Namco Bandai’s XBLA port of puzzle-platformer Vessel may have been canceled. The XBLA version failed to meet its planned 2013 release window, and publisher Namco Bandai removed the game’s detail page from its website in December. Following that, Vessel also briefly disappeared from the Xbox Games Store. While it has since reappeared on the Xbox Games Store, the information listed there is sparse and extremely outdated, with November 2012 being erroneously cited as its release date.
Regular XBLA Fans reader @lifelower noticed Vessel’s disappearing act last month and reached out both to Namco Bandai and developer Strange Loop Games about the incidents. While Namco Bandai remained silent, Strange Loop Games confirmed to our frequent tipster that Vessel was still on its way to PS3, but was no longer heading to XBLA.
Speaking with XBLA Fans directly via email, Strange Loop’s John Krajewski again indicated that he believes the XBLA version of Vessel is no more. He did, however, go on to hmention a possible next-gen release. “Our publisher owns the rights to the XBLA version, and to our knowledge they’ve indeed stopped work on it,” Krajewski told us. “PS3 will be coming out soon, though, but we’re planning to announce that later this month. Sad news I know. It’s possible there will be an Xbox One version someday, though.”
Unlike with the XBLA version of the game, Strange Loop, not Namco Bandai, has full control over any potential Xbox One version of Vessel. “We have rights to that, and if we think we can get a big audience on it we will probably make it happen,” Krajewski explained.
As for Namco Bandai’s XBLA version, no information was forthcoming from the publisher. XBLA Fans contacted Namco Bandai about the game’s possible cancellation, but our multiple emails went unanswered as of publication time.
Original publisher Zoo Games first announced Vessel for XBLA back in August of 2011, saying that it would release that holiday season for 1200 MSP. Instead, it released only for PC in March 2012. It released to mostly positive reviews, garnering an 81/100 average on Metacritic and can be purchased for $14.99 on Steam.