Creatures Status – Fishing Cactus Official Statement

Update on CreaturesHello to the Creatures community. Many of you have heard or read that the development on Creatures Online was halted. We wanted to make an official statement as things haven’t been communicated very clearly as far as we know and we have been receiving a lot of messages from the community on our channels (FB, Twitter and such…).

So while it saddens us a lot, the development of Creatures has effectively been put on hold since September last year due to many reasons we can’t legally talk about. At the moment we stopped the development, we can say that the game was close to Alpha with all races, toys, environments, crafting system, AI, genes, ecosystem and recycling machine in place, we were really close to be ready for a softlaunch. To achieve that stage, the team pulled out tremendous efforts  over the past 3 years and the last moments of development were a pretty difficult period for the team. As the publisher and legal owner of the IP, Big Ben made the call to pause the development of the project. Regardless of our implication with the game and its loyal community, we are not in a situation that allows us to change this decision.

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We are very sorry that the old time Creatures community is left in the dark, we truly feel this is a waste of great, positive energy and good will from all of you and we wish the situation could be different. Pausing the development so close to release is still something we are recovering from,  it is now in Bigben Interactive’s hands to keep you informed on what will happen next. Throughout the development of the game, with its ups and downs, we tried to have a very transparent communication on the development as we know you are such a great community, with great expectations too. We hope you appreciated this approach as much as we did.

We also received several complaints about the status of the official Creatures forums being spammed and invaded by bots, please note that Fishing Cactus has no control over those channels anymore (including forums and websites). This work was originally handled with great care by Sophie who was doing the community management and curation, Lucas and Andrea who were providing updates and posts to keep you updated on the progress of the game.

As far as Fishing Cactus is concerned, the future of Creatures Online now lies fully into Big Ben Interactive’s hands. Despite what angry people might say, we have poured really a lot of efforts, energy and love in the Creatures game and we wish it will see the light of day, someday, somehow.

For now we are moving on, focusing our efforts on our new game Epistory (an atmospheric adventure typing game) that is already available on Steam Early Access.

  • SpaceShipRat

    I wish you lots of love and good luck in the future. I enjoyed engaging with Sophie and Andrea in forums and during the twitch demos, and the game was looking great. I’m sorry BB hung you out to dry like this, it’s pretty horrible that you got all the blame for having to go dark.

    Leaving aside the low average intelligence of facebook comments, you left a positive mark on the community, and most of us will miss you.

    Buona fortuna ragazzi.

  • Marco

    Yeah, this isn’t your fault. I am kind sour with Big Ben, it had terrible communication with us fans. I am happy to say I got one of those rare norn toys from you guys and had the chance to assist the community while it was up with the rest of the mods. I hope another big publisher that cares and won’t try to make this game into a microtransaction fiesta picks it up but it’s got to be a really big vocal minority to push a pub to do that. I wish adult swim would do it :(

  • Sophie

    Thank you Marco and SpaceShipRat for your comments. It cheered us up a little bit more. It was a real pleasure to be engaged in such a great community. It’s really rare to find a game community that mature and understanding. Even the trolls on Facebook were pleasants sometimes :D . Some of you really helped me and I’ll always been grateful for that. Cheers.

  • Maddie Lamedica

    This is exactly the kind of explanation we have been needing. Thank you so much for coming clean to us about the situation, we really needed to hear it. I’m very sorry that this is the current state of development, but it’s good to know that you ultimately didn’t make the choice to halt production. It was so odd and sudden, and up until that point everyone on the Fishing Cactus development team was really good about updating us through the forums.
    Big Ben has been completely quiet in all my attempts to contact them, and I’ve been doing so for months. I don’t understand why they halted development, but ignoring the fans isn’t helping the situation. I hope they change their minds and start communicating with us.

  • dsmall

    It’s such a shame… Hopefully it will be launched some day in the future, I was loving the artwork and all the little ideas you guys had done so far.

  • Jillian Dixon

    Would any amount of petitioning or donations change this? I would do anything, I have loved this game and have been waiting for so long, this could be the best game ever made and I’m not even joking. Thanks for the hard work…

  • FishingCactus

    Hey Jillian, I guess it would be possible to organize a crowdfunding
    (based on equity rather than donations) so that the core community can
    get their hands back on the IP and project (with or without Fishing
    Cactus).

    But to be honest, the logistic to organize such crowdfunding and amount
    of money required would be significantly high (>500.000€) and it
    would also require Big Ben approval. In case the community wants to organize such approach we would be more than happy to help you in the process.

  • Linda Lundqvist

    Aww this saddens me to hear, but its better then seeing the chaos the forums with tons of questions rolling around. What can one say? other then thanks for the effort put into it. Would be nice of the big ben company would reveal more info on why they halted it.

  • Mike Boula

    I think the community needs someone from Fishing Cactus to spearhead and lead the crowdfunding. You are the only ones who can inspire hope that the project will succeed.
    Would you consider putting together a Kickstarter-type project?

    There is a “List of video game crowdfunding projects” on Wikipedia with many getting millions of dollars, so it could work (although, it will require a decent marketing strategy).

  • Mark Henry

    oh man what a better way to hype up the community that has been lusting for this game and free it from the shackles of,BIG BEN. With a slight hype push from steve grand as well and perhaps create a massive movement to gain the rights to someone who will utilize it. Currently the animal/taming/breeding games are becoming a massive things in games and this game epitomizes all of that. So like Mike said, if someone from Fishing Cactus leads the charge makes rounds at places like Destructoid/PaperRockShotgun/Neogaf/Kotaku/Polygon hell even go to places like Xbox and talk to the head person of Indie games there he seems to be responsive – and now with the fusion of MS/PC gaming it can likely be possible.

  • Mike Boula

    You could even start with a simple test:
    Email everyone who has subscribed to your newsletter or to the forum with a short survey asking if they would be interested, how much they would pledge, and any other relevant questions.

  • Myst

    What of Spilgames buying the IP? Have they sad as much as a word to you guys? I’m hoping they’re interested in building on your work so far.

  • FishingCactus

    Hello Myst, as stated we are not involved in those discussions anymore and actually learnt the news at the same time you did. From what the press release is saying, it is probably not going to reuse much of what we created but that’s not certain.

  • FishingCactus

    I guess SpilGames taking the IP back means there is hope for the future of Creatures. Not sure which direction they’ll take.

  • Mike Boula

    It does look like they already have some other game in the work (release date 2017).
    So, can you tell us who owns the source code you have worked on for so many years?
    Maybe, we could re-use it to create a new game with a different name and characters that do not look like Norms…
    It would be so sad to let this hard work go to waste.

  • FishingCactus

    Big Ben owns everything around the game and its content and code as well so I’m pretty sure there is nothing one can do to salvage it and reuse it without their consent.

  • Mike Boula

    Thanks for the quick reply.
    So, was the content/code sold to Spilgames as well? Or is Big Ben still the owner of that part?

  • FishingCactus

    I’m afraid that’s not something we know, we are currently trying to get that info as well as it is tight to some legal aspects of our contract with them.

  • Meghan

    I’m obviously sad to hear this, but I’m sad for the team as well. What a knife to the heart that must have been (whatever happened). Spilgames is mostly focused on mobile, probably meaning that this game will become some micro-transaction circle of hell. This game was going to be my return to the sweet innocence of childhood. I told everyone I knew about it. I wish we could do something. Big Ben, you owe us some answers. Any answer will do.