In another twist to the Bizarro saga, Blue Box Games, and their upcoming title Abandoned, Blue Box announced that Abandoned will be free to anybody who had previously purchased The Haunting: Blood Water Curse. The game is a previously unfinished title from the developers that had entered early access a year prior.
This news comes via an interview with Blue Box head Hasan Kahraman did with IGN. This was in the wake of the Abandoned Realtime Experience disaster in which the app was delayed several days, only to launch with a previously released teaser and very little in the way of the actual game.
Because of the app, there was a renewed interest in tracking down previous projects the studio had been working on. What was found is a history of abandoned projects that were removed from the marketplace, most while in some form of early access. This trend dates back to at least 2015, with The Haunting: Blood Water Curse being the most recent. Hasan stated that this game was still being developed by a studio called CreateQ as a side project. This was done because Blue Box was moving onto another game, presumably Abandoned.
Kahraman stated that soon players who purchased their previous game would be able to fill out a form on their website to provide proof of purchase. Once done, they will claim a free copy of their new game if and when it releases. It would be wrong not to point out that, to date, their website is one screen with their logo and a message that “We are preparing for…”. When asked about the potential for refunding the game Kahraman said that they would visit the issue there be a demand.
As it stands now, the plan is to release The Haunting for free upon its completion for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC alongside the first gameplay trailer for Abandoned which will be released “in a few months,” Kahraman stated. Based on their track record to date, it is impossible to know if this will come to fruition.
According to Kahraman, it is the idea that his studio is attempting to mislead the public that bothers him the most. In a statement to IGN he said:
If I were a gamer and if someone else was doing exactly the same thing, I would be really hyped to see a realtime experience, and if it wasn’t coming, I would be disappointed. But they’re labeling us as scammers–that hurts. I still respect everyone really, and I’m hoping to see them still looking out for Abandoned, [despite] what they say. I do understand and I have nothing against them really. It only hurts.
While the game is still slated for 2021 that seems dubious according to his own statement. We are over halfway through the year so if the plan is for a gameplay trailer to drop in “a few months” I would expect that to mean the game might not see release this year.