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Release Date Update from the KSP2 Team


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13 hours ago, Lisias said:

These are not mutually exclusive choices! I can be right without necessarily meaning he's wrong - and vice versa

Absolutely .

 

As for your other points, I don't disagree with any of them.  It is just that KSP2 is, in essence, no different to any other product.

Cars models and most other products get 'improved' over the years, sometimes it's a facelift, sometimes it's a major redisign/replacement.  In all cases, if they flop jobs are potentially at risk due to lack of sales etc.  So yes, of course KSP2 'matters' an awful lot in that respect, but only to T2 and those individuals working on it.

But to us as potential customers, it's ultimately no more than a 'shiny thing' we want, and are eagerly waiting for.   The worst case scenario for us is we buy it and don't like it, but if it never arrives we lose nothing.  

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For me it`s ok that the devs are delaying KSP2 - a thing that I don't understand is, why there isn't an early adopter /early access version as it was on ksp (1). May  KSP2 isn't developed enough but how cares, I joined KSP I think in an very very early stage (even before docking, etc ) ...

 

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Because it's different development model and literally that's it. KSP1 started as one-man's-project and needed as much visibility as it could from the very start. The sequel doesn't need that.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, The Aziz said:

The sequel doesn't need that.

Allow me to differ very hard on that. 113k followers in 3 years since the announcement, and a twitch visibility of less than 900 people. For comparison, elden ring had 350k followers before launch, Starfield got 100k followers in just 7 months.

KSP2 might not be an indie anymore, but they're still dealing with indie+ levels of visibility/accesibility/following.

Edit: Followers as people who hit Follow on steam.

Edited by PDCWolf
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6 minutes ago, The Aziz said:

And how exactly early access would help with that? 

The game stops being an abstract concept, for starters, which means a possible storm of user generated content, a mod scene kicking into gear, mp servers if they managed to implement that, etc.

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My personal take on Early Access is that it is just like a standard release, but a bit more exclusive depending on how you do it. As such, just pushing an early access build out to the public without much PR won't help the hype, and then when the PR campaign starts, people don't have that anticipation because the game is already "out." So, treat early access like it is the full release in terms of PR,  so you'd better have a lot of hype already built up, because the actual full release won't generate as much hype after an early access period. 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, MechBFP said:

It’s truly a wonder games ever existed at all before the Internet, since early access is apparently a prerequisite to make a successful one. 

You're missing some clear context to make that wrong assumption. Internet today is what prevents the gross oversaturation of the market from creating a second industry crash, as demand has now taken gaming off the original minimal numbers of geek and nerd rejects (not sure how old are you but I do remember getting myself beat at school over only playing videogames) and put gaming into a market with much more space for saturation, yet notice how I keep using the word "saturation": Average global paytime is 8 hours a week, barely more than a single hour a day. If your game is not on people's minds, if it's not relevant enough, you don't get to access that massive market. Add to that the fact that KSP's inaccessibility, and indie status, keep it further from said market, and then you'll have your explanation: Small, niche indie titles need early access (or at least a very active marketing campaign), that's why it's such a successful model.

 

Edited by PDCWolf
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Early access tends to completely turn me off. I've seen too many games where "early access" seems to mean that the game isn't actually finished and never will be. At least one, which I won't name, was strongly recommended to me by some friends, but it's now been in early access for... gee, I've lost track - at least a year, maybe 2. It isn't particularly close to completed as far as I can tell, and they are pushing people to vote for it for some sort of game-of-the year thing, even before it is done. Pretty much has taken the game off the list one ones I'm interested in. So no, I don't want to see a KSP 2 early access. I'll just wait til the game is actually released.

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3 hours ago, PDCWolf said:

Small, niche indie titles need early access (or at least a very active marketing campaign), that's why it's such a successful model.

 

You couldn't get that more wrong even if you actively tried.

