For game developers, it can be difficult to break into a genre that is dominated by so many household names. This is especially true for the free-to-play battle royale genre, in which players compete in online matches to see who can come out on top. Fortnite has long dominated the genre, and games like Fall Guys and Apex Legends have also carved out their own niches. Then there are games like Spellbreak, a battle royale that failed to amass a large enough audience despite positive reviews.
The game was initially released in September 2020, but almost two years later, the current player base is concerned over whether or not the game is getting shut down.
Is Spellbreak shutting down? Here's everything we know about the state of the game.
Is 'Spellbreak' shutting down? It hasn't garnered much attention.
Spellbreak is a player-versus-player shooting game developed by a studio called Proletariat. Instead of guns, though, characters wield magical gauntlets that fire off different elemental spells and techniques. Using an arsenal of magic, players can compete against each other in battle royale gameplay or team matches. In 2021, the game rolled out a "Dominion" gameplay mode in which teams of five try to invade their opponents' points of control.
When the game first launched in 2020, it was met with warm reception. It didn't necessarily dethrone the likes of Fortnite in terms of popularity, but Metacritic tabulated "generally positive" reviews for the game on all platforms. Even IGN gave the game a respectable 8/10 upon its release. Throughout its lifespan, the game has rolled out several updates, events, and paid content, as is typical of the free-to-play genre.
Unfortunately, a free-to-play battle royale is only as good as it is popular. Despite a regular amount of scheduled content, the game hasn't proven to be as lucrative as other titles. SteamCharts reports that as of writing, the game has had an average of 349 players in the last six months. Other games in the genre can typically hit thousands of active players post-launch, with Fortnite active at more than 972,000 active players. Not exactly the fairest comparison, but it's something to consider when trying to make Spellbreak big.
Whether or not the game's low popularity was the cause of this next part, Proletariat has decided that it's time to move on. On June 28, 2022, the dev team confirmed that they would be shutting down game servers in early 2023.
In an official blog post, the Spellbreak team said, "We are grateful to everyone in the game's community for exploring the magical worlds and experiences we created together."
For what it's worth, the team is moving on to different pastures. Not necessarily greener, but different.
The following day on June 29, VentureBeat reported that Blizzard Entertainment plans to acquire Proletariat to work on World of Warcraft. It's an interesting move for all parties involved, considering the studio is facing backlash for the controversial release of Overwatch 2. Oh, and let's not forget that Blizzard is still under scrutiny for alleged sexual harassment among the staff.
All that being said, Proletariat seems to be looking toward the future. But for Spellbreak fans, the end is coming.