In faintly tragic news, the promising looking In the Valley of Gods has been put on indefinite hold. In the Valley of Gods was set to be a single-player first-person adventure game set within an ancient valley in the Egyptian desert. Two explorers and filmmakers were about to make an incredible archaeological discovery during the 1920s, deep within those dusty tombs. Sadly, we may never find out exactly what that discovery was.

In the Valley of Gods was to be developed by Campo Santo, of Firewatch fame. They were snapped up by Valve back in early 2018 and were expected to launch ITVOG in late 2019. Last month, a number of folks spotted that the Campo Santo developers have removed any mention of In the Valley of Gods from their Twitter bios, prompting speculation. It turns out that speculation was bang on the money. Campo Santo were moved onto development of the VR-exclusive Half-Life: Alyx and now the eventual fate of In the Valley of Gods is a mystery.

Campo Santo co-founder Jake Rodkin supplied a statement to Polygon confirming the news, within which he pretty much says Valve’s ‘work on what you want’ policy meant the Campo Santo team drifted in all different directions.

“To fans looking forward to In the Valley of Gods, it’s probably clear that the optimistic “2019” at the end of the announcement trailer isn’t going to be accurate. In the end, Valve Time makes fools of us all,”  writes Rodkin. “But yes, developers from the former Campo Santo team have joined other projects at Valve, including Half-Life: Alyx. As you can imagine, our experience in the first-person adventure genre is pretty relevant. You hear a lot about how at Valve you can work on what you want. It turns out that’s true, and there’s a lot of work available. 

“As we integrated ourselves into Valve it became clear there was a lot of valuable work to be done on Half-Life: Alyx. Some of us starting lending a hand, and have since become full-time on the project as it approaches launch. Similarly, some ex-Campos are working on Dota Underlords, some are on Steam, and so on. So to answer your question as of today, In the Valley of Gods development is on hold—but it certainly feels like a project people can and may return to. And when that happens, we’ll find an exciting way to let fans know.“

“As we integrated ourselves into Valve it became clear there was a lot of valuable work to be done on Half-Life: Alyx. Some of us starting lending a hand, and have since become full-time on the project as it approaches launch. Similarly, some ex-Campos are working on Dota Underlords, some are on Steam, and so on. So to answer your question as of today, In the Valley of Gods development is on hold—but it certainly feels like a project people can and may return to. And when that happens, we’ll find an exciting way to let fans know.“

I was a big fan of Firewatch and, considering I don’t have a VR headset, I’d certainly have preferred the team stuck to creating In the Valley of Gods. Fingers crossed it comes to light one day though. And if it doesn’t? Well, at least we’ll always have that time Campo Santo really pissed off Pewdiepie for using racist language by DMCA-ing his Firewatch video. Ahhh, memories.