Development of Spintires, the off-road truck simulator that lit up Steam last year, is back on track after its publisher and programmer made up.

Publisher Oovee, based in Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, had been accused of withholding money owed to the creator of Spintires, Russian programmer Pavel Zagrebelnyy.

Owners of the game who struggled to get it work had also complained after Oovee went dark on them late last year. Many feared Spintires had been abandoned as a result.

But after months of silence, Oovee has returned, admitting to a failure of communication and pledging to continue to improve Spintires with the help of Zagrebelnyy.

"We openly admit that communications between Oovee and our customers have been weak over the last few months," Oovee's Tony Fellas, who is based in Cyprus, said in a post on the Oovee forum.

"Our customer base grew far beyond what we initially expected and we needed to cater for that quickly - the development plans became sketchy and before we knew it we had a runaway train. Please accept our apologies."

Fellas said Oovee changed the way it worked following a meeting between all involved with the game, and promised a series of updates in the near future.

But what of Oovee's relationship with Zagrebelnyy? "Yes - no relationship goes without its problems, however, we have settled the communication issues that we have had in the past," Fellas said.

Oovee pledged to improve its testing and quality assurance processes, launch an opt-in experimental development branch on Steam, and vowed to release updates to the stable release version of Spintires once per month at a minimum.

Spintires' next large update, which includes mod support, is due out in early April. The early May update includes a cockpit camera view. Downloadable content will then be released this summer.

Meanwhile, Oovee said work had begun on a follow-up to Spintires.

"How can we possibly talk about the next iteration of Spintires when we still haven't finished improving the current version of Spintires?" Fellas said.

"Well to be fair, software is never finished and we understand that. But with the huge success of the Spintires release, it's kind of a no-brainer but to continue the franchise and create an even better game with a larger team and a larger budget.

"So with great pleasure we can confirm that planning has commenced for the next iteration of Spintires, whatever form it may come in. It is suggested not to ask too many questions about it because we simply cannot answer them just yet."

So what's Pavel Zagrebelnyy had to say? In a post, he said an image containing comments highly critical of Oovee that were attributed to him was fake. This image had been held up as evidence of Zagrebelnyy's dissatisfaction with the way he had been treated by his publisher.

"I was pissed with our situation," he admitted, "but I never said anything like it, and I don't really see a point of the guy who does it.

"Thanks to Tony our 'communication' problems are now in the past, so expect new cool stuff for Spintires soon!"

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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