Development of Barkley 2 is in more trouble than anyone knew

Last time we checked in on Barkley 2 about 18 months ago our conclusion was that development was "still slowly grinding forward". It may be doing so even slower than we thought.

Barkley 2 (or, to use its full name, The Magical Realms of Tír na nÓg: Escape from Necron 7—Revenge of Cuchulainn: The Official Game of the Movie—Chapter 2 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa) is a sequel to the only cyberpunk basketball RPG I'm aware of. Its development was crowdfunded via Kickstarter in 2012 to the tune of $120,335 and as far as anyone knew Tales of Game's Studios had been slowly working on it ever since, with updates trickling out at irregular intervals.

But now a former developer has posted on the Something Awful forums to explain that the project is in more trouble than anyone knew. Posting under the name Horatio, they wrote, "I was asked to join the project 3 years after the KS when the project had little money and was in shambles. I was committed to trying to finish the game but it was consistently set back by horrible management and I ended up quitting. The person who owns ToG and is running it now had nothing to do with Barkley 1 and has zero game dev experience. He is the ToG PR guy."

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They also wrote that "An entire book could be written on the problems this game had" including that "There was a revolving door of workers on the game", "A large amount of work was only done at most half way, then abandoned", and there was "Unwillingness to cut or simplify anything despite not having the manpower".

A remaining developer called "bhroom" responded via Barkley 2's official Twitter account, saying that the game is not 100% dead but everything else in the post is "pretty accurate". "I work on the game still, along with another coder", they wrote. "The development is certainly not full time, and hasn't been for a while."

They've promised a Kickstarter update with more information about Barkley 2's current state and where it goes from here.

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Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.