Wild West Online addresses Sergey Titov rumors [Updated]

Rumors spread on Reddit yesterday suggesting that Sergey Titov is involved in Wild West Online have been partially but not fully debunked. Titov, you’ll recall, was the controversial personality behind scandal-riddled The War Z aka Infestation: Survivor Stories aka Infestation World, a survival game so terrible our original reviewer called it “worse than actually being killed by zombies.”

Reddit user TheSkiesAreShattered (now deleted) posted his hypothesis (now deleted) that Titov was involved in Wild West Online’s development and indeed was its mysterious investor. The Redditor offered circumstantial evidence including an engine comparison, domain name patterns, and Facebook friends lists, chastising the press for missing those “clues.” Similar threads on the official forum have been locked and heavily moderated with links to the Reddit thread removed, but a forum moderator confirmed that the team licensed the engine from Free Reign Entertainment – that’s Sergey Titov’s outfit.

“No, Sergey Titov is not involved in the development of this game, but yes we use a game engine developed and supported by one of his companies,” the mod writes. A second followup post from the developers also homes in on the engine rumor specifically but doesn’t address the other allegations:

“We’d like to address some concern that has been voiced regarding use of the Nightshade engine. We decided from the outset that we did not want to develop a new engine – our strengths lie in game and story design so we wanted to use an existing engine that would be suitable for an online, multiplayer game and allow us to scale over time. We chose Nightshade because it provides the best tools for our team in terms of building/scaling the game, and it has some robust anti-cheat features already embedded that would save us time and expense that we could then allocate towards feature development. We’re happy with our choice, and are working to bring you a fun game experience built atop this engine. This is the only post we will be making regarding this subject and we expect this will allay the concerns of certain members of our community. We now want to focus on the game and working with you guys to make something pretty badass for PC. We hope you guys will judge us on the outcome of the game and give us your support so that we can bring this to fruition.”

Concerns very much not allayed, Massively OP reached out to 612 Games for comment yesterday, hence the delay on this post, but the studio sent us the same engine-related statement it made on the forums, in spite of the fact that we asked specifically about Sergey Titov’s role in funding the game, not about the engine. The team did not address Titov’s involvement in the game’s funding or lack thereof on the record. We have requested further clarification.

Source: Reddit, official forums. Thanks, Kieran and halldorr!
Update: Massively OP has received an additional statement from 612 that makes clear Titov is not financing the game or involved in any way.

“Yes, we are using the Nightshade game engine from Free Reign Entertainment. However, 612 Games is neither a subsidiary of Free Reign, nor financed by Free Reign or Sergey Titov. The team is focused on making a great game that will speak for itself, and now that we’ve addressed this topic we are going to return our focus to the game itself. Thank you for your continued support.”

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50 Comments on "Wild West Online addresses Sergey Titov rumors [Updated]"

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Keiran Dibble

Too many one-sided idiots who like to hate something all because they’re using an engine made by someone they hate.. It’s kinda sad really. They don’t have a kick starter so they’re “NOT” stealing your money and if you buy the game from the site, then that’s your fault. Instead of accusing and becoming an ignorant prick.. wait till the end product then you can have your say. (If my grammar is bad then i get to trigger all the grammar Nazis on this site lel)

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Neurotic

The Russian Derek Smart… :D

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Chris Brown-DeMoreno

To be fair, the horrible review referenced in the above article was on “The War Z (aka Infestation: Survivor Stories)” and was written in 2013. By the time it became Infestation World (2016) it was noted that “Frame rate inconsistencies, bugs and cheating have been addressed”. Since this game is obviously using the most recent version of the engine, it’s safe to say that frame rate inconsistencies, bugs and cheating have been addressed.

I’m willing to give both Sergey and the engine a chance to prove that they are better than the reputation they apparently have. 612 Games seems to want to deliver a quality product to us so I have no reason to believe they’ll intentionally release us a turd (and every game has had cheating in some form or fashion so I’m more interested in how they handle it going forward verses whether or not it’s [impossibly] cheat proof).

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mcsleaz

“The team is focused on making a great game that will speak for itself”

Then why are you using Sergey Titov’s horrible, horrible engine?

vikaernes
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vikaernes

The fact that this could bury one of the few MMOs on the horizon doing something different than swords and sorcery is disappointing. Just the fact that there’s no steam early access puts this way off the typical MO of Titov. I’m going to judge it by the merits of the end product, it costs me nothing to do so.

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kidwithknife

Ewww… I actually don’t care one way or the other that they’re using the War Z engine or who they have funding them, but the super-defensive reaction is very off putting. I suppose it doesn’t matter much since they’re not asking for Kickstarter money or anything, but it still leaves a pretty poor impression.

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neil shelton

oh my, war z is the most hackable engine ever. pass.

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Mikka Hansen

and thus, a game goes from promising to dead in the blink of an eye

vikaernes
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vikaernes

They’ve already made it very clear that he’s not involved in any way in the development of the game. That’s good enough for me. While I understand it’s not enough for everyone, and others want assurance that he is not involved in the project funding? Well, that is, unfortunately, none of our damn business. Private investors have the right to remain just that, private, whether we like them or not. I honestly think it’s the engine and not a whole lot else, though.

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kgptzac

Then the studio should properly address this “concern” (however fake you may regard it) by telling everyone they are not disclosing such information, and the reason for not disclosing this information, all in professional manners. Dodging and stay silence is actually not good PR for any intelligent customer.

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Chris Moss

100% Agree