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inXile say Bard's Tale Trilogy remaster probably not happening
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 13 February 2017, 17:48:50Tags: InXile Entertainment; Olde Skuul; Rebecca Heineman; The Bard's Tale; The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight; The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate; Thomas Beekers
One of the brighter spots in the otherwise dull Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter campaign was the announcement that backers would receive a remastered version of the original Bard's Tale trilogy, to be developed by veteran Interplay programmer Rebecca Heineman. Burger Becky had a lot of ideas for the remaster and at first things seemed to be progressing well enough, but a year later in an October interview on Shane Plays she revealed that that the project was on ice due to a lack of funding from inXile. We asked inXile about this then and did receive a brief response, but this weekend, presumably in a bid to make good on their recent commitment to improve their communication with backers, they made an announcement that's much more conclusive. I think we've all seen this coming for a while:
From time to time we've been seeing questions about the Bard's Tale remaster and its development status. Normally we don't discuss details like this, but in the interest of giving you more transparency and clearing up some of those questions, we felt it was a good idea to post a statement here.
When the BT4 Kickstarter campaign started, we initially promised the emulated versions of the original BT trilogy - those were finished and delivered to backers many months ago.
Shortly after the BT4 campaign began, Olde Skuul expressed interest in developing remastered and updated versions of the classic BT games. We were a bit reluctant, as we had concerns about Olde Skuul completing development, however, we agreed on the condition that inXile would provide payment on completion of the project. Because of this, our wording around the BT remasters was a bit more tentative:
"Meanwhile, Rebecca will be working on the updated versions of the games and if that goes well we'll get you those as soon as she delivers them to us, also for free! As we're not working on these versions ourselves we cannot give an ETA or guarantee on their release, we'll all be waiting for Rebecca to deliver us an upgraded version worthy of the name!"
More recently, Becky has made appearances, such as on the Shane Plays podcast where she suggested Olde Skuul stopped working on the project because they haven't received payment. This implies that they've stopped working because we haven't paid them monies that are due, but as mentioned above, we agreed no monies would be due until completion.
There was some initial work done on the remasters, and we released some of those beta builds to you as a way to keep you guys involved during BT4's pre-production stages, as well as to help fuel development and get feedback for Olde Skuul. Unfortunately, Olde Skuul's progress slowed and eventually stopped. Our emails and IMs would sometimes take weeks or months to get replies. During this period we even provided internal and external QA resources at our own expense to help push development along, but those efforts didn't help much either. At this stage, we feel it's unlikely that Olde Skuul will finish development on the BT remasters.
Obviously, we're not happy with this situation, and it has been a frustrating sequence of events for us, but we felt it was right to let you all know what happened. In the meantime, we've removed the BT remasters from our reward packages on the Bard's Tale backer web site. The emulated version we previously released as promised will remain available to everyone who backs The Bard's Tale IV.
Oh boy, drama! Of course, this isn't the first time Becky has left a game remastering project unfinished. inXile knew what they were getting into here. Couldn't they have hired the guy who did the Wasteland 1 rerelease instead?