Three Rings Design was best known for Puzzle Pirates, Spiral Knights, and perhaps that ill-fated Doctor Who puzzle MMO…thing, but the studio had several other games that saw significantly less recognition. One such game is Bang! Howdy, a steampunk/Wild West strategy game that was designed in way that was intended to blend the best of both real-time and turn-based strategy gaming, providing a much less daunting experience of a more manageable pace than that of the typical real-time strategy game, but also one that didn’t involve as much waiting around as the typical turn-based strategy game. It was originally intended to be developed episodically, with only a small amount of content available at launch, but it wasn’t long before the game stopped receiving content updates, likely because of low revenue. As a result, only two of five announced towns were ever released.
Around two years ago, shortly before Three Rings’ parent company SEGA shuttered it, the game’s source code was released, seemingly marking the end of any chance of a proper revival of the game. This notion seemed to further be confirmed by the fact that Grey Havens, a studio founded by former Three Rings employees, did not continue to develop and maintain the game in the same way that it had with Puzzle Pirates and Spiral Knights.
Despite these facts, its servers remained operational until earlier this week, having remained in a perpetual maintenance mode for some time. The reason for the shutdown is that a new company, YourFunWorld Studios, has taken over as the developer and publisher of Bang! Howdy, relaunching the game and releasing it on Steam. Unfortunately, none of your pre-Steam progress will transfer over to the Steam release, but the game has been relaunched, nonetheless, with a new company attempting to give it a new lease on life. It should be noted that Grey Havens is involved in the relaunch in some capacity, but the extent of its involvement is unknown at this time.
Should you be interested in trying the game out again, or perhaps for the first time, it is now available on Steam as a free-to-play title.