"Good or Insane? The choice is yours." — Tagline
Postal III cover art.
|Developers|| Running with Scissors |
|Release Date|| Russia (Nov 2011) |
Worldwide (Dec. 21 2011)
Postal III was supposed to be the third game in the POSTAL series but has since been disowned by RWS. The game was officially announced in 2006 with very different gameplay mechanics, weapons, and sound effects, with the open-world gameplay of POSTAL 2.
Due to Akella nearly going bankrupt because of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the PS3/X360/Mac/Linux ports were cancelled, with the game being released far from what Running with Scissors originally envisioned. Because of this, Postal III is considered a spin-off which was subsequently retconned in Paradise Lost.
Unlike its predecessors, Postal III is played in a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective with a cover system and regenerating health. Another notable change is that Postal III is fairly linear in contrast to POSTAL 2 with any open world elements left in an unlockable freeroam mode.
In addition to returning gameplay elements and weapons, Segways are introduced as vehicles in the game along with a morality system based on whether the player uses violent or nonviolent actions when completing a level. This affects the story leading the Dude toward either the Good path or the Insane path.
Development/What went wrong? Edit
Planning and development of Postal III began in early 2006 after Running with Scissors (developer of the Postal Series) made a business deal with Akella (Russian publisher of the Postal Series and at the time, the "EA" of Russia). Initial planning was made for the console market with a release date sometime in 2008.
Development of Postal III continued swimmingly with several videos released during 2007-2008 showcasing what the game was supposed to be like. While it didn't make its 2008 or 2009 release, it was looking worth the wait.
Left turn Edit
Unfortunately, due to the 2007-2008 financial crisis (the "Global Economic Meltdown"), business in Russia tanked acrossed the board causing Akella to make several bad decisions with the worst being to fire the Postal III beta team (who are commonly referred to as the A-team and are responsible for the previous builds) and instead have the game rebuilt by a different, less experienced team (commonly known as the B-team) who would also end up getting fired with the game being frozen for an unspecified time. The game was then brought back with yet another team (known as the C-team) who would also get shitcanned before finally being polished off by a D-team.
It was due to this dysfunction that Postal III shifted both in style and design from what was originally envisioned by RWS. The free roaming element of missions was still in development around late 2008, before the decision was made to make the game linear (as the Source Engine doesn't support level streaming). Also changed was the Postal Dude's character model, a change which occurred in very early 2010, with it's last appearance in an early 2010 video named "Good Path vs. Bad Path" highlighting the moral choices that could be made ingame.
Akella, facing bankruptcy, sought to ship the game in a desperate attempt to make money. It didn't work.
|2010||Promo, also 2010|
After the release of the unfinished game now known as PIII, Running With Scissors did their best to calm the Postal Community and help them as best they could. While things had broken down between RWS and Akella, it was the refusal of Akella to release the PIII Source Code which ultimately burned the bridge. After this, RWS disowned the game, removing it from their store. Akella had narrowly averted bankruptcy by selling its unsold games as bank collateral (Seriously) with its vice president blaming its incompetence on the 2008 global economic meltdown, the rise of internet game sales, and the decision to release Postal III. No Shit.
Postal III would later be retconned out of POSTAL canon in Paradise Lost as nothing more than a coma dream. Still, this has not dissuaded several fans from trying to fix the mess that is Postal III. While the Source Code has yet to be released (more than likely lost by Akella during their bankruptcy), the SDK for Postal III would eventually be leaked onto the RWS forum. This gave rise to the "Beta" Mod Pack, which tries to make Postal III more like it's 2007-2009 version.
The mod restores a version of the Postal Dude's original model as well as a few minor changes. This would end at version 1.1 with the team responsible ultimately forming Anthology Productions and deciding to rebuild Postal III in the Unreal 2 engine as a Mod for POSTAL 2 known as Postal 3 Unreal, as they've done all they could without the Source Code. RWS themselves have noticed the work they have put in, and are wishing them the best of luck.
Possible Salvation Edit
In the first ever "I Regret Nothing" podcast, RWS talk openly about the development of Postal III stating that they may indeed have the Source Code to Postal III but are unable to do anything about it as the code is in Russian. While Vince Desi has placed an open call to any coders who are willing to tackle the mess as it would take a large team to do so. Mike J in contrast states for those still holding onto Postal III to "simply let it go".