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The Tomorrow Children could come back in some form if Q-Games gets the rights from Sony

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

For the game’s fifth anniversary, creator Q-Games reflects on its past and possible future​

We’re coming up on the fifth anniversary of The Tomorrow Children, a one-of-a-kind communal crafting adventure game from PixelJunk maker Q-Games, and fans are once again feeling wistful about the fact that it hasn’t been playable since Sony shut the servers down in 2017. If you have hazy memories of this odd gem, check this video out.

As part of BitSummit (via IGN), CEO Dylan Cuthbert revisited a developer build on-stream.

During this 25-minute revisit, Cuthbert explains the game — well, as much as it can be explained — to the audience and also his co-host, William Loubier, who’s the PR and community manager at the studio. Slowly but surely, it’s coming back to me. I remember waiting for the bus to come. I remember that sliding-puzzle game at the workbench.

The slow-burn experience wasn’t always “fun” to play — far from it! — but I have a lot of love for its approach to unconventional cooperative multiplayer.

“[The Tomorrow Children] was before Death Stranding, so we were on the frontier of [this collaborative asynchronous] game design when we were doing this,” said Cuthbert. “Yeah, we didn’t get everything perfect, but we did manage to make a fairly consistent world.”

It felt like a strange, otherworldly Iron Curtain-themed purgatory that you were stranded in with other people just trying to make sense of it all. The game felt like a fever dream back then at launch, and the feeling only grows stronger the further removed we get.

Is there hope for a new game in this same vein?​

“It’s all about finding the funding,” said Cuthbert. “I’d love to do a sequel, right? This is the Soviet side, but what’s happening in [the West]? It would be quite interesting to find out.”

What about an offline version of The Tomorrow Children, for preservation’s sake?

“Right now, the IP is Sony’s, really. I’ll keep trying to get the IP back. And if I do get the IP back, I’ll definitely think about ways to relaunch it, but without a server. It was the running costs of the server that kind of brought it down. If we didn’t have that, we probably just could’ve left it running. […] Hopefully at some point in the future, maybe, we can get the IP back and then try and work out what to do from there. We don’t know anything yet.”

“I don’t like having a game I made, like, missing. Especially one as pretty and interesting and rich as The Tomorrow Children. It just feels wrong to not be able to play it.”

Also, it deserves to be said: the lighting effects absolutely hold up. Still impressive!

I was one of the few who purchased the game and enjoyed. A unique experience
 

yurinka

Member
Ha, good luck, no way Sony gives them the rights
If it's to make a PC or mobile port, Sony allowed people like ThatGameCompany, Quantic Dream or Kojipro to do it and publish it themselves. But if what they want is to publish it in other consoles, I think it won't happen.
 
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Clear

Gold Member
Its most likely Sony took the IP rights in exchange for funding. The game flopped hard leaving them in the red (pun not intended.) So I'm doubtful that Sony would just hand it back without payment.
 

bitbydeath

Member
C’mon Sony.
Do It Episode 3 GIF by Star Wars
 

Winter John

Member
I remember it was hyped to fuck on here because one of the mods or power posters was linked to it. I played it and it turned out to be some boring ass shit about riding a bus to a cave, digging for geegaws then riding the bus home. At the time I wondered why anyone would play this shitty blue collar job simulator, when they could just go get a shitty blue collar job and also get paid for doing it
 

Kuranghi

Gold Member
I remember it was hyped to fuck on here because one of the mods or power posters was linked to it. I played it and it turned out to be some boring ass shit about riding a bus to a cave, digging for geegaws then riding the bus home. At the time I wondered why anyone would play this shitty blue collar job simulator, when they could just go get a shitty blue collar job and also get paid for doing it

TIL the word "geegaw", what a weird fucking word. How do you say it? Hard or soft G?
 

bitbydeath

Member
I remember it was hyped to fuck on here because one of the mods or power posters was linked to it. I played it and it turned out to be some boring ass shit about riding a bus to a cave, digging for geegaws then riding the bus home. At the time I wondered why anyone would play this shitty blue collar job simulator, when they could just go get a shitty blue collar job and also get paid for doing it
I made the thread, Dylan Cuthbert the CEO was there answering questions. I loved it, my wife and I bought two copies so we could co-op together. It wasn’t perfect but it’s potential evolution showed promise.
 
People simply didn't understand the game. It was a slow game. It was reminding me of Animal Crossing + Minecraft. But the game had big problems, notably when doing some simple tasks the latency was quite high and the fact that we could see the others only briefly was stupid.

I think they spent too much time doing the graphics. They needed to focus on playability (so get rid of latency and being able to see the others constantly).
 
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Bojanglez

The Amiga Brotherhood
It would be great if Sony just came up with a deal that allowed Q-Games to port it to PS5 with an offline (or P2P) mode. Maybe give them a small budget, or no budget with favourable royalties. The best solution may actually be to allow Q-Games to crowdfund it , Sony have nothing to lose then and Q-Games and fans prove there is demand.
 

Umbasaborne

Member
This thing and below are baffling to me. They were hyped for years as indie darlings. Repeatedly delayed, then they came out and no one seemed to give a shit
 
Bungie could make the next Halo, if MS would just give them the IP back.

You don't just give away assets - big, small or somewhere in-between. If they want it, it's worth something. I'm sure every developer who was funded by a major publisher would love to own the rights to the IP they created. That's not how it works.
 
