Robotoki, the studio created by ex-Call of Duty creative strategist Obert Bowling, has closed its doors.
The studio had been working on the post-apocalyptic survival game Human Element, which had been in the works since 2012. It was originally due to be free-to-play title supported by microtransactions and published by Nexon. But after Robotoki decided to transform the game into a full title without microtransactions last November, they studio cancelled its agreement with Nexon and instead announced they were seeking a new publishing partner.
Alas, it appears that has taken too long. “This week we have ceased operations at Robotoki and the development of Human Element is on hiatus,” Bowling said in a statement. “We were actively negotiating a new publishing deal for the premium version of Human Element but unfortunately I was unable to continue to self-fund development until a deal was finalised.”
A video was also released, showing off additional unseen footage from the game, including clips that appear to take place onboard a space station of some kind.
Human Element hasn’t been cancelled outright – Bowling describes the game as “being on hiatus”, and hopes to resume development after obtaining funding. But whether or not he will be successful currently looks uncertain, and in the meantime all work on the game has ceased. Human Element had originally been expected to be released towards the end of the year on PC, with console versions to be confirmed.
Just last month, Robotoki released a new trailer for Human Element which showed off some the changes made to the game’s direction. When it was first announced, the game was described as an open-world affair set after a zombie apocalypse. The trailer, however, seems to indicate the emphasis had shifted to focus more on human enemies. There’s a strong vibe of Mad Max and id software’s Rage on display, with ramshackle outposts and desert settings. Dirt bikes also feature heavily in the footage, presumably as your main method of travelling from place to place. The footage looks a bit too good to be genuine in-game action. Instead, it appears more to be a concept piece, presumably to help the developer secure funding from publishers.