News Article

Shadow of the Eternals is Officially "On Hold"

Posted by Andy Green

Precursor Games announces the team will be "taking a break"

Precursor Games has had a couple of stabs at crowdfunding Shadow of the Eternals, which is pitched as a spiritual successor to the GameCube classic Eternal Darkness and was aiming for a Wii U release.

The first attempt involved two campaigns that ran parallel to each other, one on the Precursor website and the other on Kickstarter, and was scrapped after much confusion. It emerged again in July, this time only on Kickstarter and with a much lower goal, however it failed to generate enough interest and the project was left hanging in the balance.

Since then we've been a bit in the dark as to what will happen to it, but it has now been revealed Shadow of the Eternals is officially "on hold" and the development team will be "taking a break".

On the Precursor Games forum, the development team left the following message:

It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to put the Shadow of the Eternals project on hold. We are very happy with what we have accomplished both as a group and with the community. The community has blown us away and was the one thing that kept us going through it all - we cannot thank you enough.

Many of us will be taking a break. For those who are not aware, we all worked on this project as a labor of love and self financed 100% of everything for a over a year to try to make Shadow of the Eternals a reality. Although we did not succeed on doing this, we succeeded in making many friends and starting something that we hope provided value for those involved. We have no regrets.

Though this is a sad end, the team was quick to say the dream is not over just yet:

Is the project dead? No, but we feel it needs a rest too. We have all agreed as a group that when and if the time is right we will get together and start it up again.

The forums will remain open for people who want to continue to talk about the game that may never be and member of the team will still be around to post when they can.

What are your thoughts on this development? Are you disappointed? Let us know in the comment section below.

[via precursorgames.com]

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User Comments (59)

MAB

#1

MAB said:

This is something that Ninty should just jump in and fund a exclusive up in this mofo ;)

Parasky

#2

Parasky said:

Wasn't one of the developers of this game arrested for possession of child pornography?

Shambo

#3

Shambo said:

I still wish to play this one day, on Wii U, on a disc. I would however download a VC version or remake of the original instantly, regardless of owning the original already. Off TV and maybe a couple of new ways to go insane, for which the gamepad could be used too, would definitely help.

Nintenjoe64

#4

Nintenjoe64 said:

I hope Nintendo made them a better offer to make a Wii U sequel. Will be slightly annoyed if it's 'Eternal Darkness HD Remake' but would still buy it because it's probably my favourite GC game.

LUIGITORNADO

#6

LUIGITORNADO said:

I was interested. It's really too bad that Nintendo just didn't invest in the project themselves and make it exclusive.

ACK

#8

ACK said:

Nothing so far as convinced me this would lead to anything resembling worthwhile gameplay. I supported the kick starter right away, but afterwards was continually disappointed by the direction-less, dis-interesting footage and updates. Doesn't feel like they have much of a solid plan other than to attempt to capitalize on the one undiluted Silicon Knights success...

Warruz

#9

Warruz said:

I feel some companies should take a look at oddworld in terms of how it came back into the limelight without crowdsourcing. First thing they did was make an HD version of their games to bring in the revenue, now are remaking their most famous game, which will then lead to new games.

Kirk

#11

Kirk said:

Shame but the writing was on the wall after the Kickstarter failed two times.

Samurai_Goroh

#14

Samurai_Goroh said:

I never played the original Gamecube game, but this is just begging for Nintendo to step up and fund them. Come on, Nintendo, you could get an exclusive game on a cult franchise.

DESS-M-8

#15

DESS-M-8 said:

?????? Nintendo shouldn't fund this, this game was never going to be good
What nintendo should do is just make Eternal Darkness 2 with Next Level Games.

ACK

#16

ACK said:

@DESS-M-8 I tend to agree. Nintendo could likely find a far more capable developer if they were interested in a revival.

Tryken

#18

Tryken said:

The development of the game had a lot of missteps. Splitting into two separate crowd-funding sources at the same time made people feel they were double-dipping. It also split those who did fund, so both funding methods failed to reach their goal. Then, when they finally went after it a second time, everyone was feeling exhausted and sort of disheartened from the first. To make matters worse, the only publicity the team received was one of their developers being arrested. And while the actions of one person shouldn't affect the judgement of the entire team of developers, it does to many, regardless of our personal feelings on the matter.

