Early Steam Greenlight title Towns abandoned

Developer blames flagging sales, pitches sequel.

The developer of RPG city building title Towns has abandoned the game, blaming poor sales.

Developer Florian Frankenberger, aka Moebius, revealed the news on the Towns website. He said sales of the game were less than a third of the amount he had been led to believe would be the case when he took over development of the project after original co-creator Xavi Canal left, citing burnout. Frankenberger's deal meant he would receive 15 per cent of revenue after tax and Steam's traditional fee were removed.

"To be completely honest, I can't work for that little amount," he said. "I have to pay for the rent and food and this doesn't really suffice for any of it."

Towns was one of the first games to successfully pass through Valve's Steam Greenlight system, which launched in September 2012, and pre-dated the Early Access system. It raised eyebrows for launching without making clear it was in an unfinished state.

Then, in February this year, original co-creator Xavi Canal announced his departure from the project. "I'm burned," he said at the time, "really burned about the game and all it involves. I don't have the strength to continue with it.

"Adding more features won't change the game to a 'finished' status, this is a never-ending story. So, I had to stop at some point and consider it finished, and I did that."

Some players have reacted angrily to this latest news, and criticised Towns' developers for not doing more to update and improve the game since launch.

"How can they abandon the development before it is finished if they already have taken money to complete it?" asked "Springare". "Should they not pay back the money then?"

Some, however, have expressed support for Frankenberger's decision.

"It sucks you have to pull the plug, but I can understand your reasons," said "Dikjuh". "Bills don't pay themselves."

Frankenberger also drew criticism for suggesting a potential sequel to Towns in the same post that he announced development on the original would cease.

At the time of publication Towns is still available to buy from Steam for 9.99.

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