Mythic Entertainment has "postponed production" of its sci-fi massively multiplayer online RPG Imperator. Following an internal review, the company decided it "just wasn't great enough to be a Mythic game at this time".
Nobody has lost their job over the decision, which came about a year prior to the game's anticipated June 2006 release, but Mythic's plan to open a European publishing office has been set back and will likely coincide with the launch of Warhammer in 2007 instead.
CEO Mark Jacobs said the shelving of the game was "the most difficult decision that we have ever had to make," but at no point did the company say the game had been totally cancelled. Instead, it says it will perform an internal reassessment and decide how to proceed with it in future.
Imperator, which had been in development for some time, had a sci-fi "alternate reality" theme that presupposed the Roman Empire survived into the future and took on the stars as well. Players would go through a Roman Academy and then graduate as Viritori before taking on a role that saw them protecting Rome.
Despite the postponement, CEO Jacobs paid tribute to the developers who worked on it. "Our team made a tremendous effort with the game and the praise it drew at E3 and in previews reflected their skill and dedication," he said. Those developers will now be split between the next Dark Age of Camelot expansion pack, Darkness Rising, which is due out in Q4 of this year, and the Warhammer-themed MMORPG that Mythic announced at E3, which is due out worldwide in 2007.