In 2013, Hasbro sent a cease-and-desist letter to the creators of a My Little Pony fangame called Fighting is Magic (it began as a fanart project called “Marevel vs. Clopcom”). While the creators, Mane6, accepted the cease and desist, they kept the basic idea and mechanics and used them to create an original game called Them’s Fightin’ Herds. Lauren Faust, producer of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TV show, agreed to create a new cast of hoofed mammal fighters for the game and came up with the basics of a setting and story as well. Following an Indiegogo campaign that raised $586,346, Them’s Fightin’ Herds was released on Steam in early access.
Though Them’s Fightin’ Herds left early access in 2020, its story mode remains incomplete, with only the first chapter playable. In the latest blog post, which details two DLC characters being released as part of its season pass, there’s a section on what comes next. “After the Season 1 Pass is complete,” it says, “we will be ceasing active development on TFH. We will still be able to release small patches to address game-breaking bugs, but no new content will be produced. Unfortunately, that includes Story Mode.”
Mane6 continues by saying that content already produced for the story mode’s second chapter will be worked into an update that will come at the same time as the DLC characters next year, including a new stage. “Story Mode has always been an ambitious feature and one we truly desired to implement. We know how much our fans have been looking forward to Story Mode chapters, and we hope you understand how much we looked forward to working on and releasing them.”
There are also consequences for some of the game’s original backers: “For any outstanding items related to our original Indiegogo crowdfund, this shift in development does mean we will need to adjust some of our originally planned perks. More information on this will be shared in the coming weeks via email and on our Indiegogo channel.”
In response, players have begun leaving negative reviews on Steam. While Them’s Fightin’ Herds has 89% positive reviews overall, only 33% of reviews from the last month have been positive.