The Trail, a game in development at Peter Molyneux’s embattled game studio 22Cans for years, now has a page on the iTunes store.
The game appears to be a third-person adventure in which you walk along a massive trail, collect items, travel through various landscapes, craft, and trade. There’s also mention of town-building functionality, which involves “community,” suggesting the game might have a multiplayer component.
Here’s a screenshot of the page:
Here are a couple videos from ALLSTARS PRODUCTION and IGV IOS and Android Gameplay Trailers. They may not stay up for long, so watch while you can:
As of now, the game can’t be downloaded in the US. It is, however, apparently available in the Philippines. It’s unclear whether this is a soft/stealth release or a mistake on 22Cans’ part.
Molyneux and co have said very little about The Trail. It was first mentioned back in 2014, but the company continued to focus on Kickstarter god game Godus publicly. Internally, however, it was apparently a different story. While reporting on Godus’ lackluster state last year, I was told by two sources who formerly worked at 22Cans that The Trail became the developer’s central focus for a while. From my report:
“People have been wary of Godus’ development progress for a while, but red flags really went up toward the end of 2014. In the wake of Molyneux’s announcement of The Trail and server problems with Godus’ mobile version, the Godus team shrank to three members, said one of my sources. Some people left the company of their own volition; others were moved onto The Trail.”
“Two people who worked on Godus say that this was Molyneux’s way of winding down development on the game. The mobile version was more or less complete, and the Steam version wasn’t making money, according to those people. Funds, meanwhile, were beginning to dry up. Despite the fact that the Steam version was only halfway done, Molyneux was, according to those sources, willing to call it a day and shift focus onto The Trail.”
At the time, Molyneux disputed this, claiming that he felt that the Godus team’s morale had nosedived, and it was time for a change of pace. After that, 22Cans added more members to the Godus team (including a new lead, Konrad Naszynski) and redoubled their efforts on the game’s PC version. They went on to release an action-focused extension of the game called Godus Wars.
It was not well-received. Earlier this year, it was reported that Naszynski’s contract expired shortly after Godus Wars’ release and was not renewed. It’s now been hundreds of days since Godus and Godus Wars were last updated, and 22Cans hasn’t reached out to the community in a substantial way since March.
Things are looking astoundingly bleak on the Godus front. What a mess. Actually, this was a mess early last year. Then 22Cans tried to mop it up, but instead they spilled radioactive goo all over the place. Now nobody’s got superpowers and everybody’s got diseases. I lost control of the metaphor a bit there, but you get the idea. Shit’s fucked. It’s inexcusable.
But hey look, a new game! I’m sure this will end well.
I’ve reached out to 22Cans for more information about The Trail’s release, but they’ve yet to reply to my inquiries.