Why Fallen Frontier is officially fallen
In 2009, the XBLA goldmine cracked open treasures like Shadow Complex, Trials HD and ‘Splosion Man. That gold rush attracted former Bungie designers Damián Isla, Rob Stokes and Michel Bastien who ventured off to create their own projects as Moonshot Games, starting with the ambitious Fallen Frontier. The cooperative game played like a side-scrolling Halo had gotten into your Shadow Complex, and we adored playing it at PAX two years ago. However, the bigwigs in publishing decided the window of opportunity was gone.
Isla, speaking with Joystiq, said of the demand:
Post-PAX we came to the grim realization that the market had shifted pretty substantially since we first started working on the game. The console downloadable platforms had plateaued somewhat, and publishers were less excited about investing there. A game that had sold itself easily the first two times all of a sudden became a much harder sell the third time. By that time, the real interest and the accompanying dollars seemed to had moved on to mobile and social.
The diminished demand choked the project of funding before Kickstarter earned its legacy as the saving grace for dying projects. Even with it, we suspected after Moonshot’s cancellation announcement it would have cost a great deal to finish it at its production level. Besides, as Isla previously explained on the Moonshot blog, “We had all just been working on fairly massive, 3-year, 200+ person AAA stuff. And those games can be amazing. But with Moonshot we wanted to do something different. We wanted to be small. I approximated it as ‘5 people working for a year.’ Unfortunately, it seems Final Frontier did not match with that vision.