More than six years after it was first teased, Legacy, the ironically-titled new game from once-legendary designer Peter Molyneux, finally has a release date. The blockchain-based business simulator developed by Molyneux's 22 Cans studio is set to go live on October 26.
"Legacy will be seamlessly integrated with GalaChain, providing smooth and secure gameplay backed by a games-first blockchain that allows real ownership and real rewards," publisher Gala Games said. "This includes the ability to bridge items to and from Ethereum for trade on secondary markets like OpenSea.
"Ownership and creativity take center stage as you get the chance to build and manage your business on your very own land!"
Molyneux was a true force in the early days of the videogame industry, with groundbreaking games including Populous—the great-granddaddy of the "god game" genre—Syndicate, Theme Park, Magic Carpet, and Dungeon Keeper to his credit. His run continued through the turn of millennium with Black & White and Fable.
It all took a sharp downturn when he left Lionhead in 2012 to found a new studio and launch Curiosity, a community-driven game/competition about chipping away at a giant cube which ultimately proved to be one of the most ridiculously overhyped projects of all time. That spilled over into genuine ugliness when the prize for winning Curiosity turned out to be "godhood" in Molyneux's next game, Godus, which turned out to be a complete bust—neither the game nor the prize were ever fully delivered.
(Curiosity did give us this absolute banger of a headline, though, so it wasn't a total loss.)
In the 2017 tease, Molyneux said the experience with Curiosity and Godus had left him reluctant to talk too much about Legacy, but in 2021 he confirmed that it was a "play-to-earn" crypto game. That news did not go over particularly well at the time—as editor Rich Stanton noted, "the combination of the most irritating digital trend of the moment and a designer infamous for over-promising and under-delivering does not inspire confidence"—and it's even less appealing now, amidst acrimonious lawsuits and a broader meltdown of the NFT marketplace: A recent report by crypto-gambling analyst dappGambl declared that nearly all current NFT holds are now worthless.
None of that may matter in terms of Legacy's "success." As noted by Ars Technica, 2021 pre-sales of "land" in Legacy were a runaway success, earning well over 13,000 Eth, worth more than $54 million in real money, although that has since declined to about $22 million; one "unique" plot sold for more than 220 Eth—over $900,000 at the time. But in terms of Molyneux's actual legacy? I strongly suspect that Legacy is only going to diminish it even further.
Legacy publisher Gala Games is currently at the center of dueling lawsuits filed by co-founders Eric Schiermeyer and Wright Thurston. According to Decrpyt.co, Schiermeyer alleges Thurston stole $130 million in GALA tokens in 2021, while Thurston says Schiermeyer made multiple unapproved transactions resulting in the "sell-off and waste [of] millions of dollars in company assets."