Early access one and only reason to exist is to fund ongoing development and have paying customers playtest the game instead of paid people.

From a PR perspective it's not a positive tool, and it's even worse if the game is backed by a big publisher and thus should have an appropriate budget from the start.

It's the same difference between seeing a small start-up setting up a Kickstarter page VS a huge tech company like Sony or Samsung using it to crowdfund some toy.

The marketing for small indie studio is their blog, the fact that they post updates on every social they have every time they add a pixel to a texture or change a line of code or a value in a config.

In a word "transparency", that's all the marketing indie studio can afford.

Unless you have a publisher. That opens the door for a proper marketing campaign and that's the case for KSP2, the announcement trailer got served as an AD, and quite a lot of space was given to the game at events and not in the "indie show at 4AM in the morning" corner of those events.

Then the game got delayed and the marketing campaign put on ice waiting for the actual launch, they don't need the views when they're not actively marketing the game, and when they decide they need to start the hype machine a new cinematic trailer with some bits of gameplay put as an AD for space related YT channels and internet communities will bring in all the views and the attention they can possibly need.

And, while they're at it, they could also do something more involved, like paying flights for relevant members of the community (people like modders and youtubers) and give them a tour of the studio gaining another dozen or so of marketing videos for a very low price to spread around (just a random idea, it's not like they already did that with great results).

 

Now that we know that the game is supposed to be released in Q1 2023 we know for certain that it's way too early to see any active marketing, 7 to 10 months prior to release is still a lot of time to cover with marketing, give it 3-5 months before they start ramping things up.

 

(Or maybe they'll release a trailer tomorrow and open preorders and early access the day after, my crystal ball is a bit out of tune, but I wouldn't put my money on that)

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I think I posted somewhere before that an early access / demo version would be good. Something really simple, just to show off the new UI. Limited parts, a system of just Kerbin, or maybe Kerbin and Mun.

 

Probably a bit early for it at the moment, but something like that about 6months from release would be fantastic, imo.

 

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As long as they make a good game that fixes every problem KSP1 has (Wobbly rockets, low performance on high part count vessels, etc) they could take all the time in the world to release the game and I would be ok about that. I much rather prefer to wait years to have an awesome KSP experience than for them to launch the game tomorrow only to deliver some half-cooked cash grab sequel

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, PDCWolf said:

Internet today is what prevents the gross oversaturation of the market from creating a second industry crash

Internet is what enables the proliferation of games we have today.   If we lived in a world without internet, people would need to go to a physical store to buy games.  That would drive up the cost of buying games and reduce the number and variety of games that got released.  

Physical game copies would cost money to produce, and more money to distribute.  Physical stores also cost money to build/rent, maintain, pay staff, stock for shelves etc.  They also have limited space, so they can't carry physical stock of millions of different games.    Indie game developers like Squad with niche games like KSP 1 would probably find it almost impossible to get stock on shelves without first signing with a publisher.   (Early access would also be impossible, and without early access or a publisher I doubt Squad would have even been able to afford to finish KSP 1).

There are many reasons why some indie titles benefit from being released via early access whilst still in development.  These include getting funding to finish the game, but they also include getting feedback from outside the small development team (and possibly any friends that were acting as early access/beta testers).  This is important for working out if there is enough interest from paying customers for the game to be successful in the market.  It also gives the developers a whole horde of bug report/suggestions and other feedback that hopeful result in a better game.  

Small indie developers with an unknown product need some hype to be successful.  They need to get streamers and review sites actually playing and writing about the the game.   Small indie developers don't have the advertising budget to get noticed any other way.  Note that for that strategy to be successful the initial impression has to be good.  (Or at least good enough that reviews/ first impressions video etc are positive, and people decide to buy the game).  If the initial release is good/popular, then that can result in hype and publicity that can drive even more sales.   It doesn't matter if this is an early access release or not.  It doesn't matter if the game could have been even better with the advantages of early access or not, what matters is whether customers, streamers and reviewers recommend/promote the game to their friends and audience. 

