Mobile gaming publisher DeNA will “distribute and market” 22 Cans’ Godus, but there are questions about how that could impact fans who paid for the game on Kickstarter.

Indie startup 22 Cans confirmed yesterday that the mobile versions of Godus, the recently-Kickstarted god game from the man who gave us Populous, will be published by DeNA, a major player in the mobile game industry that specializes in free-to-play, microtransaction-based games like Rage of Bahamut. “As a global leader in developing and publishing mobile games, DeNA is the ideal partner for us to collaborate with on the launch of Godus,” Molyneux said in very standard press-release boilerplate. “Their breadth of expertise working with second and third-party game developers is invaluable as we prepare for the release of Godus on mobile devices.”

That’s all well and good, and there’s no question that DeNA knows its way around the mobile gaming scene, but as Rock, Paper, Shotgun pointed out, the original Godus Kickstarter offered supporters who pledged at least £15 (about $23) “one digital downloadable copy of Godus,” with no specification of platform. That becomes potentially very contentious for anyone who backed it specifically for the Android or iOS version of the game, since it now seems likely that it will be free to everyone on those platforms.

Sam at 22 Cans told RPS that the PC version of Godus is a separate thing and not part of the DeNA publishing deal, but couldn’t say whether or not the mobile releases will be free-to-play, or even if they’ll be playable offline. That opens the door to some potentially awkward speculation that isn’t likely to be answered until the details of the deal with DeNA are revealed. There are at least reasonable odds that this kerfuffle is simply a matter of an awkwardly-handled announcement and lingering (perhaps persistent) suspicion of anything Peter Molyneux does, but no matter how it works out, it will almost certainly represent either a major departure for DeNA or a turn to the conventional – and, when it works out, hugely lucrative – F2P market by 22 Cans, a maneuver that will most certainly bring much anger and recrimination from gamers.

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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