Ritual Entertainment co-founder Richard 'Levelord' Gray has confirmed that SiN Episodes: Emergence didn't sell well enough to fund the development of a second game, and that work on it has been postponed.
Ritual's new owner Mumbo Jumbo has said that action games will not be the studio's primary focus from now on, casting doubt on the future of SiN Episodes.
Ritual is offering those of you who passed on SiN Episodes: Emergence an incentive to look again - the developer's cut the price to $14.95.
Clearly buoyed by the interest in Valve's own Half-Life: Episode One stats, Ritual has uploaded some of its own for Sin Episodes: Emergence - and put the Steam-bringers to shame with colourful graphs and even pie charts.
Ritual's planning to release another patch for Sin Episodes: Emergence this week, adding three brand new Arena mode maps - The Pit, Behind Zee Beaker and Vertigo.
Ritual's released an update to Sin Episodes: Emergence through Steam which adds a new game mode, Arena, and four maps to go with it.
Ritual's VP of development, Tom Mustaine, has confirmed that an Xbox 360 version of episodic shooter SiN is on the way - adding that they're up for doing a PS3 version, too.
Valve and Ritual have issued a patch for Sin Episodes: Emergence, reviewed on the site today.
The update, which ought to apply itself when you restart Steam, tweaks the game's difficulty system - something that niggled us a bit during our playthrough - as well as sorting out some bugs with player stats, sound, textures and other minor issues.
Which is handy.
You know when Sin came out at the same time as Half-Life and everyone thought, "man, I bet they're gutted"? I'm not convinced they were. Sin Episodes: Emergence, the first in a new line of five-hour first-person shooters set in the Sin universe, is so firmly stuck in 1998 that I'm not even sure they've played Half-Life now. They really should.
It's the sort of first-person shooter nobody makes any more. You wake up on an operating table staring at the evil, cackling Elexis' stupid cleavage, then escape thanks to rookie-Jessica. There's a touch of Half-Life 2 to the duck-and-jump chase sequence at the docks before you get a gun, but like the rest of the modern bits it's a nod rather than an actual shift. It's all about combat, and the combat's only about a couple of things - headshotting people with the pistol, from virtually any distance, or running away from the sound of a chaingun spinning up.
Bizarre, then, that it's actually pretty enjoyable. This being an episode rather than a full game, there are only a trio of guns and a handful of enemy types, and the handful of hours you all spend together quickly assemble themselves into an engaging formula. Most of the grunts can be killed with one headshot, and the pistol's very accurate, so most of the first-half encounters are straightforward. If they come toward you, they die. So, laughably, their best strategy is to move sideways, wandering along a gangway up above or strafing before they open fire. Then it's about readjusting the sights on both ends. Keeping an eye on that Half-Life damage indicator. There's no notion of enemy teamwork or taking cover; they're moths to the muzzle flare.
SiN Episodes: Emergence isn't even out until May 10th, but Ritual's already talking about a free update due a couple of weeks later - featuring a new gameplay mode.
Ritual's much-anticipated first-person shooter SiN Episode 1: Emergence will be released via Steam on May 9th, gatekeeper Valve's announced, with pre-loading already available so you can get your teeth stuck into it as soon as it's live.
Just in case you missed it during the rush of news that, well, emerged from the Game Developers Conference last week, Ritual's said that SiN Episodes: Emergence will be released via Steam and possibly retail in May.
Ritual has released a fairly chunky trailer for SiN Episodes: Emergence - the first instalment in its forthcoming series of SiN revivals.
The trailer, available to watch now on Eurogamer TV, shows off tons of footage from the single-player game - the weapons, enemies, environments, physics tricks, the works.
Ritual's clearly enjoying working with Valve's Source Engine, coming up with all sorts of ways to take advantage of its pronounced physicality - in one scenario, the player fishes around in an office drawer and finds a health canister, which has to be affixed to a Half-Life-style dispenser on the wall before it's any use.
The first in Ritual's series of SiN Episodes - nuggets of first-person shooting delivered through Valve's Steam download-on-demand service - will be released in early 2006 rather than the rapidly disappearing autumn 2005 window the developer had previously stipulated.
Ritual has started polling gamers about what sort of multiplayer content they would like to see in SiN Episodes - as the first instalment, Emergence, closes in on another milestone ahead of its late autumn launch.
Ritual will probably re-release the first SiN on Steam, giving gamers who missed it the chance to experience it for the first time and gamers who cried about the bugs, threw it away and played Half-Life instead the chance to go, "This is actually pretty good. I'll seriously consider purchasing your next product."
The first instalment in Ritual's SiN Episodes series, self-funded first-person shooters to be distributed via Valve's Steam premium content service, will be released this autumn and will cost "well below $19.99", according to the developer.
Released a week or so before Half-Life back in November 1998, the original SiN came out to a hearty ripple of applause. It seemed like a pretty solid Quake II-powered sci-fi FPS about the nefarious Elexis and her plans to hijack a nuclear weapon. It had mutants galore and some memorable moments, but soon, the much-hyped Ritual Entertainment-developed title fell by the wayside once it became clear how great the gulf between the two FPS rivals really was. While SiN was happy to play things by the book (and did so pretty respectably), Half-Life took the book, ripped it into little pieces, pulped it, made another one and re-wrote every FPS rule imaginable. The rest is, as they always say at this point in any introductory paragraph worth its salt, history.
Ritual Entertainment's long-awaited sequel to SiN is to be released episodically over Valve's Steam digital distribution system, with chapters lasting around six hours each to be released "every three to four months" for around $20 (£11.38) a pop.
A new teaser page has appeared on the Ritual Entertainment website, suggesting that an official announcement regarding the sequel to PC first-person shooter SiN could be on the way in just a couple of weeks.