When Arc System Works bought the rights to River City Ransom and some other games, it wasn't clear what it meant for the fan-made River City Underground. Thankfully, it's not dead.
River City Underground was funded in October 2013, which means we're approaching two years since it was first announced. The game was planned for release in September 2014, but as is the case with many games, crowdfunded or not, it was delayed.
When the rights to River City Ransom changed hands, the developers were in an awkward position. Would Arc System Works sign off on this? Maybe they had plans for a sequel?
"I really want to tell you where we are at with the proceedings with Arc System Works," said producer Daniel Crenna, when I contacted him in early July, "but can't make any comment about it until they are concluded, but I will reach out as soon as that happens with more info."
A few weeks ago, Crenna reached out and told me it was "still ongoing" but hoped it would "conclude soon." When I asked whether or not things were going well, there was no response.
I feared the worst.
Then, Crenna got in touch yesterday to reveal the game's Steam Greenlight campaign, which came with news that Arc System Works was on-board with River City Underground. They also decided to reveal an extensive gameplay trailer, showing how the game was coming together.
You know what? It's looking pretty dang good!
As for why it took so long, Crenna shrugged.
"Not really sure," he said. "We reached agreement quickly about the assignment in principle, the rest was just processing time getting things signed and passed around all three parties."
We still don't have a release date (or window), but at least the game feels real again.