Robert Bowling’s indie outfit, Robotoki, has shut down. Formed after the Call of Duty veteran left Infinity Ward, Robotoki was in the midst of developing post-apocalypse role playing shooter Human Element. The game was revealed back in July 2012 with a release window of 2015. It sounded awesome as it utilised Google Maps data to merge real-world travels with game world elements. Late last year Robotoki put together a reveal trailer / target render for the game, which was heavily scripted and pre-rendered. Now, a few weeks later, Robotoki is no more and Human Element is “on hiatus”.
In a blog post, Bowling explained that the reason for this sudden shutdown was thanks to publisher woes. Initially the game was to be published by Korean company Nexon, but that was when it was still slated to be a free-to-play title. When Bowling and company decided to switch to a premium, packaged game instead, Nexon pulled out. Bowling was then left to fund the game’s development himself, which has now become too much so things have shut down.
Until such time that another publisher comes to Bowling’s aid, Human Element will remain on hold. As for the folks at Robotoki, they’re out of a job for now and the studio has been closed. You can read Bowling’s full statement here, and check out a Robotoki farewell video below.