The clothing-optional survival horror game Agony, we said in our recent rundown, can't maintain its early promise. It starts off "gross and atmospheric," but its flaws become increasingly apparent as the game progresses: Weak AI, a frustrating death mechanic, and too much gloom for its own good. It doesn't sound like it sold very well, either: Developer Madmind Studio said today that it is "struggling with financial problems," and because of that, the planned release of Agony Unrated has been canceled.
"Due to technical and legal reasons, Madmind must cancel the development of Agony Unrated. Part of the team will continue to support Agony on Steam and consoles by publishing new patches," the studio said.
"PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC will get another patch this week. It will introduce many fixes and a highly refined lighting system."
A better lighting system will no doubt improve the game—"The darkness feels like a deliberate choice to try and keep you disoriented," as Tom said, "but squinting at a monitor isn't a great survival horror experience"—but that doesn't seem to be impressing the fan base. Various responses to the announcement demand refunds, a review bombing, legal action, and/or the shutdown of the studio and the permanent exile of anyone who worked on it in any capacity. Not all comments are unkind, but the overall tone is harsh.
It's interesting that Madmind specified that it was not only money but legal troubles that led to Agony Unrated being canned, because it said something very similar last month when plans for a post-release patch to uncensor the game were kiboshed. That decision was reversed following the "anything goes" change to Steam policy that Valve rolled out earlier this month, so what the new legal roadblock could be is a mystery. I've asked, and will update if and when I find out.