I had originally met Zarksoft at Macworld 2011 when the industry veteran turned iOS developer showed me a demo of Empire of the Eclipse, a massive online multiplayer 4x strategy game created from scratch for the iOS platform. At even that early state, the scope of Empire of the Eclipse blew my mind, and considering Zarksoft was comprised of just a few people I had my doubts whether the team could pull off the kind of game that they envisioned.
At GDC that year I was able to get an even more in-depth hands-on demo with the game, which had been coming along quite nicely in the months since I’d last seen it. Initially the developers had hoped to have the title done by the end of that same month, but in April we got word that after some feedback from folks who saw the game at GDC they decided to make some changes to the game which would delay their intended submission date.
Their new goal was to have the game shipped by summertime, but that never came to be, and aside from the update in April pretty much everything on the Empire of the Eclipse front had gone totally silent.
(Zarksoft’s YouTube channel has a bunch of tutorial videos if you want to get into the nitty gritty of how the game works, and this beginner’s overview one is a good introduction to the very basics):
Earlier this week, however, Zarksoft posted in our forums stating that at long last Empire of the Eclipse had finally been submitted to Apple. They explain that after starting the beta testing process, many more things came to light in the game that required changing, and in fact they performed a pretty major overhaul on some of the main components of the game.
Obviously a game of this scope takes a lot of work to tweak, balance, and get just right so that it offers a great competitive experience, and that work can take a significant amount of time. Even though it’s nearly a year after its intended release, and more than 3 years of development time total, I’d rather have Zarksoft make the game the best it can be rather than release something that isn’t ready for primetime.
Empire of the Eclipse has been in submission for a few days now, and it’s really anybody’s guess how long it will take to go through the Apple approval process. But we’ll be all over it when it releases to see how it turned out after such a long journey, and in the meantime there is a discussion of the game in our forums that you can check out.
[Thanks to everyone that emailed this in!]