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First-person hack-and-slash Hellraid is canceled

Techland, the Polish developer of Dead Island and Dying Light, announced that it has cancelled development of Hellraid, its first-person gothic fantasy game that was supposed to come out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC later this year. Here is the company’s official statement, posted on the Hellraid website:

Dear Hellraid fans,

We would like to officially announce that our dark fantasy FPP game Hellraid will not be released this year as previously planned, and the development of the game has been put on hold.

In the recent months we conducted an internal analysis and came to the conclusion that Hellraid, in its current shape and form, is not meeting our own expectations for this project. Therefore, we decided the best course of action would be to send it back to the drawing board and invent our dark fantasy title anew.

In the meantime, we will consolidate our development resources and focus on further expansion of our Dying Light franchise.

We wish to thank all our fans for your support – you’re the best!

It’s a very disappointing announcement for people who were looking forward to the game, which looked like the love-child of The Elder Scrolls and Diablo, with strong echoes of Heretic and Hexen for old-school FPS fans. It had a classless character progression system, allowing for a huge range of potential builds, which could be combined in multiplayer for any of the game’s modes. There have been no shortage of massive, fantasy roleplaying games in the wake of Skyrim, but nothing so combat-focused as Hellraid.

Related: Dead Island dev bringing Hellraid‘s dark fantasy action to next gen and PC in 2015

Techland’s open world zombie survival game, Dying Light, has been quite successful for them, and so it makes sense that they would want to consolidate resources to focus on it, but it leaves those of us who have been burnt out on zombies for years out in the cold. We found a lot to like in Dying Light, but ultimately were left wondering why there really needed to be another derivative iteration of the open world zombie survival genre. Technically the game isn’t canceled, but is rather on hold, so we will definitely keep an eye out for it in the future.

Here is some alpha gameplay from late 2014 with developer commentary, so you can pine for what could have been:

What do you all think? Are you disappointed by the loss of Hellraid? Did you love Dying Light so much that you’re happier they chose to focus on it? Are you completely sick of zombies too, or do they still excite you?