Windborne developers remove it from Steam Early Access


Windborne came to Steam Early Access in early 2014, and while it apparently held some promise, it still had some distance to cover before it was ready for prime time. Which is what Early Access is all about, really, but in this case supporters of the game won't get to see that potential met, because developer Hidden Path Entertainment has shut it down.

"We have attempted to secure the needed funding to finish the game in various avenues and unfortunately what was once a not-so-completive market has now been flooded with games of this style," Hidden Parth explained. "Windborne has been a labor of love for this studio since its inception. We have spent countless hours designing and creating a striking world to share with everyone. We have decided that after much business development around the title with no positive movement in funding that we will be delisting Windborne on Steam."

Unfortunately for those who purchased Windborne—a screen cap on VentureBeat indicates that it cost $30 for the standard edition and $45 for the deluxe release—there will be no refunds, as all the money was sunk into development. Nor will Hidden Path release the source code to allow for ongoing community development, as it still hopes to one day complete the game. "We still actively talk to publishers and investors about this game weekly because we love and believe in it so much," it wrote. "If it becomes possible to finish Windborne we will make sure that the community receives finished copies as well."

In lieu of refunds, everyone who owns Windborne will be given another five giftable copies, which will hopefully help maintain its multiplayer viability; it's no longer available for purchase but will continue to work online. Owners of the deluxe edition will also get three copies of Defense Grid 2 Steam Special Edition, and three of the Defense Grid: Containment bundle, to keep and/or gift as they see fit.

Predictably, not everyone is happy with the arrangement, and there are a number of accusations of malfeasance and general bad behavior floating around on the Steam forums. But there are also a few people who say the situation has actually worked out pretty well; one user claimed that he was able to trade his five copies of Windborne for other games worth three times what he paid for it. But good outcome or bad, it's yet another reminder of the risks inherent to Early Access. "Some teams will be unable to 'finish' their game," as Valve warned last year. "So you should only buy an Early Access game if you are excited about playing it in its current state."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.