|Release date(s)||Windows, OS X
13 September 2013 (Early access)
7 August 2014
27 November 2014
Godus is a god game style video game that was developed by the independent company 22Cans and published by DeNA. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds, and they met their funding goal of GB£450,000 (US$732,510) on 20 December 2012. Godus is designed by Peter Molyneux and is described by him as the spiritual successor to his earlier creation, Populous.
The player starts out by saving a man and a woman from drowning. Once the player leads them to the "Promised Land", they will settle down and build a tent. They will "Breed" a worker, who will build another tent to live in. By using this strategy, the player will explore the world and improve the population through the ages. The main feature of this game is that the player is able to redesign the land levels at will. Different levels need more "Belief" than usual. The player will be able to explore at least one other world after finding a certain ship and gathering enough resources to repair it.
Godus was the efforts of game designer Peter Molyneux and his development studio 22Cans. The game is the spiritual successor to Molyneux's earlier creation, Populous, and is inspired by his other titles: Dungeon Keeper and Black & White. Molyneux left his position at Microsoft in March 2012 to found 22Cans. With a staff of 20 people, the studio released its first game, Curiosity – What's Inside the Cube?, on 6 November 2012, and began working on Godus.
The company launched a Kickstarter campaign to help crowdfund the costs of producing the game, and the campaign met its funding goal of GB£450,000 (US$732,510) on 20 December 2012. Although the game was only funded two days before the campaign ended, any remaining pledges would be put towards stretch goals which would add features to the game such as more single-player modes, a cooperative mode, and adding support for Linux and the Ouya platform. 22Cans planned to release a prototype of the game on 13 December 2012, in an effort to attract more backers to the campaign. At the close of the campaign, GB£526,563 was raised and five out of the six stretch goals were reached, failing to achieve the goal for Ouya support. As of 21 December 2012, Molyneux had not set a release date for the game. As of the 13th September 2013, Godus was released on Steam early access as a beta version.
With the end of Molyneux's social experiment, Curiosity – What's Inside the Cube?, it was revealed that in Godus a single person will reign as the virtual god over all other players. It was also revealed that this same player will receive a portion of the revenue made by the game. As of February 2015, the winner Bryan Henderson has still not received the prize.
As of February 2015, the 22Cans staff had been reduced to a few people, likely indicating that some of the Kickstarter's goals such as multiplayer and a persistent world would not be met. Due to Molyneux seeming abandonment of the project, contrary to his earlier enthusiasm, many fans requested refunds. Furthermore, fans frequently cite "disgraceful treatment" and blatant lying in association with Godus, and by extension Molyneux.
In February 2016, 22cans released a new game, titled Godus Wars, adding in a combat-focused real-time strategy mode but the original Godus game is still a stand alone world separate from the new game.
Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell expressed concern that successful game designers were funding their projects using Kickstarter, stating: "I'm looking at Kickstarter through the prism of Molyneux and Braben and Schafer and Fargo reaching out of their mansions and rattling their golden cups in my direction. They instantly put me in the mentality of a consumer [...] weighing up a pre-order against the potential fiction of their oft-broken pre-release promises. [...] It's not wrong because they are taking advantage of people – which may or may not be the case – but because this is absolutely not what Kickstarter is about." PC Gamer expressed similar concern: "one wonders if Molyneux couldn't have handled his own funding". Molyneux responded, saying, "I don't see why I, with my background, should be precluded from [Kickstarter]. I made the choice when I left Microsoft to become a small developer again and to define myself like a small developer defines itself, and that is someone who takes unbelievable risks – foolish risks like releasing Curiosity and doing Kickstarter." Molyneux also said that he invested a lot of his own money into the development studio 22cans.
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- Yin-Poole, Wesley (3 February 2016). "Peter Molyneux returns to Godus with RTS update". Eurogamer. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
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- "God Comes to Kickstarter: Peter Molyneux Pitches Populous Successor". PC Gamer (UK): 9. January 2013.
- Hodapp, Eli (8 August 2014). "The Internet is Not Too Happy About Peter Molyneux's 'Godus'". Touch Arcade. Retrieved 10 August 2014.