Republic Dawn: Chronicles of the Seven [PC – Cancelled]

Republic Dawn: Chronicles of the Seven [PC – Cancelled]

Republic Dawn: Chronicles of the Seven is a cancelled sci-fi futuristic Massively Multiplayer Online First-Person Shooter developed around 2004-2005 by Elixir Studios and Nicely Crafted Entertainment exclusively for the PC. It was supposed to be a sequel to the strategy game Republic: The Revolution, released in 2003.

Few information are currently available regarding this project. The game was announced by its developer in February 2005 with a press release containing some info about its background:

The Dawn of a New Republic.

“We, the governments of the Seven Republic, will defend the republic and our freedom with all force. We will put aside our differences to rebuild the life that we have lost. We will seek out the reasons for this loss and exact revenge on those responsible. This is the covenant of the Seven Republic, this is our task.”

-The Covenant of the Seven Republic

London, England 22 February 2005 Elixir Studios today announced that their much anticipated sequel to Republic: The Revolution, is underway as a joint venture with Cambridge based MMOG specialist Nicely Crafted Entertainment with the working title of “Republic Dawn: The Chronicles of the Seven”.

The game, due for release in 2007, is set around a rich storyline based in a distant galaxy and will give players access to a living, breathing universe created using Nicely Crafted’s proprietary AliceServer technology. Elixir will be providing their world-class graphical technology and both companies will be working on a new ground breaking Artificial Life engine.

“Teaming up with Elixir for Republic 2 is a fantastic way to start 2005. With Demis and his team’s experience in creating outstanding triple-A games, Republic 2 is going to provide great gameplay and visual experiences – offering players freedom and flexibility that is unparalleled in today’s MMOG marketplace”, commented Toby Simpson, managing director of Nicely Crafted. “With our server technology, we’re creating a world where hundreds of thousands of people will be able to take part in building a republic.”

“Nicely Crafted is at the forefront of MMOG gaming technology. I’m really excited that my vision of thousands of players building a Republic together is finally going to happen”, said Demis Hassabis, Elixir’s creative director. “This is the perfect way for Elixir to enter the MMOG arena.”

Republic Dawn is a vast MMOG first person space game based around an embryonic society devastated by a sudden attack. The players must rebuild the Republic facing tough political, economic and military decisions along the way. During this time a deep story of human struggle will be acted out with the players challenging every decision. With a progressive and immersive gaming environment of unique depth and detail, Republic Dawn promises to be a definitive MMO game.

Republic Dawn will allow players to dictate the future of mankind. Will they rise up as one in the name of revenge or will they let the already unstable Republic fall?

Shortly after, Computer Games Online managed to get an interview with Ben Simpson from Nicely Crafted:

Elixir Studios’ 2003 released debut game Republic: The Revolution was a ambitious and different look at an urban-political sim game. Now the company is teaming up with Time of Defiance developer Nicely Crafted Entertainment for Republic Dawn,  a space based MMO “sequel” to the original game.

Computer Games – First, how did the idea for making a MMO sequel to Republic come about? Was it Elixir’s idea or Nicely Crafted?

Ben Simpson – Well both companies had separate long term visions for games that, when discussed were very similar, with further creative brainstorming it became obvious that both ideas would easily fit together and thus Republic Dawn was conceived.

Computer Games – From the brief description in the press release, it sounds like Republic Dawn is keeping some aspects of the original game in term of game-play goals. Is that a fair assessment?

Ben Simpson – Yes that is a fair assessment – In the Revolution you were tasked to overthrow a regime and establish a Republic.  In Dawn the Republic already exists but will need to be maintained.

Computer Games – How will players compete against each other in the game? Are there a number of different people in the human empire that are fighting against each other for complete control?

Ben Simpson – Players can choose to PVP (Player Vs Player) in either combat or in business or to band together and tackle the games PVE (Player Vs Environment) aspects.  It is completely feasible that players could come together, create a new political movement and ascend to the Senate and attempt to influence the running of the republic and therefore its actions…

Computer Games – What is the current status of the game’s progress and when will it be released?

Ben Simpson – The game is currently at an advanced design stage and work on a prototype is underway.  We are aiming to release the title Q2 2007 with closed Alphas being available prior to the main release to ensure that specific aspects of the game are as refined as possible.

However, in April 2005, Elixir Studios shutted down following the cancellation of a two years development project with a “perceived financial high-risk” and the poor sales of both Republic: The Revolution and Evil Genius as stated by

British independent developer Elixir Studios has announced that it has commenced winding down its operations after a key title was cancelled, but efforts continue to rescue some of the firm’s projects.

“The important thing to us is that we’re in control of our own destiny,” Elixir CEO Mark Hewitt told this morning. “We won’t just run up against a brick wall like some developers have. We’ll still have money in the bank when we close, we’ll treat our staff as they should be treated and help them to find new jobs.”

The closure of the studio should also have no bearing on Republic Dawn, the massively multiplayer title which was being co-developed by Elixir and Cambridge-based Nicely Crafted Entertainment, according to Hewitt.

“We were giving technical advice to them on their project, as opposed to any other support,” he explained. “We’ll still be able to provide that technical advice, and that project should be unaffected.”

“I’m very proud of what all the staff at Elixir have achieved and the games we produced,” Hassabis said in a statement this morning. “We gave it everything we had but ultimately it wasn’t quite enough. It seems that today’s games industry no longer has room for small independent developers wanting to work on innovative and original ideas. Perhaps there is no longer any need for them.”

After the closure of Elixir Studios, Demis Hassabis left the video game industry, becoming an entrepreneur and researcher in the Artificial Intelligence domain and joined the UK government as an advisor.

It wasn’t clear what happened to Republic Dawn after Nicely Crafted completely took over the project. The studio only released another game in 2011, Picaroon, just a few months after the servers of Time of Defiance were shutdown, which didn’t have a huge success. We can speculate that development didn’t go as planned, and the developers had to cancel the game and refocused on more economically viable projects.

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