Seasons of Heaven was an unknown indie title, one that managed to end up with a trailer as part of the initial Switch reveal. A game coming from a small studio that had never published anything before, and it was debuting in the opening push for one of the three main systems. Since then, its pretty much fallen off the face of the earth. What actually happened to Seasons of Heavenis a bit of a mystery.
After news on the game dried up, and some sites declared they would no longer be discussing it at all, people began to question if it was ever really real. Some claimed that the trailer shown was an asset flip, thrown together from pre-existing materials available for the Unreal engine.
That slice of gameplay is all we’ve ever seen of the game. It could be possible that there were plans to replace pre-existing assets as development went on. It’s likely that the cinematic produced for the trailer was all that existed of the game at the time of it’s announcement. It’s quite possible that it’s still all that exists of Seasons of Heaven.
Since the trailer Seasons of Heaven has gained a reputation as vapourware. Some fans have decided that what the trailer promised is near to impossible to get running on Switch hardware. This is even more the case with such a small and inexperienced development team. Along with the reused generic assets shown in the trailer, this could all have been a poorly thought out marketing stunt.
The game did look impressive for its circumstances. Coming at launch of the Switch, many used it as a form of evidence that the Switch would be capable of running more expansive games in a way the WiiU was not. This expectation from Nintendo fans hasn’t helped its reputation as Vapourware. The Switch has since shown itself to be a fantastic platform for Indie games, but Seasons of Heaven may have missed its moment of excitement.
The next bit of news to come out was that the developers hadn’t even requested Switch Development units. The most recent development was that Any Arts Production were coming onboard. They then claimed to be targeting a 2020 release date. It’s a developer with a track history of VapourWare. It’s also one that hasn’t even acquired the hardware to develop on the sole platform Seasons of Heaven is targeting. This for many, cemented the idea that the game was probably never going to see the light of the day.
Seasons of Heaven the Novel
Seasons of Heaven’s Nico Augusto is also publishing a series of books based on the game. The central plot of the game is apparently just as compelling as a novel, and this may have caused some delays. The first of these books is titled Seasons of Heaven. It’s since fallen out of print.
The book is published by CreateSpace, Amazon’s self publishing platform that allows pretty much anyone to print physical copies of an EBook. The barrier to entry is significantly lower than approaching a traditional publisher. Despite this, the novel has been removed from sale. Given the situation of publishing, it can only be an intentional attempt to gloss over the book. There is no reason for CreateSpace books to fall out of print, aside from at the author’s request. So it’s probably unlikely that the “series” of books the game ties in with will continue either.
Malice or Accident?
Between a seemingly abandoned book series and a game that has disappeared entirely, Seasons of Heaven might never be completed. It’s easy to assume a lot of bad faith with the project. Like assuming that the developer never intended to make the game. That it was an ill-judged marketing stunt for a book. What is more likely is that it was an overly ambitious project. Both a high end game developed by a small team and a novel with multiple sequels are high goals for a first project. By overreaching it becomes harder to actually finish a project, especially with a small team and limited resources.
This game probably won’t see the light of the day. It’s easy to assume there was never a plan to finish the game. Radio silence from all involved hasn’t helped with this. A kinder explanation would be that Seasons of Heaven is a warning abut overreaching. Indie projects should be sustainable. If a project is too big to be completed with the resources available, it probably won’t be finished.
There was no response from Nico Augusto when contacted about the current status of the book and game.