Peter Molyneux’s Curiosity experiment ended with a whimper. It basically functioned as a giant advertisement for the “God of Gods” feature in then-upcoming god game revival Godus. Years later, there are still no plans for how they’ll actually, you know, do any of it.
The God of Gods feature would’ve seen Bryan Henderson, the winner of Curiosity, “become a digital god.” It would’ve been “life-changing,” according to Molyneux, at least insofar as Henderson would’ve made a cut of Godus’ earnings for as long as he remained God of Gods. Years later, it still hasn’t happened—and apparently 22cans has no exact roadmap as to how they’re gonna pull it off. Speaking with Eurogamer in an admirably honest interview, new 22cans CEO Simon Phillips explained:
“No, there isn’t [a timeframe for God of Gods’ release], being completely frank. I’d be a bit of a c**t to say look, we’re going to do this on this day and you’re going to get this much money, because we don’t know when that’s going to happen and we don’t know how much money it’s going to be.”
“There’s no physical pot of cash that’s been put aside for Bryan, because the feature doesn’t exist. There’s nothing to calculate it on. You can’t say, let’s put a pound a day away for Bryan, or ten pounds. There’s no financial concept of what this God of Gods thing is, and that’s what we need to sort out.”
He added that bringing Godus to a place where it could support a God of Gods—adding all the necessary features like combat, multiplayer, and solid networking infrastructure—won’t be easy. “That could be f***ing years of development,” he said to Eurogamer. They have “an idea of what it should be,” but that’s about all at the moment.
However, 22cans has at least been in touch with Henderson in hopes of doing something to make up for how things turned out. “It would be so easy for us to go, let’s just sort Bryan out,” Phillips said. “That’s a bit of a cop-out. I’ve made it my goal to talk to him and say, ‘Look, we know we f***ed up with this, let’s try and do something.’ I’m in contact with him now. It’s my remit to talk to him.”
The rest of the interview—which is quite good—doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in Godus’ future, but it does paint a picture of a company finally taking a long, hard look in the mirror and trying to atone for a series of missteps that could circle the globe a few times over. Phillips has taken Molyneux’s place on the administrative side of things, freeing up Molyneux to focus on making games. Godus has a team of six working on it, and they’re focusing on the long-neglected PC version first and foremost. And despite doubts about the game’s future in the past, Phillips swears up and down that they are gonna finish it, even if it takes a while. “We’ve gone past that point of no return. We are going to finish it,” he said.
However, the fact remains that the majority of 22cans 25-person staff is working on an entirely different game, The Trail, rather than the one they promised Kickstarter backers years ago. And still, questions remain about the company’s money situation, which I’ve heard from sources over the course of many months is, well, not great.
We’ll see what happens. With 22cans things went from bad to worse to somehow even worse than that, but it seems like they’re now at least headed in a marginally better direction than before. That said, if they ever offer you digital godhood—or digital anything, really—probably take that shit with a grain of salt. A big one.