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Author Topic: Overload is Over  (Read 219 times)

Offline D2Disciple

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Overload is Over
« on: March 06, 2019, 10:51:26 AM »
While the Xbox release of Overload is imminent, it also comes with some sad news: other than another planned community map pack, Overload's development has ceased, citing poor sales.

According to an email sent to Kickstarter backers,

"We would have liked to do more with Overload -- more DLC drops (we will do another community DLC pack), new features, maybe a sequel.  Those things look very unlikely now.  We're gratified by Overload's strong user reviews and we love the community that has formed around the game. Nonetheless, sales have been disappointing and can't justify much additional work on the project.  (We know that people have questions about the long-term plan for multiplayer.  We're still figuring that out, but be assured we won't abandon our MP fans.  Whatever we do, there will be a way to play Overload multiplayer.)"

It seems as though much of the development team, including Mike Kulas, has moved back to Volition, and Matt Toschlog and Luke have moved on to other projects as well.

I think we all were hoping for a massive financial success for Overload, but we all knew it's a niche product for a niche crowd. Critical reception has been both limited and lukewarm, although praise has been virtually unanimous regarding its tight controls, clean and slick visual style, and killer soundtrack.

Still, I'm sure Overload will be supported by the community, as it has been from the beginning. Descent lives on and somehow continues to find new fans throughout the years despite competing with sixty-dollar flashy cinematic rail-shooters, massive open-world slogs, and and AAA role-playing grind-fests. I'm sure Overload will do the same.  8)
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline Hunter

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Re: Overload is Over
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2019, 09:14:49 PM »
From what I can determine, Overload only sold a few thousand units in total.

It was always gonna be a hard sell, especially factoring in the drawbacks of self-publishing and having next to no marketing. As it is, Descent has a somewhat niche following despite being popular among non-Descenter 'retro' type gamers. But I'm still meeting people that haven't even heard of Overload. It does seem like the game was widely loved by those who played it - though I have heard from quite a few people that find the return to classic Descent boring, and that a continuation of the Descent 3 format would've been preferred with more diverse mission objectives, more realistic settings etc. It seems like the D3 crowd aren't satisfied with Overload, whereas the D1/D2 players are right at home. Personally I feel that Overload incorporates the best bits of all three games, and it's only really lacking due to the small team and budget. I'm sure they would've done more, if they could, but feature creep has a tendency to delay things.

I guess we'll have to see if LITTLE ORBIT can inject some more interest into the franchise with Descent (2019). Maybe that game will turn out better than we anticipate.. especially if it has lots of multiplayer modes. For me that is the biggest downer of Overload - The multiplayer isn't that great.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 03:39:10 PM by Hunter »
Active multiplayer pilot from 1996~2003, thereabouts. Stopped playing competitively in 2007.

Offline Scyphi

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Re: Overload is Over
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2019, 06:59:51 AM »
I had heard the news a few weeks back myself, but it's still sad to hear again even now.  :( But, I'm still glad we got Overload at all. It's a fun game, and I certainly think it deserved a bit better sells than what it got. But if I'm honest, it was probably the divided attention with other games being produced at roughly the same time and rather limited marketing that probably limited Overload's chances.

So since Descent Underground (yes, I still call it that to differentiate) has had stressed its marketing side of it more, it might have a better chance...but I'm admittedly not too optimistic about it. It's development has taken much longer than originally promised and players are getting bored waiting, the focus on multiplayer over singleplayer was a let down to some players, and I still find people who seem unaware that DU is producing a singleplayer campaign at all (and thus hold it against DU), and from the latest footage gameplay footage Descendant released (which was, in of itself, a good while back now) the game stll just doesn't seem as well...refined. On top of getting the impression that the game's production has been getting more chaotic and rushed the closer it gets to a supposed release, I overall have worries the final product will not be quality product, at least not to the level Overload set, and may be, at worst, dead on arrival. Little Planet getting involved and, I suspect, pushing a complete change in the game's approach and how its marketed, hasn't helped.

Been quite a rollercoaster ride, that DU.  :-\

What bugs me the most about all of this, though, is that the new games got the fans all excited about them that many seem to have left good ol' classic Descent behind in the dust, and it's felt like the fanbase has been slowly coming apart and moving on, so there is a fear this will all be the beginning of the end for it.

But, Descent's beaten the odds before...I mean, it's lasted this long, hasn't it? I just have to hope it will continue to do so in the future, I guess.  :)
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