Large publishers like Take Two have other options, especially with an established game like KSP.   Online review sites know that there are a couple of million owners of the first KSP out there who are likely to be interested in a sequel.  (And getting page views and advertising revenue is the raison d'être for such sites).  Assuming KSP 2 is good, then KSP youtubers/streamers will also be happy to do pre-release streams/videos of KSP 2.  Assuming TT are willing to splash some money around on advertising, and distribute some review keys, then getting day one reviews out will be easy.  (That is something that no indie developer can expect if they don't have a publisher/advertising money and/or hype).

Also note that first impressions matter.  If the initial word of mouth is that a game isn't worth your time/money, then that impression will probably stick.  A premature/bad early access release can be fatal to a games development.  Pushing KSP 2 out to early release too early could result in a backlash from unsatisfied customers expecting the finished product.   From Take Two's perspective that risk is almost certainly not worthwhile.

Personally I think a large developer or publisher who doesn't need early access money/feedback can get the same amount of publicity and hype potential with less risk by releasing a finished game rather than an early access game.  If have an advertising budget, then they can get reviews and first-plays and hence get noticed.  Whether their game then develops hype depends on the game and whether it appeals to the market.  Early access does not provide any advantage here, and if the game comes across as unfinished/unpolished then can be a problem.  

Ultimately the choice of early access or not belongs to Take Two.  They are the ones funding development, they get to make these choices.   I'm sure they have thought about it.  They have probably spent more hours considering the pros and cons of it than anyone on these forums.   

 

3 hours ago, rmaine said:

Early access tends to completely turn me off. I've seen too many games where "early access" seems to mean that the game isn't actually finished and never will be.

These days my personal philosophy is I only buy an early access game when the already released content is enough to make me go "Stuff waiting.  I want to play that now".  That way even if the game never gets more content, I'm still getting something I consider to be worth my money.  (Anytime I violate those rules, I typically end up being disappointed).  

Edited by AVaughan
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Everybody, settle down. Even if some of your posts don't come across as rude, Me, a hypersensitive individual, senses a bit of a rude tone. Shall we keep it civil, and try to all make an agreement?

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On 5/31/2022 at 3:13 AM, Master39 said:

-snip-

Originally? Sure, EA was a way to outsource testing to paying customers, however this hasn't been the case for long and not even KSP1s EA had that approach to the model, as we were unable to test anything, only report bugs on "polished" builds that went through a closed testing cycle first, that's why we had the Public Testing Branch and Youtuber-Preview outrages, as they were actively holding back updates on a game that was supposed to be early access, unless you were famous enough.

"They don't need the views" is a big difference in perspective. I've already posted data that they don't have views anywhere close to any AAA title in their pre-release marketing cycle. Average gamers (i.e. not long term franchise customers that exist in these threads) don't know the game is coming out, or at this point with the delays, don't care anymore, that's why I used the phrase "[With early access] the game stops being an abstract concept", as that's all that is now except for us 50 to 100 avid fans arguing to and fro in these threads.

On 5/31/2022 at 4:29 AM, Forked Camphor said:

As long as they make a good game that fixes every problem KSP1 has (Wobbly rockets, low performance on high part count vessels, etc) they could take all the time in the world to release the game and I would be ok about that. I much rather prefer to wait years to have an awesome KSP experience than for them to launch the game tomorrow only to deliver some half-cooked cash grab sequel

I'd urge you to check footage compilations for shown gameplay, as wobbly rockets are heavily implied to still be a feature. As much as I hate them.

