It’s been quite some time since we last heard from Dean Hall. The original creator of the popular DayZ mod for ARMA 2 left the DayZ Standalone project back in 2014 to pursue other opportunities within the games industry. Fast forward to E3 2015 where Hall took the stage during Microsoft’s briefing to announce his new project ION, which was announced with a rather cryptic description:
I want a game that is not a game. I want a game that is a universe. A universe built not on scripts or quests, but on the laws of physics, biology, and chemistry. A simulation MMO that explores mankind’s expansion into space; the chance to be a pioneer in a harsh universe swamped with the risk of death yet peppered with the havens of fortune.
It sounds rather nebulous and not too dissimilar from No Man’s Sky, although ION was supposed to be a lot deeper than Hello Games’ controversial exploration game. Unfortunately, we may never be able to find out what this game looks or plays like because it has officially been canceled by Hall and his development studio RocketWerkz.
The folks at Eurogamer got into contact with Improbable, one of the collaborators attached to the ION project, who sent them back this response:
Ion was initially conceived as a project for co-development between Improbable and RocketWerkz. A lot has changed since then. Dean Hall moved back to New Zealand from London, RocketWerkz has started work on a number of other games, and we have grown increasingly into a platform for games to be deployed on.
Eurogamer also managed to speak with Dean Hall himself, who elaborated further on the game’s cancellation, which was supposed to be released on Steam and via the Xbox One Game Preview Program:
You know me, I don’t like not saying anything, but I have to be cautious because you can be very disrespectful, and I certainly don’t want to be disrespectful to anybody. I’m definitely of the opinion that you don’t deflect blame to someone else simply because it falls at you. There was a phrase I heard often in the military, ‘It went wrong and you were there.’ Look, games get paused, cancelled, pulled back all the time in the industry. The reason why people don’t announce this stuff is because what’s the value in it?
Hall and his team at RocketWerz will continue developing unannounced projects. It seems highly unlikely that we’ll ever find out what ION would’ve looked or played like. The only thing we have is this teaser trailer announcing the game:
What do you think of Ion‘s cancellation? Let us know in the comments!