Space Pirates and Zombies 2 scraps multiplayer plans

Space Pirates and Zombies 2, the post-apocalyptic space sandbox shoot-o-strategy with a deceptively bad name, has scrapped plans for a multiplayer mode. Developers MinMax Games had planned to add Arena mode on SPAZ 2’s journey through early access but they say multiplayer progress has ground to a halt as they upgraded to a newer version of the engine they’re building it in. After four weeks of work without any real progress, they’ve given up. They are extending refunds for player who consider this a dealbreaker, mind.

MinMax explained their technological trials and tribulations in a blog post on Thursday:

“Between Unity 4 and 5.1 Unity’s multiplayer backend fundamentally changed, but we always thought we could transpose our multiplayer code into the new system without too much difficulty. But we can tell you after 4 weeks hard at it, we have made no progress… at all.”

After trying four new multiplayer solutions, as well as having a crack at porting Unity 4’s networking over to 5, they’re calling it a day. They believe that Arena wasn’t worth continuing to struggle with.

“There has been considerable interest in a coop multiplayer mode. In the past we have posted why that would not be possible, as it would be like running a 300 player server on a local machine. So coop multiplayer wasn’t part of the plan, but Arena was…

“The Arena multiplayer which we had hoped to deliver was at least something, but so far it has received very limited interest on the forums. So now we have hit this multiplayer upgrade road block and we need to make a hard decision.

“Do we keep pressing ahead on Arena multiplayer which likely will only have a small following and will take many more months than expected, or do we spend that time making the single player better. We think it is more important to make the game better.”

Sounds sensible.

It does also sounds a bummer for the few players who were stoked for multiplayer. SPAZ 2’s Steam Early Access page had always stated “Please do not purchase for multiplayer until multiplayer is ready” but did say it was coming. They’ve opened a manual refunds process for people who’ve played less than two hours, no matter how long ago they bought SPAZ 2 (Steam usually limits refunds to within two weeks).

Still a bummer for folks who’ve played more than two hours but whose decisions were influenced by the promise of multiplayer to come. Hey, that’s early access for you. Don’t buy early access games unless you’d still be content if it were never updated or even became something else.


  1. Gnoupi says:

    “After trying four new multiplayer solutions, as well as having a crack at porting Unity 4’s networking over to 5”

    That sounds so familiar to situations I’ve encountered, in stages of denial.

    “We need to upgrade the library/server/VM, new requirement.
    1. Ok, hopefully it’s retrocompatible and we have nothing to do
    2. Ok, at least it should be easy to migrate, a week tops
    3. Ok, so it’s a migration project over several weeks, it’s ok, we’ll just impact the costs
    4. Ok, so we know it works with this previous version, let’s just reimport on a dirty way the original libraries and run it from there? Pretty much our only hope, at this point.
    5. …..”

    5 mostly depends on your situation and the importance of the new requirement, to determine what gets scraped.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Sometimes the solutions is to run the original in a VM of the previous version… which negates the point in upgrades :P (well, for ancient software at POS terminals, but I’ve no idea on databases).

  2. peterako1989 says:

    And nothing of value was lost.

    • Siimon says:

      Just how I feel. The possibility of co-op was what made me excited for SPAZ2 at first, and then it turned out Multiplayer was Arena only that interest quickly died out.

  3. Skiv says:

    Which just means they will make a better singleplayer, mutators, more cores, optimizations, new weapons, (maybe) bigger galaxies. Oh my…

    • Skiv says:

      Like hell im going to refund this game.
      Also optional voice acting!

    • StevenSmiley says:

      It’s like Mount and Blade Warband in space. I love it.

  4. Zaxwerks says:

    It’s like a reverse Elite: Dangerous where they promised us singleplayer and gave us an MMO instead.

  5. oggnogg says:

    Still looking forward to this. The first part was so pretty and fun <3

  6. BooleanBob says:

    I agree about the name. They should have called it Space Pirate And Zombies As Well.

    • Kitsunin says:

      A spaz is very cute after all!

      …but, the unfortunate side of the name simply doesn’t exist in North America.

  7. StevenSmiley says:

    I’m not trying to be a dick here but did an editor proofread this article? It looks like it was done in 5 minutes with no proofreading whatsoever. There are quite a few grammar/spelling mistakes. It’s a decent article, just looks kind of unprofessional and half-assed because of those issues. Is the author not a native english speaker? That would explain it.