UPDATE: Eurogamer Czech editor Jan Doskocil has been following the game's development more closely and reiterated the company's struggle to find a publisher and funding beyond a $3-$4 million investment by one of the richest people in the Czech Republic, Zdenek Bakala. I mentioned the possibility of funding via Kickstarter below and apparently this is an avenue Warhorse is openly interested in exploring.
Doskocil also alerted me to a 15-second gameplay video of Kingdom Come: Deliverance that leaked from a CryEngine showcase.
ORIGINAL STORY: Almost exactly a year ago, a Czech studio led by former Mafia maker Daniel Vávra made waves with a tech demo teasing what a next-gen medieval RPG could look like, albeit on a fairly ropey laptop.
Now the game is finally ready to unveil as Kingdom Come: Deliverance, a "realistic open-world first-person medieval RPG" for PC and "next-gen platforms" in 2015. CryEngine 3 powers it.
Realism is the key. "Deliverance promises no magic, high fantasy or mythical overtones - it draws its inspiration instead from historically authentic characters, themes, and warfare," stated a press release now sent to Eurogamer.
That means period-accurate fighting techniques and "revolutionary first-person melee combat", apparently. There's horseback combat, open-field sieges and big fat fights. It's based around the Holy Roman Empire and the last days of the Middle Ages. The number 1403 is contained in the game's logo, and is presumably a date.
Commented Vávra: "The team's ambition for Kingdom Come: Deliverance is growing this ever-maturing sandbox genre in a believable, real-world context and scope. To that end, we're harnessing CryEngine 3, non-linear narrative, varied freedom in character progression, and a consequence-laden living world in ways that have never been possible until now."
"One investment banker from London told us in no uncertain terms that PC and consoles are dead, and if we're not making a free-to-play MMO for iPad, we've got no chance."
It's an ambitious pitch from an unproven developer that's so far struggled to bowl over a publisher, developer Warhorse explained in a blog post. And not having the backing to ramp up to full 50-person-plus development has held the project up.
But there is hope, Warhorse added, in the shape of a "smaller publisher" assessing the game's credentials. "It looks promising," apparently.
"If this does not work out, though, we have a problem. The only other option would be to try to persuade our investor to back the whole game by himself - not very likely - or to find a co-investor. We tried contacting a few people, but it didn't look good.
"One investment banker from London told us in no uncertain terms that PC and consoles are dead, and if we're not making a free-to-play MMO for iPad, we've got no chance. This is, of course, rubbish, but being right is little help to us.
"So that's where we stand. We believe in our game, but selling a novel concept to publishers is difficult. Welcome to the exciting world of game development!"
So is this, this released teaser video, a bid to stir up a fanbase and show publishers just how many people are interested in the idea? Surely Kickstarter must have been considered somewhere along the way...