So the fact that the game is getting temporarily set aside is no surprise. If it has any chance of being funded eventually, it'll need space so it can start fresh. Sadly, I don't think it'll matter. The moment it tries to go for it again, many news websites (not Nintendolife) will beat the dead horses of its past failures until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But hopefully everyone will be able to let the game's funding start fresh. I just doubt they will.

faint

#19

faint said:

@ActionMan yes actually. If ninty put this on the wii u it would be a pr nightmare. If the media got ahold of it they wouldn't say precursor had no idea. They would say the makers of mario hire game developing company precursor who harbors sex offenders involved in child pornography. Precursor is know for violent occult game eternal darkness also on nintendo systems.

sinalefa

#20

sinalefa said:

Good news. Why doesn't Dennis Dyack take an "Eternal Break"?

@ActionMan

And to answer your question, yes. Dennis Dyack was not honest, and being at the helm of this "new" company and this project meant that a lot of people feared that this game may not see the light of day, myself included.

faint

#21

faint said:

@ActionMan just imagine a million moms and church goers reading that in the paper. Nintendo should avoid these guys like the plague for now.

ACK

#22

ACK said:

I need to start out by emphasizing that Precursor games was looking for investors, not just consumers. If anyone doesn't think investors want to know about the ethics and integrity of those seeking investment... Well, I don't know what to say other than it's a large world out there...

@Tryken Those are all very significant issues, but I'll argue that inspiring content would have overcome those missteps and allowed the project to transcend any negative publicity. The fact is, the content didn't illustrate that potential.

First, the original game had serious gameplay drawbacks that wouldn't be as palatable nowadays. The experience was novel due to it's atmospheric environments, literate story, and gimmicky mechanics. Incredible sound design didn't hurt either. It all made for a very memorable game and an obvious choice to capitalize on due to it's unique cult status. Yet one that would still require a serious game design effort as the novelty is likely rendered irrelevant now.

For Shadow of the Eternals, there was never a proper communication of the ability or ambition to surpass those established gameplay constraints. None of the shared content clearly expressed the desire to take the series somewhere special. The information provided consistently dredged up questions about the veracity of the game design. Most of all, I don't recall one inspiring story beat...

Thinking about it now, there was plenty of doubt about the content alone to support those skeptical of the process.

I still recall the that from the earliest reveals Eternal Darkness (before it had a proper name and was intended for the N64) was a striking concept. Even with an excruiatingly long development cycle, it was able to generate a cult following prior to it's meandering launch. SotE simply couldn't muster enough interest to achieve that effect, let alone counterbalance the numerous proliferating concerns.

Pod

#23

Pod said:

I backed it both times, but although I'm sad to see shelved for the time being, the project could really do with a much stronger focal point than what was the case so far.

Here's hoping they are able to pick it back up and put some great art and inventive examples of insanity effects front and center, rather than the slightly unnerving faces of the main characters as they look at this point. Also, no-one is impressed by dynamic light sources anymore, Precursor Games. It's sad but true.

mamp

#24

mamp said:

As someone who didn't play the original (but I did know about it) they did not do a good job selling the idea for this game when I looked at the video nothing impressed me and the atmosphere did not seem scary at all if anything it looked a little more on the cartoon-ish side so I couldn't take it seriously, You just see a guy walk around and then he's suddenly standing in front of a tower that looks like that tower from Lord of the Rings. if anything it felt like they marketed the game to people who played the previous game.

Neram

#25

Neram said:

In other words this game is being canned. It's really too bad, I was hoping for interest to spark and development to take off. I honestly thought more people cared about this project, but obviously there wasn't enough.

Nico07

#26

Nico07 said:

@ActionMan Depending on the article either the founder, co-founder, or just an employee was arrested on child-porn charges. While it's probably not like they have child porn pinned up on their walls, it still taints the image of the studio and their questionable morality. Nintendo from a PR standpoint would be good to avoid financing them directly, but part of me wants them to do it anyway because Eternal Darkness was such a great game. Precursor games would be good do disassociate themselves from whoever it was and continue on without them.

