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Dean Hall’s mysterious Ion game is no longer in development

“A lot has changed” says partners at Improbable

ion Dean Hall
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Ion, the mysterious space exploration game from Dean Hall, creator of DayZ, is no longer in active development and may be dead, reports Eurogamer.

First unveiled during the Microsoft press conference at E3 2015, Ion was an ambitious space exploration game. At the time, Hall said it would be developed by his New Zealand-based RocketWerkz studio in partnership with Improbable, creators of the SpatialOS game engine.

“I wanted a game that wasn't a game," Hall told the audience at Xbox's E3 press conference. "I want a game that is a universe.” A press release later described the game as heavily inspired by Space Station 13, the 2003 multiplayer role-playing game, and having “a massive interconnected universe with fully simulated real-time environments, including air pressure, heat and cold, power grids and much more, which all must be carefully balanced to keep the unending vacuum of space at bay.”

Not much has been heard about Ion since its initial announcement. When contacted by Eurogamer Hall said, “I am not involved in that, no. Nor is RocketWerkz studio in New Zealand."

Ion was initially conceived as a project for co-development between Improbable and RocketWerkz,” Improbable said, in a statement to Polygon. “A lot has changed since then — Dean Hall moved back to New Zealand from London, RocketWerkz has started work on a number of other games, and we have grown increasingly into a platform for games to be deployed on.

“We can definitely say that Improbable is not currently working on Ion. We are focussed on making SpatialOS available to developers, and supporting developers such as Bossa Studios and our SpatialOS Games Innovation Program partners as they make games on our platform. We currently have no plans to develop or release a game ourselves.”

We’ve reached out to Dean Hall for comment. You can see the original trailer for Ion below.

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