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It might be that there won’t be a fourth part of the Descent saga. Since Descent 3 turned out financially as a failure, its developer Outrage decided to stop all work on Descent 4. Instead, they concentrated on an action-adventure game named Alter Echo which appeared on PlayStation 2 and Xbox in the middle of August 2003.
Besides Outrage, the firm Volition was temporarily interested to develop a successor for Descent 3 as well. Both companies stand in narrow contact to each other, they both consisted at least in part of former employees of the company Parallax (developer of Descent 1 and 2). Due to the bad sale of Descent 3, also Volition stopped, however, the work on Descent 4. With Red Faction, they released a traditional first-person-shooter in September 2001.
Outrage and Volition were bought by THQ. In 2003, Outrage was closed. At the end of the year 2012, THQ was insolvent. Volition, however, continues to develop console games.
Some engaged Descent fans decided in the middle of 2001 to develop a successor for Descent 3. This should be called "Descent IV: Invasion" and distributed via Interplay. They started even an own company, that they called Orbital Design Studios. In May 2002, they announced then that they would have to stop all work at Descent 4, however. Both Interplay as well as Parallax and Outrage have rights at the title "Descent". Unfortunately, an agreement of these three companies with Orbital Design Studios turned out as impossible.
Interplay announced in November 2007 that the company is planning to release a sequel for Descent 3, if it can obtain enough money for this project. You can find the newest discussions about it in the Interplay forum “Descent General Discussion”.
At the beginning of 2013, the indie company Cadenza Interactive published with Retrovirus a six axis of freedom shooter that has obvious similarities to the Descent series. The player can move completely free in space and fights a multitude of computer opponents in labyrinthine tunnels. His task is to clean a computer from viruses with his mini spaceship. Retrovirus reminds one with its story of movies like Tron, with its range of colours of games like Forsaken.