It came to light yesterday that work on the remastered Bard’s Tale trilogy, offered as a backer reward in the 2015 Bard’s Tale 4 Kickstarter, had apparently stopped. A message on inXile’s forums said the studio believes that “it’s unlikely that Olde Skuul will finish development on the BT remasters,” and mention of the trilogy had thus been removed from the Bard’s Tale 4 backer’s site. But Olde Skuul boss Rebecca Heineman said the message was a surprise to her, and that she still has every intention of finishing and releasing the games.
Heineman said the delay in the remastering process was simply a matter of money: “I asked inXile for a payment for work done to date, they declined, I had to take a paying gig. Simple as that,” she explained. “They will [be completed]. The Bard’s Tale trilogy is my baby. Especially Bard’s Tale 3. I want the game to be finished, because I want to play it.”
Heineman, who programmed Bard’s Tale 3 and also has design and map-making credits—thus her strong connection to that game in particular—said she’d like to make an arrangement to release the remastered trilogy herself, and will provide the promised keys to Bard’s Tale 4 backers with or without inXile’s support. But in spite of the current disconnect, that may not be necessary: In a statement, inXile appeared to leave the status of the remastered trilogy—and the prospect of a happy ending—entirely up to Olde Skuul.
“Our original discussions with Olde Skuul had them delivering the remastered version in September of 2015. In our correspondence, we agreed that payment would be on completion of the final product,” the studio said. “As time passed, test builds stopped getting sent, and emails were ignored, we eventually lost faith in their ability to deliver the remasters. We would love to see The Bard’s Tale Trilogy Remastered completed and hope they can bring these classics to today’s machines.”
InXile recently released a first look at Bard’s Tale 4 combat, and even though it’s early it looks quite promising.