MIA: Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age

MIA: Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age

Originally revealed at E3 in 2014, Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age is a free-to-play, third-person, four player co-operative shooter. It is set during the nineteenth century and features randomly generated maps. The game was being developed by Crytek USA, a team that was largely made up of employees from the now defunct (thanks to THQ) studio, Vigil Games. It was said to be a spiritual successor of sorts to Darksiders and featured many gameplay similarities as a result. A closed beta at the end of 2014 was also announced during the E3 reveal, however that never took place.

So what has happened to the game since E3 of 2014 (June)? Why has it fallen into oblivion and why have Crytek almost forgotten its existence?

Shortly after E3 of 2014 there were whispers of financial troubles at Crytek, with employees not being paid and walking out on the company. These rumours were subsequently denied. However, shortly after these concerns were brought to light, the company parted ways with the rights to the upcoming sequel Homefront: The Revolution, selling them off to publishing rival Deep Silver. The majority of the employees from Crytek UK are still working on Homefront with the newly opened Dambuster Studios, also owned by Deep Silver. It’s ironic in a way seeing that Crytek themselves acquired the rights to Homefront’s sequel after THQ went down the gurgler.

This wasn’t the only change that Crytek were making, in July it was also said that they were doing some internal restructuring. This involved the closure of the USA branch as a development studio, which had been working on Hunt. The USA presence would still exist, but only in an engine support capacity. Thankfully the game wasn’t abandoned and the development, we were told, would continue at the Crytek Frankfurt studio.

But since then it’s basically been radio silence on the Hunt front. The only worthy announcement was the delay of the closed beta back in December, 2014: “We’re sorry we missed this Fall’s hunting season! Back in June we announced plans for our upcoming action game “HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age” to enter closed beta testing late in 2014, and we wanted to share a short statement on why that hasn’t happened. Over the summer we moved development of the game from Austin to Crytek’s headquarters in Frankfurt. That obviously had an impact on our scheduling, as did some new ideas we’ve had to make the game even better and build on the positive feedback we received at E3 2014. We hope that we’ll be able to share more about HUNT soon, and we’ll be working hard to make sure it meets the expectations of everyone who signed up for the closed beta in anticipation of our originally announced date. Thank you for your interest in the game, and for your patience as we continue to work on it!”

hunt_screen_04

Big unit

Fast forward seven months and there has been no further word about it. Scouring the Internet high and low has yielded no results. So is the game even in development still and if so, why the silence?

It pains me, as this game along with Homefront: The Revolution (I know how to pick them), were two of my favourite three game reveals from that E3 conference. The only concern I have (aside from whether the game actually still exists) is the whole free-to-play rubbish and I hope, in the name of Leon Kennedy (God), they drop it. Free-to-play games are usually littered with microtransactions and pay-to-win insinuations, and as much as Crytek say they want to produce a AAA quality game with Hunt, it just won’t happen if it’s free-to-play. Why? Because money, that’s why. AAA games are expensive to make, but you can at least reap some of the money back through pre-orders, retail/digital sales and the unnecessary and overpriced, but totally awesome collector’s editions. Free-to-play has none of these securities, you have to hope that old mate looks at their character and wants to upgrade features or looks, or make the game so grindy that people are inclined to pay to progress rather than spend one thousand hours killing boars in the forest. Supposedly with Hunt, Crytek said that: “players who want to will be able to pay for things like cosmetic accessories or experience buffs.” How lovely.

I spoke to a representative from Crytek earlier this year and asked them when we would hear any news about Hunt, they replied simply – “this year”. I further pressed and asked whether the game would remain free-to-play, only to be informed that they would be sharing details about the games business model at a later date.

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Teamwork 101

So where to from here? It appears that the game is still in development thankfully. It should be worth noting that Crytek received a juicy injection of cash, thanks to a licensing deal with online retail giants Amazon, signed this year. We didn’t see Hunt (sadly) at E3 this year, however I am holding out for an announcement at Gamescom this year. Which is in August this year, hosted in Germany, Crytek’s homeland.

Make it happen.

Zach developed his love for gaming thanks to the Capcom games of yore, and as such has a penchant for the survival horror genre. He also has a proclivity to buy games and never play them, which has lead to one of the largest backlogs known to man. Outside of gaming he occasionally writes tap-delay riffs for his musical project, the midnight bloom and is an ardent sports fan that supports the San Jose Sharks, Carlton and Burnley FC. Get around him on Twitter @xackclaret
  • Drakulus

    I managed to get some information out of Crytek on Hunt Horrors of The Gilded Age. They didn’t say much, but they did say it was still in development- http://drakulus.com/2015/11/19/hunt-horrors-of-the-gilded-age-is-still-in-development/

    I’ve been wanting to play this game since it was announced and it sucks that we have no new information on it. At least I know it’s not cancelled… yet.

    • Hey mate – good article,

      Yeah I really hope they don’t cancel it, it looks like it has loads of potential.

      I think we’ll see it next year, Crytek haven’t released anything for a while and HUNT was originally going to be released this year, well they were aiming for 2015.

      Most likely delayed due to the closure of Crytek USA as a Dev studio.

      I hope we hear something soon.

      • Drakulus

        Thanks.

        I’m hoping they don’t cancel it too. It looks like a really good game. I’m hoping next year we’ll at least get a new trailer. If we don’t get anything new next year it’ll most likely be cancelled :[

        • The biggest thing for me is the free-to-play aspect. I hope they drop it and release a full retail edition. FTP games survive on microtransactions. Which usually result in pay-to-win outcomes. Now this game isn’t pvp, but allowing players to upgrade weapons, classes etc with a few dollars takes away the fun and immersion of the game. Furthermore , the FTP version would probably come with limited maps and missions.

          • asspwnedurmum

            The levels are randomly generated so i dont see it being an issue and the only thing u buy according to crytek is cosmetic stuff so buying weapons/weapon parts aint an issue either. Ftp games can make a lot of money and stay alive if done right, gameplay just has to be non-repetitive, enjoyable and non of this farming crap. The game doeant look like it will have farming in the sense of going out and killing a thousand of X to level but looks more like you pick your mission, it generates a level and away you go which is alot more fun because long grinds is why i give up on mmo’s. Since this aint an mmo and a squad shooter i think we will be just fine and i look forward to a monster hunter substitute on ps4.

          • Hey mate, thanks for the comment. Although I think there will be a pay-to-win side of it, I’m more concerned with it being low budget, in the sense that it won’t have much content compared to a full retail release.

          • asspwnedurmum

            I was watching a interview with the devs and they said that they didnt want that and the only thing u buy is cosmetic stuff and exp boosters. As for the lack of content i do agree with your comment but i hope your wrong (i think we both can agree on that) although alot of f2p games do keep content flowing, if people do support the game and the only thing we buy are cosmetic and experience boosters we may get monsters for free : )

          • Yeah, I know but a lot has changed at Crytek since they announced this game and gave any sort of information regarding it. Like you, I do hope I am wrong, but I just have a feeling the game won’t have the same amount of attention as say a full retail release. Especially if they only have cosmetic items as means of revenue. How to they intend to make money from this game? Hopefully we hear something this year.

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