Tiny Speck has announced it will “unlaunch” Glitch, its unusual, side-scrolling MMO.
“Some fairly radical changes to core game mechanics are going to be necessary to make Glitch what it needs to be,” Tiny Speck founder Stewart Butterfield said in a post on the game’s blog.
“And making radical changes to core game mechanics is something that’s a lot harder to do while the front doors are open and we have to focus on scaling to support growth, stability and providing the quality of service we aim to achieve for the live game. Going back to beta will let us make the changes that need to be made. And so we’re ‘unlaunching’ – and going back to beta.”
For those who have made purchases and feel cheated by the move back to beta, Tiny Speck is offering refunds, which can be accessed here.
Tiny Speck does not anticipate having to reset the game at this time but could not rule it out. Unlike its previous beta phase, the game will remain available full time and players will still be able to invite friends, but new sign ups will be queued, the customer support team will be busy elsewhere, and play may be interrupted by fundamental changes – and attendant bugs.
“There are two obvious and huge improvements we need to make: the first is to make the early game reveal itself more easily to new players so they can get into the fun faster,” Butterfield explained.
“The second and larger task is to give those players who have gotten over that initial hump and fallen in love with the game — spending dozens or even hundreds of hours playing — the creative tools that they need to change the world in more tangible ways: building whole new locations themselves, designing new buildings, setting up resource flows and forming flexible organizations to create bigger things together.”
Glitch, put together by some of the team behind Flickr, came out of beta in late September.