If there’s one thing that MMO fans have learned (and re-learned) over the years, it’s that it’s not a great idea to take things at face value when it comes to upcoming games. A healthy dose of skepticism is useful to keep one from getting burned by developers and studios who might make outlandish claims and expect them to be accepted.
So as you read this investigative piece at Kotaku that questions the validity and backing of Wild West Online, perhaps it’s useful as a reminder that we should be skeptical until a company and its product are proven.
The article in question raises a few concerns over Wild West Online, an online western sandbox that appeared out of nowhere a few months ago and is being developed by a studio that didn’t seem to exist much prior to that. It digs up some circumstantial evidence that hints of a link between WWO and Free Reign Entertainment, the studio that put out Sergey Titov’s The War Z.
It’s important to note that the studio has previously adamantly denied involvement with Titov.
“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,” a 612 Games representative told followers in May. After we followed up on the accusations made on Reddit last spring, the company made this statement to Massively OP directly:
“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.”
It is nevertheless strange that 612 Games has a barebones website and has listed only three developers working on the project.
“Until further evidence turns up we have to take the company at its word,” Kotaku concludes. “The spaghetti tangle of company names and things like 612’s set-up may be a little unconventional, but there’s no harm in that.”