News broke late Friday afternoon that troubled sci-fi sandbox MMO The Repopulation would be … well, repopulated soon.

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?

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

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  1. volfie on January 17, 2017

    atlest its not shout down looking forward to this game realy much! sad about the move.

  2. tolshortte on January 16, 2017

    Fabrik can go …. himself!

    Crushing a company through litigation costs is a sad move. I bought 2 copies of Repop, one for a friend, and it saddens me to see Fabrik hold the rights to those purchases.

    • Sighs on January 17, 2017

      Agreed. I know many companies who were crap and bought out good companies who had good games and crushed their work just to give them more money and consumers. Corruption at it’s finest 🙁

  3. Oro on January 16, 2017

    Pledges, from what I understand, will still be honored. I’m rather happy for the change as I feel that Ideal Fabrik needs a game to showcase their engine’s potential; In-turn motivating them to make it the best game they can.

  4. Sighs on January 16, 2017

    I don’t mind them taking the game offline for a year to change the engine but seriously devs need to stop taking their games offline no one will care a year later unless they make a legit reason why.

    • Sighs on January 16, 2017

      By changing the engine I mean changing it from a crappy one to a better one. If they change it from a good one to a horrible one that game is dead to me.

  5. Cassara71 on January 16, 2017

    Personally I’m wondering what this means for Kickstarter backers. Will pledges be honoured?