The Newcastle-based indie behind PC title Project Zomboid was this weekend the victim of a burglary that saw computers containing important code stolen.
The two laptops taken by thieves contained all the work on the forthcoming update for the game. Somewhat controversially, the project was not recently backed up, causing a set-back in production.
"Project Zomboid was regularly backed up from machine to machine, but rarely – sadly and infuriatingly – externally," admitted Project Zomboid writer Will Porter, in a statement on the company blog. "We have lost an awful lot of work."
On discovery of the burglary, The Indie Stone's Chris Simpson used his now deleted Twitter feed to posted a number of personal, and sometimes angry Tweets, many of which attracted negative reactions from consumers.
"For the record we will carry on. We'll need peoples patience though and only reason I say we fucked......is I worry thats a tap we've ran dry. Pz will still be developed as long as we're breathing tbo [sic]," read one of the Tweets, which was followed by an update by Simpson admitting he was drunk.
Project Zomboid is sold in a similar way to Minecraft; a alpha version is sold with the promise of delivery of the full game when it is finished. This has prompted many to accuse The Indie Stone of irresponsible code security, and even attracted unfounded accusations that the studio is operating a scam.
"This will clearly severely delay the next update, which was very near completion. I personally only just finished my work on it today (one of the final things on the ‘to-do’ list) and had it ready for input tomorrow," said Porter, adding: "Project Zomboid, however, will come back stronger."
Project Zomboid had reportedly already suffered other set-backs, such as Paypal and Google checkout reportedly freezing the game's accounts, and players of pirate copies of Indie Stone titles overloading company servers.
"During this time we will clearly be asking for the understanding and patience of our community," concluded Porter's statement. "We are gutted, we are despondent and – most of all – we are sorry that this has thrown yet another bump into the road towards PZ completion. We also REALLY want to wring the neck of the arsehole that did this to us."