On 5/31/2022 at 4:54 AM, AVaughan said:

-snip-

Internet is a tool that helped expand gaming from basement nerds to mainstream people, you wouldn't have the grossly oversaturated market and thus the endless demand we have today if it wasn't for the internet. Further off, the only other thing I'd answer to your post is: If we assume the worst, then the best case is to not make a videogame and stay at home. Sure, EA can go horribly wrong and kill the product, but so can 3 years of delays with loose information released inbetween that has had 0 repercussion in gaming media (until Boeing threw a huge but heavily underplayed helping hand and took jeb to space), even the latest stunt only had 3000 likes on twitter, that's nothing.

I'll die on this hill: The average gamer never knew, or lost interest, in KSP2. The only hype that exists right now, only exists in this forum and the subreddit (and it's much smaller on the latter).

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46 minutes ago, PDCWolf said:

I'd urge you to check footage compilations for shown gameplay, as wobbly rockets are heavily implied to still be a feature. As much as I hate them.

Keep in mind that gameplay footage was from when the game was being developed by Star Theory. At this point I pretty much ignore everything from that time period because who knows what has changed between now and then.

I would not be surprised if bendy rockets are no longer a thing in KSP2, although I wouldn’t be surprised either if they still were too. Entirely depends on design decisions that may have changed during the studio change. 

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50 minutes ago, PDCWolf said:

EA was a way to outsource testing to paying customers, however this hasn't been the case for long and not even KSP1s EA had that approach to the model, as we were unable to test anything, only report bugs on "polished" builds that went through a closed testing cycle first, that's why we had the Public Testing Branch and Youtuber-Preview outrages, as they were actively holding back updates on a game that was supposed to be early access, unless you were famous enough.

Sorry, what did you expect? Preview version of a preview version? The whole 2011-2015 was an EA era and whatever they released back then was yours to test, and potential fixes would come with next number. That's kinda how it works.

53 minutes ago, PDCWolf said:

I've already posted data that they don't have views anywhere close to any AAA title in their pre-release marketing cycle.

Never had, never will, never would, no matter the business model. Your average gamer will look at whatever AAA title "oh this is a shooter, cool!" "Racing game, nice!" "And RPG, I can make my own character, that's dope!" I could go on, and then your average gamer with little to no previous interest in spaceflight will look at KSP "oh my god a REALISTIC space simulator? Do I need to have a degree in astrophysics to play that? Do maths? Hard pass." Now of course none of the above assumptions is true but Kerbals will never get the same amount of attention as yet another CoD or Assassin's Creed. So please compare it to a different game for nerds.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, PDCWolf said:

Originally? Sure, EA was a way to outsource testing to paying customers

No not "originally", that's the objective of EA, it's a middle point between crowdfunding and outsourching beta testing for free.

 

1 hour ago, PDCWolf said:

however this hasn't been the case for long and not even KSP1s EA had that approach to the model, as we were unable to test anything, only report bugs on "polished" builds that went through a closed testing cycle first

You very conviniently ignore the whole "fund ongoing development" part of my argument, which is the most important part, here:

On 5/31/2022 at 8:13 AM, Master39 said:

Early access one and only reason to exist is to fund ongoing development and have paying customers playtest the game instead of paid people.

 

Having people testing things is only secondary, especially with KSP2, since they already have a blueprint for the main gameplay loop and data on what works and what doesn't from KSP1.

 

1 hour ago, PDCWolf said:

"They don't need the views" is a big difference in perspective. I've already posted data that they don't have views anywhere close to any AAA title in their pre-release marketing cycle. Average gamers (i.e. not long term franchise customers that exist in these threads) don't know the game is coming out, or at this point with the delays, don't care anymore, that's why I used the phrase

To have data on views on a marketing cycle you have to have a marketing campaign going on in the first place, which is not the case for KSP2 at the moment.

 

1 hour ago, PDCWolf said:

as that's all that is now except for us 50 to 100 avid fans arguing to and fro in these threads.

And when the marketing maching actually start working you'll see trailers, coverage from press and Youtube personalities, ADs and a whole lot of other marketing tools being used to market the game.

