It has been eighteen months of Drama for Tulga Games (formerly Artifact Entertainment). The makers of Horizons have been through a lot, but now they claim their game is finally where it should have been when it launched. We give them a second look in this article based on an interview with David Bowman. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks as we also embark on a full length "re-review" of the game.
| Eighteen months ago, Artifact Entertainment launched a highly anticipated MMORPG named Horizons. The team and their one-time publishers Atari anticipated hundreds of thousands of players. At its peek, a number it is no longer even remotely close to, the game hit 37,800. Fast-forward and the original company has since filed for bankruptcy and then re-emerged as Tulga Games. There are only three active servers – one for role-playing, one for regular play and one independently operated European server. The company consists of a mere twenty-seven employees, down from nearly one-hundred at peek. Yet, despite everything, they continue to plow forward and finish the game they started all those years ago. With this in mind, we decided to go back and take a fresh look at Horizons: Empire of Istaria to see where it has come from and, more importantly, where it is going.
Like many good stories, the tale of Horizons began with disaster. First, there was the highly popular, but overly ambitious design they so famously shoved aside in favor of a more plausible, but ultimately less popular vision. Despite these early pre-release hiccups, Horizons under the direction of David Bowman seemed like it still had a chance. They signed with heavyweight publishers Atari and plowed through beta and into release. Then the second disaster struck… launch.
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