Grey Skies: A War of the Worlds Story was released in November 2020 to universally negative reception, and after more than two years away, its lead developer has reappeared to apologize for releasing a bad game and attempt to make things right with a free remaster.
Nathan Seedhouse of developer Steel Arts Software recently posted an update on Grey Skies' Steam page "addressing the poor reception." The key takeaway is right up front – "a remastered version is on the way and will be available to all who purchased for free" – but the whole post is a curious read. (If you're confused by the IP attachment, War of the Worlds is in the public domain.)
"After a couple of years of crippling personal issues that kept me away from development, I came back to find that Grey Skies has issues, and has been reviewed extremely poorly," Seedhouse says. "I was unaware of just how bad it was until recently."
For context, Grey Skies is sitting at 33% positive on Steam and 2.2 stars on the Xbox store. Its negative reviews were no grand secret, and responses to the game have been negative since even early PlayStation show reveals.
Nevertheless, Seedhouse continues: "I came back to it with fresh eyes after more than two years and completely understand the issues most people have taken with it. I still think that underneath these issues we made a decent game. So I am remastering the game with new technologies that have become available, and my own improved knowledge of development. I will read through all the concerns carefully and address each one, paying close attention to the most common complaints, such as clunky movement and frustrating stealth elements."
"I hope it will go some way to rectify mistakes we have made on this and that some of you might be willing to give it another go," the post concludes. The original version of the game will notably be removed from sale in the future, and some Steam users are already asking for a "final sale" as a last hoorah.
How and when Seedhouse himself - it's unclear how big the development team was or whether anyone else is returning here - will be able to remaster this entire game remains to be seen, let alone to a degree that lapsed or undecided players will consider trying its maligned mix of stealth and survival. Still, I suppose the gesture itself is a positive one, and a fairly rare one at that. It's a late, out-of-nowhere, and arguably dangerously ambitious gesture, but positive.
This wouldn't be the first time this year that a developer has straight-up apologized for releasing a bad game. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum studio also said it was sorry for the absolute state of it.