New Game From Peter Molyneux's Studio Pops Up On iTunes

The Trail, a game in development at Peter Molyneux's embattled game studio 22Cans for years, now has a page on the iTunes store. The game appears to be a third-person adventure in which you walk along a massive trail, collect items, travel through various landscapes, craft and trade. There's also mention of town-building functionality, which involves "community", suggesting that the game might have a multiplayer component.

Here's a screenshot of the page:

Here are a couple videos from ALLSTARS PRODUCTION and IGV IOS and Android Gameplay Trailers. They may not stay up for long, so watch while you can:

As of now, the game can't be downloaded in Australia. It is, however, apparently available in the Philippines. It's unclear whether this is a soft/stealth release or a mistake on 22Cans' part.

Molyneux and co have said very little about The Trail. It was first mentioned back in 2014, but the company continued to focus on Kickstarter god game Godus publicly. Internally, however, it was apparently a different story. While reporting on Godus' lacklustre state last year, I was told by two sources who formerly worked at 22Cans that The Trail became the developer's central focus for a while. From my report:

People have been wary of Godus' development progress for a while, but red flags really went up toward the end of 2014. In the wake of Molyneux's announcement of The Trail and server problems with Godus' mobile version, the Godus team shrank to three members, said one of my sources. Some people left the company of their own volition; others were moved onto The Trail.
Two people who worked on Godus say that this was Molyneux's way of winding down development on the game. The mobile version was more or less complete, and the Steam version wasn't making money, according to those people. Funds, meanwhile, were beginning to dry up. Despite the fact that the Steam version was only halfway done, Molyneux was, according to those sources, willing to call it a day and shift focus onto The Trail.

Molyneux disputed this, claiming that he felt that the Godus team's morale had nosedived, and it was time for a change of pace.

I've reached out to 22Cans for more information about The Trail's release, but they have yet to reply to my inquiries.


Comments

    Does anyone still trust this asshole?

      Who could doubt him, after the sheer, jaw-dropping awesomeness of the prize awarded for the person who "won" at "Curiosity"?

      There is probably still somebody out there who trusts Molyneux. They've been living in the depths of the Amazon jungle for twenty years or so, deprived of all access to civilisation.

      I sometimes wonder if Molyneux has any grasp of just how badly he's damaged his reputation in recent years. First, the issues with the later Fable games. Then, the controversy over the "prize" for Curiosity. Finally, the gameplay and development issues with Godus - a game where they are winding down development on Steam because revenue is declining... while it is still in Early Access. (And Godus is in the genre where he made his reputation in the first place.)

        I'll always appreciate the magic he created with the first two Fables. Even if he fucked up a hundred more times, it still doesn't make a good game bad all of a sudden. I'd much rather have more people like Molyneux who shoot for the stars and fall short than the suits controlling the industry right now who think risk aversion is the key goal for game development.

          For "Later Fable Games" read Fable III (which was sort of boring) and Fable: The Journey (which was cancelled, evidently for good reason.) The first two Fable games were pretty good.

          But his last four games, were, in order
          (1) Boring - Fable 3.
          (2) Cancelled, and from previews looked like a second-rate rail shooter - Fable: The Journey.
          (3) Basically a clicker game with an enormously hyped, and largely duplicitous, prize - Curiosity.
          (4) Yet another clickfest in the guise of a God game, where the principal criticisms of the game were largely ignored, and which never left Early Access. - Godus.

          The problem here isn't that he's risk averse. For most of his history he really has produced good, playable games with an imaginative twist; I still fire up Populous occasionally. Before Fable III the only games he was involved with that reviewed at all badly were the Black & White games, and those were also decent aside from some slightly janky AI.

          But the way that the "winner" of Curiosity was treated is arguably criminally fraudulent, and the potential that Godus had was wasted with a really horrible user interface. I actually made the mistake of paying for Godus when it was first announced - at around US$40 at the time. I have played worse games than Godus, including some fully-priced ones, but none where the waste of the developer's pedigree was so shamefully evident.

          Eventually you reach the point where you can no longer praise a developer for being willing to take risks and have to accept that you are the one taking a risk by paying for their games. Molyneux is IMO well past that point.

          Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and by God what was I thinking?

          (Fortunately I never played Curiosity, but as I was still a fan of his at the time I tracked what happened with some interest, and how its winner was treated with increasing disgust. But I did pay full price for both Fable III and Godus.)

    Ah walking-on-rails simulator? It has a few interesting ideas but I cannot see how the gameplay would not get old quickly.

    Meh; it's F2P so no harm in trying it before paying anything. Looks kinda neat.

    Last edited 07/09/16 11:10 am

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