MikeLove

#27

MikeLove said:

@faint

I guess the film industry, all levels of professional sports and all genres of music have been tainted for you as well since all of those have had individuals arrested for committing various crimes at one point or another.

If you can't separate the actions of one person from a larger group, and instead paint the whole organization with the same brush, it says more about your own lack of understanding.

MikeLove

#28

MikeLove said:

@Nico07

"While it's probably not like they have child porn pinned up on their walls..."

I think it's more than 'probably' that they weren't doing that. In fact I'm quite positive that was not that case.

faint

#29

faint said:

@ActionMan dude it's child pornography. It's not like getting busted on a coke charge (ruined the blues clues guy career ) or being caught stealing 10000 dollers worth of merch (nearly killed Winona riders ). It's child pornography. This is in the top 5 worst things you can do as a human on this planet. Maybe even top 3.

Nico07

#30

Nico07 said:

@ActionMan "I think it's more than 'probably' that they weren't doing that. In fact I'm quite positive that was not that case."
Whatever your stance on child porn and right or wrong, the reason this becomes a big PR issue is that parents fund a large portion of the gaming industry. Whether he is guilty or not, his name is Mudd and the company's image suffers. If you as a responsible parent start looking up a game and find that it's founder was arrested or convicted of child porn you may not purchase that game for your child. It's not so much about how much of an effect that had on the game (probably none). It's like Ozzy and biting off the head of a dove, if he were the head (no pun intended) of a gaming studio some parents would not want there kids to have anything to do with your work because of your socially unacceptable behavior. Like I said Precursor Games would be good to release this person from his position to save the company image. This game needs to be funded and Precursor should do what they can to see that happen.

DarkAngel_17

#31

DarkAngel_17 said:

C'mon Nintendo, just fund this project. Add another exclusive title to the list that will help many gamers to want to buy a Wii U.

ACK

#32

ACK said:

@ActionMan They were looking for investment. Though the story has probably been misreported and poorly understood, I fail to see how it's not relevant to both potential investors and the public at large.

Precursor Games was offering little and had created nothing. Whether or not you think the story at hand is true, important, irrelevant, etc... Doesn't make it unnecessary information regarding a company looking for blind faith funds.

MikeLove

#35

MikeLove said:

@Hit-Girl

So using your logic, if a teacher at a high school is found to be in possession of child porn, the whole school should be shut down?

Yanchamaru

#36

Yanchamaru said:

Valve was working with Precursor Games to bring this game on Steam. The webpage is still on Steam with a release date for Q3 2014

MikeLove

#37

MikeLove said:

@faint

Worse than murder? Because plenty of athletes and actors have been convicted of those activities (along with child abuse), and the actions of those individuals don't taint peoples opinions of those businesses/organizations.

I wouldn't donate to this game just due to the fact I'm not interested in it, and that the studio has partaken in some odd business decisions. But to refuse to support an entire development studio and all the other people working there just because a single employee (who has since been fired) did something repulsive doesn't seem fair to me.

Jazzer94

#39

Jazzer94 said:

I kid you not when I was younger I brought this game for 50 pence from an older teenager who lived in the area and it scared me poopsiedoodoocacadoggiepoopledooless and gave me nightmares for a month so I was never going to get this anyway.
Watch the profanity please — TBD

theblackdragonAdmin

#40

theblackdragon said:

@ActionMan: 'fair' or not, the people have spoken with their wallets, whatever the true reasons behind the lack of funding. Twice now it's gone unfunded, so it's probably a good idea to shelve it for a bit and revisit it later on.

anyway, if we could all please focus on the article at hand instead of delving into the realm of 'eviler than thou' human atrocity comparisons, we'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance, everyone!

Hit-Girl

#43

Hit-Girl said:

@ActionMan
It certainly doesn't help with public relations. A school in that situation would be subject to doubt and concern. Be it a school or a videogame that the press will jump on as 'aimed at kids' whatever way, it ends up tainted. They'd have a field day never mind GTAV.

Sir_Deadly

#44

Sir_Deadly said:

This is expected but i am confident this will see the light of day. Regardless of the history of that one guy, it looked like a pretty awesome game.

