As much as we'd prefer it never happened, games do get cancelled, though it's not always because the cash wasn't there, or the team was assassinated by an unassuming Labrador. For Re-Logic's Terraria: Otherworld, which it pulled the plug on earlier this week, it was simply a case of the game being "a bit further away from the finish line than [Re-Logic] had imagined".
Much like its predecessor, Otherworld was to be a side-scrolling sandbox title, set in an "alternate dimension within the Terraria universe".
The GDC 2015 clip below shows the game in action; it's pretty clear Otherworld is Terraria with a bit more purple.
News about the game was far and few between until April 2017, when Re-Logic brought a company called Pipeworks Studios into the mix, to "examine the entire game, from top to bottom, to see how it fits with our high expectations and core vision".
Apparently this examination didn't go well, with Re-Logic announcing the cancellation on Thursday. In the post, Ted Murphy, the company's Head of Business Strategy & Marketing, makes it clear Re-Logic wasn't willing to "compromise game quality for speed to market" and that while "progress has absolutely been made" since 2015, the game just didn't pass muster:
...a very thorough status review of the game versus its intended design showed both the Re-Logic and 505/Pipeworks teams that things were quite a bit further away from the finish line than we had imagined.
Taking the massive amount of work that would be remaining to complete along with the extensive time it would take to get that done, and how that would greatly interfere with the pursuit of other projects on behalf of Re-Logic – it becomes clear that this leaves things in a very undesirable state.
Murphy goes on to state that it was an "error in judgement" to announce the game so early and that Re-Logic "will be far more judicious" with information sharing in the future.
From the sounds of it, Re-Logic's decision was made for all the right reasons, though I'm sure it'll sting for some time to come.