Whatever happened to The Repopulation? (2022 Edition)

    
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A few weeks back, I was working on a column that includes a reference to The Repopulation, and I realized I hadn’t heard anything about the game in a long time. So I went back to look: Our last article was almost a year ago when the game issued its last tweet, but we didn’t miss a whole heck of a lot between then and now; the team offered a blog post on character systems, an annual recap, and then, last February came the last optimization-related missive, during which Idea Fabrik said it was delaying its “big announcement for just a little longer” following medical setbacks among the team and expected news on its next update mid-March.

So the short answer is that The Repopulation is still being worked on, though we haven’t had an official dev announcement on the website in almost half a year; most of the admittedly minimal developer chatter appears to happen in Discord. For example, here’s a brief update from May, in which a dev tells testers there’s “no need for alarm”:

The long answer is that The Repopulation has been sitting in early access alpha for so long it might just be a record: eight years. It was Kickstarted in 2012 by original developer Above & Beyond as a Star Wars Galaxies-inspired sandbox MMO, hitting early access in 2014. But shortly thereafter, Above & Beyond was caught up in a contract dispute with Hero Engine company Idea Fabrik; the conflict led to outages, a second hastily assembled game, and development slowdowns, and then ultimately it culminated with the shocking news that Idea Fabrik had acquired The Repopulation and promised to develop it.

That was five and a half years ago, and if you thumb through our coverage since then, you can see that development has been incremental as Idea Fabrik says it is slowly rewriting large swathes of the game from scratch. Based on the latest updates, it doesn’t appear the once-anticipated indie MMO will be emerging from early access or alpha any time soon.

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