One of the more uplifting stories of 2018 that ran under most people’s radar was the acquisition of APB and Fallen Earth by Little Orbit. It’s no secret that most people feel that GamersFirst was a horrible thing to happen to Fallen Earth, dragging the post-apocalyptic MMO down into a tacky monetization scheme with no further development. It really looked like it was going to limp on until it petered out into nothing and vanished.
But along comes games publisher Little Orbit and snaps it up. More surprising than that, Little Orbit’s CEO came out quickly to say that the small team there had kind of become smitten with Fallen Earth and wanted to see it succeed. And ever since last summer, work has been done to analyze the game’s state, its buggy code, and to formulate a plan going forward.
It’s not just talk, either. The team managed to run a few events so far and have kept the communication channels open as to the back-end projects being done. Parts of the game are being taken apart, examined, fixed, revised, and put back in. Even more promising than that is the talk that Fallen Earth might see a complete reboot as a new and improved game — albeit one that releases a good long while from now.
If this isn’t just talk, if it’s actually doable, then it would be a smart move by this company. Fallen Earth is one of those faulty MMOs that people love despite its flaws — but this has gotten harder over the years, especially after development stalled out. With Fallout 76 kind of floundering over there, Fallen Earth still remains the most true post-apocalyptic massively multiplayer title on the market.
A reboot, refresh, what have you, could do many things to inject this title with the population it needs and perhaps deserves. It’ll generate more attention, for starters. I mean, everyone loves a scrappy underdog story as evidenced by how this story has taken off on Reddit and MOP and elsewhere this month. It could help potential players overcome obstacles such as obtuse game design, poor performance, nasty bugs, and a pretty cruddy free-to-play model.
If that happened, then I would definitely be there. There’s so much to really love about this game once you get into it, including the crafting system, black humor, expansive world that begs to be explored, and the bizarre take on the end of the world. But will it get that chance? I’m not holding my breath, but I will be cheering it on from afar.