Niantic has stopped developing Catan: World Explorers. It had not been released officially, and the game was only available in early access in certain markets outside of the US.
The game will be removed from the App Store later today, and Company plans to shut down the servers that power it on November 18th, rendering the game unplayable thereafter.
As a result of Niantic’s announcement, the augmented reality title will not be rolled out to new regions, and in-app purchases will no longer be available.
Company’s decision to cancel the project appears to have been sparked by scope creep during development.
Initially, we planned to have traders, harvesters and builders build up the world each month, just like at home, through seasonal play,” says the company in a blog post. “But attempting to translate a well-designed board game to a location-based Massively Multiplayer Online (MMOG) proved to be difficult.”
During development of World Explorers, Niantic learned valuable lessons that will be applied to future projects. The company’s other games may also suffer as a result of the cancellation.
Pokémon Go has been a runaway success, and a variety of companies are partnering with Niantic to create their own AR experiences.
There are a number of notable examples, including Hasbro and Warner Bros. It is possible that these same companies now realize it may not be as easy as they first thought to replicate the success of Pokémon Go.