Minimum, the minimalistic shooter originally created by the now-defunct TimeGate Studios, is now in development at Human Head Studios and is coming to Windows PC this spring, publisher Atari announced today.
The initial launch will come via Steam Early Access. Minimum is a five-on-five third-person shooter that also includes a heavy focus on crafting, which brings in elements of the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre. Players gather resources and use blueprints to build bespoke weapons and armor that get stronger with each consecutive kill. In addition, each team has a Titan at its disposal, a large robot that players also have to power up by "creep farming" as they attempt to take out the other side's home base.
It's similar to the original concept that TimeGate had when it announced Minimum last April, less than a month before filing for bankruptcy. Court documents revealed that Square Enix had originally signed on to publish the game, but left the project in December 2012. According to a press release Atari sent out today, the company worked with TimeGate to pull Minimum out of the studio's bankruptcy proceedings, after which point Madison, Wis.-based Human Head came on to the project as the new development team.
Human Head had been working on Prey 2 for Bethesda Softworks. But after reports that development on the game had shifted to Arkane Studios, the publisher told Polygon at E3 2013 that the project was on hiatus because Human Head's work wasn't up to either company's standards.
Another change between the old Minimum and the new Minimum is the business model. When TimeGate debuted Minimum a year ago, the studio said it would be a free-to-play title. But the FAQ on Minimum's website mentions that interested parties will be able to buy the game once it goes live on Steam Early Access.