Early Access Game Pulled From Steam After Months Without Updates

Early Access Game Pulled From Steam After Months Without Updates

The Stomping Land, an ambitious dinosaur game that launched on Steam in May, is no longer available for sale following months without updates or news from the developers behind it.

The Steam page is still live, but you can no longer buy the game.

It's yet another case of a game in Early Access -- the Steam service that lets players buy into games before they're actually completed -- flopping in high-profile fashion.

The last significant update for The Stomping Land, which cost $US25 as part of Steam's Early Access program, went live in June. Since then, the developers have been quiet about their progress, apparently ignoring fan outcry on the Steam discussion boards and elsewhere. In July, the game's main PR/community representative quit, writing on the Steam boards that the developers were "not very communicative" and saying he was sick of stringing fans along.

Last month, The Stomping Land lead developer Alex "Jig" Fundora promised to Kotaku that he and his team were still working on the game, though he would not explain the rationale behind their lack of communication. However, Fundora and his team have remained radio silent since then.

In 2013, Fundora raised over $US114,000 on Kickstarter for the project, which he then estimated would be released in May of 2014. Patricia liked what she's seen so far of The Stomping Land, though it's clearly unfinished.

Valve hasn't yet explained why they're no longer selling The Stomping Land, and there's no word on whether people who purchased the game on Early Access will receive refunds. We've reached out to them and to the developers for more information.


Comments

    Again, this is why I'll only pay for the really large kickstarters that're almost guaranteed to be finished. By the sounds of it this is yet another developer who wrote up a 'budget' on a piece of paper, got their kickstarter money and then spent it all in one go. Early access would then be a way to get more funds in while still developing.

      Kinda like Towns. Lotta developers getting the thing working 'good enough' to convincer buyers to buy into its potential, then never realize that potential. Because y'know. The money's come in already. Why keep working for money you already have? "Fuck you, got mine! Oh... but buy my next game, it's gonna be awesome!"

    Early access is a toxic system. Pay to play test games just gives most devs an excuse to get slack. Granted i've seen a few early access that use the funds and time to add extra things, but most even come up short of their promises.

      I hate the premise of Early Access, but still find myself getting sucked in! I purchased Mini Metro last night and Broforce a few weeks back, but both of these look likely to be complete this year.

        I was a bit disappointed with Broforce.. I love the game, but when they made the Expendabros instead of finishing the main game. I know that the film company probably threw a tonne of money at them to do it, but it's still alienating the people waiting for the full game :\
        But take Mercenary kings for example, it's another good game but it spent ages in early access and they didnt even end up adding in 3/5 of the playable characters.. slack..

        I think Broforce is the only Early Access game I've bought so far. It gets (almost) monthly updates and mechanically has felt pretty much complete for most of the year - just needs a bit of polish on things like menu, multiplayer, etc. Prison Architect seems like a similar case but I still haven't gotten around to trying it.

        I've backed a few I haven't liked the resulting game (7 days to die and stone hearth) but fortunately none that have outright failed. The most successful one is Planetary Annihilation - playing this most days.

    never getting early access again.
    since the issues with rust.
    the only one i like, is asseto corsa, even its not finished, can still have fun, and have gotten my 20 bux worth out of it

    Usually overly ambitious early access will never get a release date and devs will say things like they bite more than they can chew yada yada. Money gone hiring talented developer.

    Never buy early access for new developers with ambitious goals. It does not work.

    Last edited 03/09/14 9:00 am

    I wonder if it's worth trying my luck getting a refund considering Valve is currently being sued by the ACCC for ignoring Australian consumer law in regards to refunds.

    Considering it has stuff like "It has had a year of progress and will continue to undergo production with frequent updates until the end of 2015." on the steam page which at this point is clearly a false advertisement.

    I bought Starbound ages ago for early access. Got plenty of enjoyment from it but got a bit bored eventually and waited for updates for more content. It's still not completed though, and I don't know if I'll ever go back to it now. So I'll probably skip early access in the future.

      Yeah, been waiting patiently for the big update they have been working on but don't want to try out the nightly build and see all the content in drips and drabs.

      Gonna be sweet though

    steam was a great idea UNTILL they let all these absolute RUBBISH INDIE games to be sold on steam, I mean wow most of this stuff looks like it belongs back in the past and was made by a child.... steam is nothing more than a way to make quick money for people that make crap rubbish games. there are soooo many its just wrong imho. they should have a special area for indie games and keep all the REAL games separate from all that schoolkid rubbish. most look like school projects from little jimmy whos learning to make games and program. and does steam care, of course not they get their money so why would they. steam was good at the beginning then it became steam as we know it now... you know that steaming pile of poop we all love......

    I remember the good old days when Alphas and Betas weren't a "privilege" for consumers to be paid for, but something the devs actually HAD to do in order to release a properly finished game.

    That being said, I'm guilty of paying for Early Access games like DayZ.

    I would make STEAM accountable for the games it sells.

    Since this game has been out for so long all the funds will have cleared and gone to the developer. If Valve offers refunds (doubtful except as a PR exercise) then it'll come out of their Valve's own pocket.
    In the future what Valve will probably do is hold in escrow, say 65%, of an early access games revenue until a 1.0 release. Good for Valve as they'll make interest on someone else's money and devs will be forced to complete the game to claim the money.

    What is there to be refunded? Like Kickstarter, Early Access offers no promise of completion - you are buying into a beta tester. If you don't know or don't want the risk, don't buy into it.

    Valve owes those of us who bought the game absolutely nothing.

    If you're dumb enough to pay for Early Access, then you deserve to part with your money. It's that simple.

    I was actually speaking to someone the other day (in another game) and they seem to know the devs, and they said that the stomping land was being converted to Unreal 4 - so who knows.

    There's nothing wrong with early access. People just don't like being hit with responsibility when it comes to purchasing. How many full-priced games are released with unforgivable bugs that never get fixed? Early Access says "YO! BUGS INSIDE, BUY AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!" all over the place. Then when people buy it and find out it's not a fully featured game, they say the entire system is rubbish? What is wrong with you people

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