MikeLove

#45

MikeLove said:

Next time, please just bow out gracefully if you're done — this comment was uncalled for. — TBD

JustinH

#47

JustinH said:

Getting excited about a project with Denis Dyack attached to it is pointless. Do not mourn this loss.

ACK

#48

ACK said:

@ActionMan Man, you might want to rethink a few things. Seems a little hypocritical to admonish others for dismissing a development team due to hearsay about an individual case of alleged child pornography charges when you're so willing yourself to dismiss the notion of "debating with a 14 year-old girl" due to some misguided stereotype.

Strikes me as absurd, honestly.

Blue_Yoshi

#49

Blue_Yoshi said:

@Tryken

Damn, I almost spat my bud light lime at the monitor as I was drinking it when I searched up that developer getting arrested. I thought he like got drunk and fought someone but no he got caught with child pornography. Nintendo will never let these guys get anywhere close to their system, at least not for a loooong while. Seriously that charge was such a force that we won't be seeing this game for a while(or forever for that matter)

Pod

#50

Pod said:

@Nico07
" Precursor games would be good do disassociate themselves from whoever it was"

When you don't know who is was, then I feel it's going to make very little difference if they disassociate themselves from that person. That would accomplish little else than ruining this individual's life.

Besides, "arrested on the possession of child pornography" can mean a wide variety of things these days. Crude japanese drawings of 1000-year-old daemonnesses taking the form of 8-year-old girls in our mortal world and getting nasty with eachother somehow also constitutes child pornography in some states.
Despite there being no older offender present. Despite the characters being conceptually of age. Despite the fact that there are no real world victims, the whole thing being entirely fictional.

The articles I've seen have been extremely vague in regards to what the guy was actually in possession of, if he had been an accomplice in creating it or distributing it, and for what purposes he kept the material around.

I'm not saying we should make light of an issue like child pornography, but I have to trust that since he was arrested, the correct measures are taken, and I will refrain entirely from personal judgment of him and indeed his company associates.

Shambo

#51

Shambo said:

Perhaps they should be given a chance to make an HD remake of the original, Wii U exclusive. That should cover the funding, and maybe could be funded by Nintendo without too much of a risk. It could also restore some faith and bring this still somewhat hidden gem back in the spotlights, which may raise the interest for a sequel.

Pod

#53

Pod said:

@Shambo
This is the best Idea I've yet heard in regards to Nintendo working with Denis & Co. again.

They'd get a chance to flesh out the game a bit, and add nicer lights, new geometry and advanced skin shaders.

AlmightyDerek

#55

AlmightyDerek said:

Well I backed it the second time, so I did my part I guess. Would have really liked it as I loved Eternal Darkness. I really think Nintendo should fund it. They could call it Eternal Darkness 2 then also. I guess I'll be happy if we get the original in some form, preferably as a remake.

darthllama

#56

darthllama said:

@Nintenjoe64 said:

Nintendo isn't going to make them any offer. The group pitched the project to Nintendo early on, and were quickly rejected. Eternal Darkness had poor sales and isn't the type of game Nintendo routinely markets. Even though they need exclusives, this isn't one they care for at the moment.

Might be for the better as at this point the project looks very stale so far.

Nintenjoe64

#58

Nintenjoe64 said:

@darthllama
Eternal Darkness sold nearly half a million units on a console that failed badly. Nintendo renewed the trademark. I think they have faith in the IP to at least re-release it.

I hope Nintendo made Precursor an offer of "stop making a sequel to a Nintendo game and we won't shut you down"

darthllama

#59

darthllama said:

@nintenjoe

Gamecube has an install base of around 22 million. A game selling 400k worldwide is a disappointment. Nintendo has extended the ED trademark 5 times. They always protect their own IPs, especially something that has a cult following. They may hand it off to another developer they trust someday for a sequel or HD release. Silicon games was slated to make a full pledge sequel a few years back until they hit non-related legal troubles. For now it just hasn't been something big enough for Nintendo to get serious about making a new game for yet. As far as Precursor, they shut down because nobody wanted to fund them and interest level was quite low. Nintendo didn't need to make an offer, or impede the process. They doomed themselves quite a few times.

I prefer someone more credible anyway to handle the IP down the road. SotE was looking so ho-hum, and had a budget title feel. Eternal Darkness was unique, SotE was not.

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