Towns development halts after its sole developer abandons the game

Phil Savage

Ever since it appeared in late-2012, Towns has served almost as a warning for the dangers of Early Access—despite being released before Steam's alpha purchase model was officially a thing. Accepted through Greenlight, the developers launched the game before having implemented the majority of its promised features. Eighteen months later, and a Steam Reviews page filled with angry red thumbs suggests that those initial blueprints were never achieved. Now, it seems, they never will be. Florian 'Moebius' Frankenberger, the person most recently in charge of Towns' "ongoing development", has abandoned the game, effectively halting further production.

"I hope you are not too disappointed," Frankenberger wrote in a post on the Towns forum . "And if you are: I'm really sorry. I'm quite new to indie game dev and I couldn't really see that the game sales were declining that rapidly. I guess if I had more experience I would have seen it coming."

It's a bizarre situation. Towns received relatively few updates over its history, and the original developers had planned to stop production in February of this year. Just over a month ago, Frankenberger joined as the game's new sole developer , renewing fans hopes of further support. But in the post announcing his departure, Frankenberger admits that he overestimated how much the game was selling. "I agreed to work on Towns for 15% of what would remain after removing all the taxes and the Steam fee ... To be completely honest, I can't work for that little amount."

Based on Frankenberger's post, it seems the team is now betting on a sequel. "Xavi and I were talking about a possible Towns2," he wrote. "At the moment this is just in an idea stage and we can't really say if he, I, or eventually Ben have the time to create a Towns2." That news will be of little comfort to those who supported and funded the development of the original game.

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