After 6 years, space sim Limit Theory ceases development

Space sandbox game Limit Theory has thrown in the towel, with one-man development team Josh Parnell posting a long, passionate goodbye to the project announcing that it’s over. Funded six years ago with a moderately successful Kickstarter, Parnell says that he’s at the end of crowdfunded funds and personal investments, citing a desire to care for his own mental and physical well-being as another reason to cease development. 

In the post, Parnell blames no-one but himself for the game’s incomplete state. “Despite what felt like an incredible amount of progress in the last year alone,” he said, “Limit Theory remains frighteningly far from feature completion.” He says that he “underestimated at every turn” what goes into a game of such scale.

Perhaps most notable about Limit Theory, as opposed to other failed crowdfunding projects of such scope, is that it has seen significant signs of progress and consistent updates over the years. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to try for something wonderful,” said Parnell to his backers.

Backer reactions to the announcement are relatively positive, if somber, with most emphasizing that though the players are sad Parnell’s dream will not see fruition, they are glad he tried. Parnell will now prepare the game’s source code for release, though he says it’s not a working game. “I don't imagine it will be of any use to anyone,” he says in the goodbye post to the game. He does, however, note that he thinks those interested in game engines may glean a thing or two from it.

Limit Theory was to be a large-scale space simulator, with players flying ships, pirating each other, and exploring new worlds. It was first funded in 2012, the same year that games like Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen were drawing significant interest and first getting funded.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.