Early Access Checkup: The Repopulation Six Years In

It still isn’t on track for release.

Take a look at The Repopulation and you’ll start to realize why this game is still around. Is it because the folks at Idea Fabrik failed to market the Hero Engine to prospective MMO developers? No doubt. Is it to show that the Hero Engine can be made into a viable game? Definitely. Is it because the only successful game that released on Hero Engine was so heavily modified that it’s basically not even the same product? The Old Republic, of course. Because the original developers went bankrupt owing to the Hero Engine being an expensive and non-viable platform? You bet your Asimov.

The Repopulation has been in alpha for six years and the folks at Idea Fabrik refuse to let it die because acknowledging its smoldering wreckage is presumably seen as the final straw in an engine that has one successful title attached to it in eight years. It’s the only engine I’ve seen MMO developers laugh at when I bring it up in conversation.

But The Repopulation continues to operate as though everything is going swimmingly despite the Steam population last beating 50 concurrent players in 2017. This past week the population has hovered somewhere around eight people concurrently. The forums have about eight threads that have been posted in over the past two months.

In spite of the nearly nonexistent foot traffic, The Repopulation just keeps on getting updates. The next update is set for the “holiday season” and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the alpha stage. Will it ever release? Will it even hit beta? Only time will tell. I’m going to put my money on if The Repopulation ever “goes gold” it won’t have any active players left to hear the good word.

I would wholeheartedly recommend against anyone investing money into The Repopulation as a player. It may one day see a full release and at that time may bring its lapsed players back, but as of right now there is no particular good faith argument to support that your $20 investment will see a finished release.

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