One of the big calling cards of PAX Australia last year was Bethesda's free-to-play BATTLECRY, the MOBA-esque third party action brawler. Bethesda promised it would have an exclusive beta for Australia and New Zealand, and the crowd was enthralled over the whole weekend.
But news about BATTLECRY has run thin and the game was absent from last weekend's EB Expo, despite a decent showing for Fallout 4. One writer put the question to Bethesda: what's going on with BATTLECRY?
That writer was Thomas Koch from Progress Bar, who received an answer I'd wager he wasn't expecting.
"We have concerns about the BATTLECRY game and whether it is meeting the objectives we have for it," Bethesda's statement reads. "We are evaluating what improvements the game needs to meet our quality standards. The studio remains busy during this process on multiple projects."
It's a huge indictment against BATTLECRY, which Bethesda was hyping up quite a bit last year. They ran tournaments at QuakeCon and produced a little documentary series on the tournament, indicating that perhaps the developer and publisher were interested in forging a competitive scene that many iD titles — a studio which Bethesda owns — set benchmarks for.
But now, BATTLECRY looks deeply troubled. The complete absence of the Australia/New Zealand exclusive beta was a huge question mark and the frankness in Bethesda's statement to Koch is nothing short of disturbing. It's almost as if Bethesda are saying their own game isn't fun. It's certainly not ready — and if the publisher is openly questioning its progress, one has to wonder if there is a risk that the current developers, or the entire project, might even be canned.