 

1 hour ago, PDCWolf said:

I'll die on this hill: The average gamer never knew, or lost interest, in KSP2. The only hype that exists right now, only exists in this forum and the subreddit (and it's much smaller on the latter).

You can die of hunger alone, nobody is actually arguing that.

Just the fact that EA is not a marketing tool, is a funding one, and that the Publisher already demonstrated how the marketing will work when they start it in 2019 with the reveal.

You can't possibly believe that they keep the whole makreting machine going during 2 years of delays, not even for a game like GTA VI the marketing budget is that limitless.

 

In case you missed it, this is the result of when they have an actual marketing campaing going on:

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Edited by Master39
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2 hours ago, MechBFP said:

Keep in mind that gameplay footage was from when the game was being developed by Star Theory. At this point I pretty much ignore everything from that time period because who knows what has changed between now and then.

I would not be surprised if bendy rockets are no longer a thing in KSP2, although I wouldn’t be surprised either if they still were too. Entirely depends on design decisions that may have changed during the studio change. 

Yeah, for sure, however we have so little actual in-game footage that I'm really not comfortable with just ignoring anything.

2 hours ago, The Aziz said:

Sorry, what did you expect? Preview version of a preview version? The whole 2011-2015 was an EA era and whatever they released back then was yours to test, and potential fixes would come with next number. That's kinda how it works.

Never had, never will, never would, no matter the business model. Your average gamer will look at whatever AAA title "oh this is a shooter, cool!" "Racing game, nice!" "And RPG, I can make my own character, that's dope!" I could go on, and then your average gamer with little to no previous interest in spaceflight will look at KSP "oh my god a REALISTIC space simulator? Do I need to have a degree in astrophysics to play that? Do maths? Hard pass." Now of course none of the above assumptions is true but Kerbals will never get the same amount of attention as yet another CoD or Assassin's Creed. So please compare it to a different game for nerds.

No, I expected a buggy early access game with rapid delivery of updates, like most EA. On the other hand, we got slow and dry updates which they wanted to "internally test" to polish for months before delivering to their... early access customers. This is exactly what lead to people claiming for a "public test branch" (on an EA GAME!) to actually have an early access experience, but the original devs insisted on closed testing cycles before releases to achieve an X level of "polish" before public releases... on an EA game.

1 hour ago, Master39 said:

No not "originally", that's the objective of EA, it's a middle point between crowdfunding and outsourching beta testing for free.

 

You very conviniently ignore the whole "fund ongoing development" part of my argument, which is the most important part, here:

 

Having people testing things is only secondary, especially with KSP2, since they already have a blueprint for the main gameplay loop and data on what works and what doesn't from KSP1.

Not anymore, you might want to go with dictionary definitions but EA has taken off into so much more than just "let people test for free and fund development".  This is basic marketing stuff that people have already realized, thus not every early access includes the customer as a tester (like how, you know, KSP1 didn't). Neither "funding development" and "have the public do testing" are the only goals of Early Access launches, together or separate.

The rest of your post feels like you put marketing on an on-off switch to judge it... "their marketing can't be crap if its not being done", yeah no, that's called crap marketing, they've just gone and got free advertising by a real life space program and did nothing with it. The rest is wishful thinking... "you'll see this and that", yeah, when I see it I'll see it, otherwise it's just a wish.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, PDCWolf said:

This is basic marketing stuff

No it isn't.

Crowdfunding isn't marketing, it's a tool to find funds to develop a future product. And it's embarrassing when used by big companies or, like in this case, studios backed by giant publishers.

KSP2 EA Would be the biggest red flag so far.

 

1 hour ago, PDCWolf said:

The rest of your post feels like you put marketing on an on-off switch to judge it...

It's not something I do, it's something companies do when a product get delayed. People forgetting about KSP2 is way better than wasting millions to put the focus on the delays.

"Hey people, look at how late we are!" It's not a sound PR strategy.