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RoadHazard

Gold Member
I never understood what this game was even about. I just remember that it was hyped while it was in early access/beta, and then I never heard of it again.
 

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

PlayStation 4 exclusive The Tomorrow Children is coming back to life after Q-Games, the main creative force behind the game, secured the title’s intellectual property rights from Sony.

Securing the rights from Sony is the latest turn of events that Dylan Cuthbert, the founder of Q-Games, calls “a dream come true.”

Below is an official statement from Cuthbert regarding the acquisition:

I’d like to thank first and foremost the fans of The Tomorrow Children, without whom, I would never have had the confidence to keep pursuing this deal. Our fans are some of the most amazing gamers out there, and every day for the past four years they have kept the dream alive. I think the happiest thing about this decision is imagining the enjoyment those fans will feel as they re-enter the crazy post-apocalyptic neo-Soviet world of The Tomorrow Children.
Secondly I’d like to thank Sony Interactive Entertainment for also working with me to have the IP returned to Q-Games. It has taken a concerted effort by all of us to get to this ultimate step, and I’m full of gratitude to everyone involved in the process.
I am now tweaking and re-working parts of the game every week, and I hope everyone follows along and gets involved in this process. We plan to make quite a few changes for the better, and give The Tomorrow Children the re-launch it deserves!
Q-Games says it will bring back the game “in the future.” The Kyoto-based game company did not specify as to when the game will relaunch, nor on which platforms the game will be re-released.
 

Oddvintagechap

Gold Member
Such a weird thing to do.

If I was Sony I would just hire them to rework game‘s assets into a RPG. And remove the aspects that didnt work.

But I guess the possibly of this backfiring on them is super low. But it would be funny, if The Tomorrow Children is on top of the mobile charts a year or two from now. Making 10 million a year or something. I kinda want to see that happen. For the jokes.
 

Vindicator

Member
Great news, still refusing to uninstall the game from my PS4, also the PBR was one of the best back then, in combination with the lighting.
Can't wait to hop back into the void, no matter the platform it's gonna be re-released.
 

cormack12

Gold Member
It didn't have a great userbase so Sony can only be thinking they can grow this into something more mainstream. They might be thinking a rebrand and relaunch might catch the magic like Rcoket League but I felt not many people broke out the beginning game loop in all honesty. Because it was too tedious to get there.

Cuthbert says it felt like the game's fate was sealed pretty quickly: "I can’t be sure, but it felt like the decision [to shut the servers] was made very early on after launch when we didn’t sell enough copies in our first few months, and also because we had retention problems for the first few months as we tuned the experience."

He continues: "We couldn’t iterate and update the game fast enough either, because all the systems in place to patch games on the PlayStation Network were designed for safety and not speed, but in the free-to-play space you need to be nimble. So we launched, and about five months later were told to begin the process to shut it down because the monthly earnings weren’t covering the cost it took to run and maintain the servers. This was very upsetting, but by that time I didn’t have any fight left. So we put on a brave face and made some awesome final updates to the game while we could."

So, what would Q-Games do if making the game in 2021? "I would remove the free-to-play elements and the reliance on a server," Cuthbert says. "Instead, I would make the game peer to peer, similar to Minecraft, with the players themselves hosting a town for others to join via party play codes or direct invites."

This game won't have legs if they don't allow matchmaking. Most games just fail in the multiplayer aspect - Godfall, Minecraft Dungeons etc. neither what they could be without proper matchmaking. But we will see.
 

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Q-Games founder Dylan Cuthbert delved into the process of regaining The Tomorrow Children IP and his plans to re-release the game. Since The Tomorrow Children was funded and published by Sony as a second-party title, it also owned the IP. It took years of waiting and an opportune message to Hermen Hulst the day he was promoted to head of PlayStation Studios to start the process, followed by another extended period for negotiations and the contract to be signed.

The result is that Cuthbert is now working on a standalone, premium version of The Tomorrow Children that Q-Games plans to release on its own. Unlike the original release of The Tomorrow Children, the game will feature peer-to-peer multiplayer rather than dedicated servers. It will also have its monetization stripped out so that all content is gained through in-game actions. Cuthbert believes The Tomorrow Children will be stronger as a result, balanced in a healthy way that doesn't require a system trying to "squeeze a bit of money out of the player at every opportunity."

Cuthbert also sees this as a new beginning for The Tomorrow Children beyond what Q-Games has already created. Now that the company owns the rights to The Tomorrow Children, it could even make a sequel if there's a demand for it. Cuthbert says he had plans for exploring The Tomorrow Children's world and backstory that didn't work out due to the game's live service structure ending early. He may even make a sequel "that's a slightly different style of game."

For now, however, Q-Games and Cuthbert will be content to release this new version of The Tomorrow Children and see how it performs. The game is tentatively planned for 2022 on PlayStation platforms, with Cuthbert hoping to launch it sooner rather than later.

 

alienator

Member
Of all the things they could have done with this immensely impressive graphic engine, they choose to make a work simulator out of it. and it felt like work playing it. i like quirky niche titles but this one bored the hell out of me.
 

Vindicator

Member
Still have installed on my PS4, would be crazy if it suddenly gets playable again one day, but i expect a completely new version, hopefully with PS5 support.
 

LiquidMetal14

hide your water-based mammals
I never bought the original due to my personal circumstances as I don't go in as hard with games as much as I used to. Would consider if it's priced well.
 
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