Sometimes when we circle back around to a game we haven’t covered in a while, we’re met with a big surprise. That’s absolutely the case for 2Dogs Games’ in-development title Destiny’s Sword: Readers will remember this tactical sci-fi MMO had a big hook about considering the mental health of the game’s characters. The game released a Kickstarter in 2019 that raised roughly $23,000 US, we’ve had a hands-on preview, and as of 2020 the devs had put out a demo.
That brings us to September and the aforementioned surprise: Somewhen between 2020 and now, Destiny’s Sword transformed into a visual novel with no immediately outlined explanation or announcement of the switch. The game’s official site and the site for the developer both still call the game an MMORPG, and information on its Twitter account and Facebook page still have references to its original MMO leanings in 2021. The game’s last blog post arrived in 2019, and the exceptionally quiet Discord has only a few posts at all over the last years; the pertinent ones refer to the studio’s attempts to find a publisher and other sources of income during COVID.
Instead, it’s the game’s Steam page that tipped us off. There’s no clear timeline for what happened here, as the infostream leaps from 2020 to a September 2022 demo of the game’s first mission, while the Steam storefront has quietly changed its description from MMO to “living-narrative graphic adventure.” The game has evidently landed itself a publisher – Bonus Stage Publishing – which also categorizes it as a visual novel and lists it as a purely single-player game.
The first hint of a single-player switch came entirely out of the blue 10 days ago with the demo release, alongside a claim that the “full game is releasing soon” in 2022. There is no explanation for the abrupt pivot, nor so much as an apology for backers.
On September 12th, 2Dogs announced a chat stream for the same day to explain its genre shift, but there are currently no videos of such a livestream on YouTube or the Twitch channels for the game, the studio, or its new publisher, nor are there any mentions of or links to the event or its contents on the game’s social media channels or Discord at the time of this writing.
In any event, it would appear that we could collectively take this one off of our coverage radar… were it not for the fact that it was Kickstarted very explicitly as an MMO for “tens of thousands of concurrent players, all interacting in a persistent world” and funded by MMO players expecting to actually receive the “inclusive, uniquely social online game” promised during crowdfunding.