|Release||Windows, OS X|
13 September 2013 (Early access)
7 August 2014
27 November 2014
|Genre(s)||God game, strategy game|
Godus or Godus Wars is a god video game developed by 22cans and published by DeNA. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds and met their funding goal on 20 December 2012. Godus was designed by Peter Molyneux, who described it as the spiritual successor to his earlier creation, Populous. While the mobile versions of the game continues to be updated, Steam Early Access release has yet to see an updated beta since 2016. The contract of the lead developer of the game, Konrad Naszynski, expired 28 June 2016, and it has been reported that there is no one left working on the PC version.
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 expand the settlement by building 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 stratum at will. Different stratum require more "Belief", which operates like an in-game currency, to modify than other stratum. The player will be able to explore at least one other world after finding a certain ship and gathering enough resources to repair it. The player will need to build more housing dwellings, which increases the population that worships the player. As the population grows, the player will be rewarded with cards that will give access to more powers and grant new abilities and behaviours to the population, as well.
Godus was the effort 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 £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, £526,563 (US$857,139) was raised and five out of the six stretch goals were reached, failing to achieve the goal for Linux and Ouya support. As of 21 December 2012, Molyneux had not set a release date for the game. As of 13 September 2013, Godus was released on Steam Early Access as a beta version.
With the end of 22cans' first game, 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 1% of the revenue made by the game. As of February 2015, the winner Bryan Henderson has still not received the prize. In March 2017, Molyneux claimed that Godus had not made a profit and Henderson would not receive money.
In February 2015, 22cans switched focus to another title The Trail: Frontier Challenge, and the remaining Godus development team acknowledged that they “simply can’t see us delivering all the features promised on the KickStarter page.”  Due to Molyneux's apparent 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 early access game titled Godus Wars, a combat-focused, real-time strategy singleplayer game based on the original Godus. Godus Wars was made available at no additional cost to existing Godus owners. Simultaneously, it was offered as an independent product available for separate purchase. The purchase of Godus Wars also includes Godus, while Godus still remains available on the Steam store. 22cans also announced they would continue development on Godus by adding multiplayer to Godus Wars, though this feature has not come to fruition. Upon its release, Godus Wars also included micro-transactions for more content. In response to significant negative feedback from customers, 22cans CEO Simon Phillips responded and the studio removed the micro-transactions.
The most recent update to Godus, aside from the release of Godus Wars, was 2 April 2015  and the last communication with 22cans regarding the game and its Steam community was 13 May 2016. Despite many years without update or communication with 22cans, the game is available for purchase as an early access title on Steam.
In a December 2021 interview, Molyneux stated that, "we are announcing our first new set of features for Godus in almost two years and that should be coming out before Christmas." The game has not been updated since the release of Godus Wars in 2016.
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.
Additional criticisms were made over the freemium model chosen for the iOS version. Gamers and Kickstarter supporters have reacted negatively to the broken promises by Molyneux, and demands for refunds or apologies have not been met or addressed.
- Orland, Kyle (20 December 2012). "Project Godus reaches Kickstarter goal just under the wire". Ars Technica. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Walker, John (28 June 2016). "Godus' Designer Has Left 22cans, No Time Frame For Release". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- "Proof of Playership Pictures". TinyPic. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- Orland, Kyle (13 December 2012). "Molyneux: Project Godus to release playable prototype tomorrow". Ars Technica. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Sliwinski, Alexander (21 December 2012). "Godus Kickstarter concludes at £526K". Joystiq. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Jackson, Mike (21 December 2012). "Godus Kickstarter closes at £526,563". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on 26 December 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (20 December 2012). "With Project Godus funded, Peter Molyneux can finally get some sleep". Eurogamer. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Grubb, Jeffrey (13 September 2013). "Peter Molyneux's Godus beta available now on Steam Early Access". GamesBeat. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- "Godus – the Regenesis of the God Game Now Available Worldwide on iOS". Kickstarter. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- "Godus Now Available to Download on Android". 22cans. 27 November 2014. Archived from the original on 30 November 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
- Tan, Nicholas (3 February 2016). "Peter Molyneux Returns After a Year of Silence, Thought About Retiring". GameRevolution. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
- Younger, Paul (26 May 2013). "Edinburgh Curiosity winner reigns in GODUS, takes percentage of earnings". PC Invasion. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (11 February 2015). "The God who Peter Molyneux forgot". Eurogamer. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- Walker, John (11 February 2015). "Loss Of Faith: Will Godus Ever Have A God Of Gods?". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- "Legendary Game Maker Peter Molyneux Talks Regrets and What's Next". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 21 May 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
- Walker, John (9 February 2015). "Oh Godus, What The Hell's Going On?". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
- Campbell, Colin (11 February 2015). "Peter Molyneux's Godus is a failure of trust, and a warning for others". Polygon. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- Angus Morrison (3 February 2016). "Godus hopes to rekindle faith with Godus Wars". PC Gamer. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (3 February 2016). "Peter Molyneux returns to Godus with RTS update". Eurogamer. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- Parlock, Joe (5 February 2016). "22Cans removes microtransactions from Godus Wars after they made everyone angry". Destructoid. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
- "The Eggquinox has arrived". Steam (service). 2 April 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
- "From The Mods To The Community". Steam (service). 13 May 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
- "Godus in the Steam Store". Steam (service). Retrieved 14 September 2023.
- Robertson, Adi (14 December 2021). "Peter Molyneux's NFT game will make being nice cost real money". The Verge. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
- "windows depot (Depot 232811) - SteamDB". SteamDB. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
- "GODUS for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- Bramwell, Tom (15 December 2012). "Are the rich old men ruining Kickstarter?". Eurogamer. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "God Comes to Kickstarter: Peter Molyneux Pitches Populous Successor". PC Gamer UK. January 2013. p. 9.
- Hodapp, Eli (8 August 2014). "The Internet is Not Too Happy About Peter Molyneux's 'Godus'". Touch Arcade. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "Why Peter Molyneux's Godus Is Such A Disaster".