This is not news in the slightest as quite a few people have already heard of Project Offset and these events took place about a year ago but many have no idea what it was. It looked to be one of the only titles that could truly dethrone The Elder Scrolls from it’s reign as the king of CRPGs. Watch the trailer and you’ll see what all the hype was about.
This game looked amazing. The developers really had a tremendous concept and game on their hands. I considered it to be the only CRPG that would have been capable of competing toe to toe with the Elder Scrolls series. You can understand everyone’s disappointment when they saw that it had been canceled and how angry they were when they saw the reason why.
Intel purchased Offset Software to improve our game development knowledge-base and to further Intel’s visual computing technology development expertise, helping the company offer robust products, support, and tools to customers. With the recent changes in our product roadmap, some of the resources and technologies from the acquisition are being re-applied to help support new graphics related projects. Additionally, other Offset Software team members have moved onto other external projects outside the company.
Offset Software started work on Project Offset in 2005 and in 2008 they were acquired by Intel them to use Project Offset as a demonstration for the new Larabee based CPUs they were developing at the time in exchange for funding. This seemed like a good opportunity at first as it meant the development time could speed up significantly, until mid 2010 when Intel dropped the project believing it was taking too long. In their defense they were partially right. Not only did they stop funding the project, they owned the rights to the game and the company. The team at Offset Software could no longer legally work on their flagship game. Years of work had gone down the drain. Offset Software is now known as Fractiv and last I checked they are developing a small Diablo II style RPG as well as some small iPhone games in order to get funding for larger projects.
Needless to say I was never much a fan of Intel’s products but they don’t earn any brownie points in my book when they won’t give the IP rights up to a studio that spent all of their time and money on their game when it will now sit on a shelf undeveloped forever. It disheartens me to see that this kind of thing can happen to what would otherwise be an amazing game that would have brought days upon days of enjoyment for CRPG lovers if it had ever seen the light of day. This kind of thing should never happen to any development team and it just goes to show that you need to be careful with the kind of business ventures you make.