Thief May Be In Serious Trouble

The enamoring steampunk vision that the new Thief game had been giving us may actually be fading away. Growing evidence of creative conflict at Eidos Montreal is showing that the original concept of the game has been undergoing numerous changes, to the point that Thief is a shadow of what it once was.

There’s apparently not really a single problem to pinpoint, but rather a laundry list of them. The worry really began when Thief was MIA at this year’s E3 conference after a poor preemptive demo at GDC earlier in the year. Further investigation at Eidos Montreal by sources such as Polygon and Kotaku revealed a game development that was essentially stuck in the mud. Ridiculously high-level staff turnover has led to one idea after another being push and then scrapped. Pressure to produce quality demos for promotional purposes sidetracked the team into focusing on a step that should actually have come later. If your game is far from being even passable, there’s not really a point in sending out demos if you don’t have much to show. The lack of regard for this notion was evident in the demo sent to Game Informer and subsequently the rest of the press that reportedly took 10 months to develop. Ten months. That’s after 4 years of supposed game development. This came from Polygon:

The current version of Thief barely resembles the initial concept, says a source. The vertical slice doesn’t load inside Thief’s current heavily modified version of Unreal Engine 3. Many programming tricks were necessary to run the current demonstration, like turning off non-playable character AI — the engine has trouble when too many characters are on screen.

Publisher Square Enix has reportedly declined to comment on any of the issues surrounding the game, likely due to them being very preoccupied with steadying FFXIV: A Realm Reborn and preparing it for console release, as well as promoting FFXIII: Lightning Returns. So there really hasn’t been a clear word of any kind on Thief‘s probability of survival, and with its release date slated for February 2014, it’s hard to tell what will happen.

What do you think will happen? Will Thief be able to overcome so many adversities? Will it need another 4 years to right itself?