Knockout City is shutting down forever on June 6, Velan Studios revealed in a blog post. The PvP dodgeball game will no longer be playable, with the exception of a PC-only “private server version” which will allow the game to “live on forever.” The lengthy post addressed to the community explained at length why the difficult decision was made by the team. You can read an excerpt below.
“Creating such a different game with no points of comparison and running live services for the first time in many of our careers has also made the past couple years particularly challenging. Despite over 12 million players and billions of KOs around the globe, there are several aspects of the game in need of major disruption to better attract and retain enough players to be sustainable. Since we are a small, indie studio, it’s simply impossible for us to make those kinds of systemic changes in the live game while continuing to support it.
So it became clear to us that we needed to take a step back and pave the way for Velan to do what we do best by innovating. Now we can take everything we learned, everything that succeeded and everything that needs improvement, and get to work on exploring new possible experiences for Knockout City and other games and products we are very excited about. We’re currently in the process of doing a comprehensive retrospective on every aspect of the game, all the community feedback and analytics data, and even our development processes.
Our hope is that sometime in the not-too-distant future, all this information can be used to start work on what comes next in the Knockout City universe. While we can’t promise that Knockout City will be back, what we can promise is that you’ll continue to see new and innovative games from Velan Studios that will surprise and delight players around the world.”
The team added that its final season, Season 9, will still unfold as normal beginning on February 28. The 12-week season will feature six back-to-back events, each going on for two weeks. On that same day, all real-money transactions will be removed from the game. The final season’s economy will be drastically altered as a parting gift to players, including a final Premium Brawl Pass that will cost just 50 cents as opposed to the $10 versions seen in previous seasons.
“[W]e’ve packed every event in Season 9 with rewards for XP, Style Chips, and thousands of Holobux. Every event also features a massive sale shop with huge discounts, and almost every cosmetic we’ve ever sold will make its way into one of these sale shops. The rewards for League Play, Daily Login Bonuses, and the Brawl Pass have also been drastically increased, and the price of the Premium Brawl Pass will be reduced to just 50 Holobux (which you can easily earn in the Free Pass)!”
A final two-week farewell event, called Thanks for the KOs, will begin on May 23 and usher in the game’s final days. Knockout City originally launched under the EA Originals banner in 2021. Last year, it moved to a free-to-play model and became a self-published game at Velan as the studio and EA mutually parted ways. In GameSpot’s Knockout City review, Alessandro Barbosa praised the game’s core mechanics and cartoonish world, saying, “Knockout City’s greatest strengths lie in its simplicity, but also in the ways it remixes traditional multiplayer elements to create something distinct.”
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