 

1 hour ago, PDCWolf said:

The rest is wishful thinking... "you'll see this and that", yeah, when I see it I'll see it, otherwise it's just a wish.

Then you may have missed the marketing campaign that run for the announcement, and how it was interrupted for the change in studio.

 

Anyway, we're running in circles, again, I don't think there's any point (for me) in remaining stuck in this loop any longer.

Edited by Master39
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46 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

We don't actually lack gameplay footage. There's plenty out there.

This is the only verifiable hands on gameplay we have yet: https://youtu.be/Vmgm8L4QlCE?t=266. The other verifiable gameplay footage dates from before this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRewAKMllVo love how even VGC calls it "first real gameplay". Anything else doesn't qualify as gameplay, as it lacks a person clearly playing the game.

 

 

 

28 minutes ago, Master39 said:

Crowdfunding isn't marketing, it's a tool to find funds to develop a future product. And it's embarrassing when used by big companies or, like in this case, studios backed by giant publishers.

This is an opinion. Getting a real product in people's hands, even a broken one, is marketing, and has been used as marketing since ever, EA just gave a new way to do that other than demos or shareware CDs in ye olde days. We do agree that a big studio using it is kinda cringe, but at this point I'd take any signal that KSP2 has progressed along.

34 minutes ago, Master39 said:

KSP2 EA Would be the biggest red flag so far.

Yes and no, as I said, it'll at least be a life signal. I do agree going EA after 3 years of delay would be a red flag for many, but it's also a way to actually get something out before people completely forget and the product underperforms due to that.

35 minutes ago, Master39 said:

It's not something I do, it's something companies do when a product get delayed. People forgetting about KSP2 is way better than wasting millions to put the focus on the delays.

"Hey people, look at how late we are!" It's not a sound PR strategy.

"Hey we're delaying because we're trying to get this particular feature we promised to work"

"Hey it's us, we've gotten this other feature to work now"

"Hey it's us, we're still developing something"

Those are all examples of stuff they could do whilst not leaving their customers in the dark. Delays alone are an even worse pr strategy than saying something. People spend their money somewhere else (now we'll probably get starfield before KSP2), look away, or just outright forget the game exists. KSP2 doesn't have too much people to forget about it before it's just usual forumgoers waiting for it, and that's how you get an underperforming product, ending up in a shortened lifespan, and bitter feelings towards the franchise from the studio/publisher.

39 minutes ago, Master39 said:

Then you may have missed the marketing campaign that run for the announcement, and how it was interrupted for the change in studio.

I expected whoever is in charge now to continue the marketing campaing, instead they've first slowed it down to a video every few months, and since the last video to total silence. They played that little moon rocket landing easter egg game on their videos and it only ended up in a delay, so that's yet another loss of goodwill. You don't market something and then forget about it, because that's what customers will do.

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58 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

We don't actually lack gameplay footage. There's plenty out there.

Although to be fair no recent gameplay footage of conditions which could cause bendy rockets. Don’t expect we will see that again one way or the other till the marketing campaign starts again. 

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7 hours ago, PDCWolf said:

I'd urge you to check footage compilations for shown gameplay, as wobbly rockets are heavily implied to still be a feature. As much as I hate them.

I know, I remember shadowmage and others were talking about it in the SSTU thread, but that was years ago. Why you say that wobbly rockets are heavily implied to be in the game? I don't understand, nobody likes them, makes building large vessels almost impossible and there are not 1, but 2 fixes already that work well (Both KJR).

But still, until they release the game we would never know for sure. I probably in the minority but I don't get hyped (Maybe I'm just desensitized for having worked in a field that kinda lives of that) for any product a business or corporation will be releasing in the future. I just wait until I can test it, if it's good I'll recommend/buy/keep it, if it's bad I do the opposite. However I can think of many realistic possibilities that fuels your and others doubts, but until they release the game or announce it's cancellation it'll be only speculation from my part.

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