The game was taken offline about a year ago to switch to the Unreal Engine from the Hero Engine — whose issues caused The Repopulation to go into a holding pattern in late 2015. Then things got nasty between Hero Engine maker Idea Fabrik and Repopulation Lead Developer J.C. Smith of Above & Beyond Technologies.
Apparently, all has been forgiven — or at least some money and assets have changed hands — because The Repopulation is coming back, and it’s now wholly owned by Idea Fabrik. The statement on the Repopulation website reads like your typical game acquisition announcement, gushing with compliments about the development team and showing no signs of any previous disputes. Idea Fabrik says it intends to get the game back online in the first quarter of 2017.
You might remember that Above & Beyond did put out a Repopulation spin-off, Fragmented, in April of last year, though with a 55% userscore, it doesn’t seem to have been eagerly embraced by fans. According to a rather frank post on the forums by Smith, “Repop fans review-bombed Fragmented, so they did not earn enough money.” A further Q&A with Massively revealed that Idea Fabrik would be bringing on its own team to continue work on The Repopulation and to prep Fragmented for a console release later this year.
For Repopulation fans, the response seems to be a mix of “Yay, it’s back!” and “F*** Idea Fabrik and Hero Engine!” I haven’t invested in the game, financially or emotionally, so I can’t really speak to either view, though I can understand why people would be hesitant to embrace its new owners, especially considering the rather public spat of just over a year ago. Any Repopulation fans out there want to give us their views?