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silverlock

I remember working at a marina when I guy pulled up to the dock with a boat named “On the Rocks II” I was like didn’t he learn the first time?

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agemyth ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Making games is hard.

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Alex Willis

Why is there all this talk of “blame”, or deflecting blame? Quoting Hall, from the article: “You know me, I don’t like not saying anything”…”I’m definitely of the opinion that you don’t deflect blame to someone else simply because it falls at you”.

1) Nobody is suggesting anybody but Hall is responsible. So he can drop the white knight routine.
2) There’s nothing to mourn because nothing ever happened — besides promises, all of which originated from Dean Hall.

This isn’t even Vaporware — it’s WoolgatheringWare.

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enamel

“There’s nothing to mourn because nothing ever happened”

Exactly, it seems very odd to mourn the loss of something that never existed in any meaningful way in the first place.

mednioz
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mednioz

Oh this ion’s temptation – once was Ion Storm, now just Ion …