The Repopulation has finally issued its promised announcement to the community following the long HeroEngine drama that drove it offline last month: Above & Beyond is porting the indie sandbox to Unreal Engine.
“Although we have had numerous discussions on possible solutions to these issues over the past few months, we did not find a good solution that would make absolutely sure we would never have this problem again,” the studio told backers and followers this evening. “Given the circumstances we have decided it would be in the best interest of the game to port to Unreal Engine. This is not a decision that we have taken lightly. While many of our assets will convert over easily to Unreal Engine, the game’s code will need to be rewritten from scratch. We realize that this will set development back by a significant period of time, and apologize to our fan base for the issues. At this point though, we felt this was the best move for the future.”
In the interim, A&B will publish a spin-off, action-oriented, non-MMO, sci-fi survival version of The Repopulation called Fragmented to tide fans over until the long work of porting the MMORPG is completed. Work began on this spin-off back in November; it will be given freely to all owners of The Repopulation. The best news is that testing for Fragmented begins in February.
Above & Beyond has reiterated that The Repopulation has not been canceled, that it expects multiple eyecandy and scaling improvements as a result of the engine swap, and that it hopes to release the redone game piecemeal in modules. It has vowed to support both games simultaneously when completed.