F2P mech FPS Hawken shutting down on PC

Free-to-play mech shooter Hawken [official site] is shutting down on PC, the developers announced today. While console versions will continue, the PC servers will shut down on January 2nd, 2018. After five years, it still hasn’t left early access. Hawken has struggled in recent years, passing through several developers and seeing peak concurrent player counts fell to below 200. But heck, it does have some beautiful futurecities covered in grime and greebles, doesn’t it?

“After 3 great years, we are shutting down the PC Steam servers to refocus our development efforts,” the devs said in today’s announcement.

“It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience working alongside such a dedicated PC player base. Your feedback and support has been invaluable to us, and the team looks forward to creating more great games based on what we’ve learned from you.”

So long, and thanks for all the feedback.

Hawken was created by Adhesive games, taken over in 2015 by Reloaded Games (the folks behind APB Reloaded), then 505 Games took over with a team named Hawken Entertainment in 2016.

Hawken Entertainment had worked on a big update to ‘relaunch’ Hawken, fixing lots of broken bits and adding new stuff. This had a ‘soft launch‘ in May.

Looking back, even knowing how it’ll soon end, I’m still very much into that initial trailer from 2011. Lovely city.

40 Comments

  1. rocketman71 says:

    And once again, no public server files means Hawken dies completely. They could release the server code and the game would live forever.

    Guess it’s what they deserve, then. It’s a pity, it always looked great.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      F2P with paid DLC/microtransactions/items/content/cosmetics/P2W mechanics. So no, player owned servers goes against the money cow here… and they gone milked it dead.

  2. KDR_11k says:

    Air Mech is also still flagged as Early Access…

    I played Hawken for a bit but it didn’t feel very mechy, mostly like a regular shooter with very attrition based combat. Plus there’s something about the standard F2P game GUI that’s unpleasant.

    • TaylanK says:

      This. Beautiful futurecities covered in grime and greebles are great, but Hawken really failed on selling the fantasy that you were piloting a war machine made of tons of steel. Hawken’s mechs could have as well been characters in any generic shooting game with mech skins on them.

    • Sin Vega says:

      This was my problem with it too. It really was gorgeous, but it never felt like a robot shooter thing. I was only ever clicking on box-shaped crosshairs until their attached health bar went down. Had fun with it for a few days though.

    • BrotherSurplice says:

      Ah, glad I’m not the only person who felt like that. I thought it was just me that felt like Hawken was a reskinned FPS.

    • haldolium says:

      And one more. It did a lot of things right, but sadly never felt like controlling a Mech really.

      I don’t miss it, but I always found it’s art design great and even in the living days kind of a waste on a so-so-game. Maybe the people responsible for that can give their abilities to another more fitting title. I never grow tired of dystopian neo-tokyo-like designs. There are simply to few with good games attached.

  3. Chromatose says:

    That’s a damn shame. I never got into the game but it clearly had a lot of love put into it. Especially on those environments. And this is why I kinda hate the idea of ‘games-as-a-service’. Once those servers go down, just like with Firefall, Tabula Rasa, and a whole bunch of other games, it’s gonna be lost forever.

    I really really wish that game developers took preservation more seriously.

    • bobbins says:

      I agree.

      The end game is ALWAYS shutting down the server. Mitigating that with some basic peer to peer functionality as part of the closing down sale should be the norm for these kinds of games.

      • pepperfez says:

        But then it’s still around to compete with your new online-only game, so it’s much better to eliminate it from history instead. Imagine how happy Disney would be if they could periodically destroy every single recording of their cartoons before they release a remastered version. It would be heaven!

        • Chromatose says:

          Which is of course deeply sleazy, but then we’re not even getting any kind of remastering here at all. Just “Nope, that’s it. See all that incredible work our artists put into making this game a reality? You can’t see it anymore. Sorry guys”.

          It’s bizarre and kind of unprecedented before online-only GAAS. The only bright side is that given the game was developed in Unreal Engine 3, some enterprising soul might still be able to dig out a lot of the game’s functionality and art assets. Maybe we wouldn’t be able to have the full Hawken experience, but at the very least there could be a record of that incredible environment design.

    • haradaya says:

      The game nailed everything but the gameplay. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great.
      I am also saddened that I’ll never be able to revisit the amazing sound design and levels after it shuts down. The game even has basic bots, and wave survival, “map exploration” (roam the maps alone), so if only they had an offline mode it could’ve been preserved well.

  4. Blowfeld81 says:

    Still a better playerbase than lawbreakers…

  5. bobbins says:

    It got a bad rap, but I really enjoyed playing it, thought it was a super fun FPS. Shame to hear it’s dying.

    I’m not a competitive gamer, just play for fun, wonder if that’s the issue. FPS gaming these days is approached like a sport.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Neurotic says:

    I enjoyed it for a couple of hours upon release, but it never really grabbed me by the lapels and dragged me off on a wild adventure. Still, sad to see it go.

  7. GenialityOfEvil says:

    It was never going to survive Titanfall.

    • SaintAn says:

      Even Titanfall isn’t going to survive Titanfall.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Eh, Titanfall was mostly Call of Duty with added mechs (and infantry vs vehicle combat), not primarily a mech game (in fact many players reported foregoing the mechs as the game’s meta evolved). Something like Armored Core isn’t in the same market as Titanfall because it’s just an entirely different type of game. Hawken was somewhat closer but really not the same audience. Plus being F2P put it more into the ranks of Blacklight Retribution and such.

  8. iamgenestarwind says:

    i really dont get why this game doesnt have more ppl i really liked it it why better than mechwarroir online. in mechwarroir if you have the biggest mech you are targeted first if you die everyone calls you names in hawken when you die you respawn so most times no one cares. this was one of the few multi players game i didnt hate game play was fast so ppl died alot so that was even less name calling was a really change to me most multi player games when i start playing with other real people i end up rage quiting

    • Ragnar says:

      So, I’m just wondering, do you have a personal thing against punctuation? Did a comma mistreat you or something?

      Or are you just lazy?

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      Unreadable.

  9. EkoAzarak says:

    damn… Really liked Hawken. played a few rounds at least once a week. Another great game goes down due to …???? dunno. but a great game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      The devs basically abandoned it for a couple of years. Then a completely different dev picked it up and tried to get things going again, but it was too late.

      Also the community was kind of shitty, but possibly no worse than average for this sort of game.

      Real pity. I had some good times with it. I think the tacked-on free-to-play mechanics brought it down a good bit, though. I’d pay real money to play a well-made single-player campaign.

  10. Jakkar says:

    Let it live on in its best form; as that original trailer. Far better than the actual game ._.

    So pretty. So much pretty. If it could have just lived forever as an unrealised idea, an icon of hope. I think there’s a pleasure in anticipating the game that *could* be that surpasses the pleasure of actually playing the vast majority of games.

    This was one of those beautiful concepts that could not, in this era, have actually answered the question posed by the trailer.

    Alas.

  11. automatic says:

    That is so sad. This game is not just pretty, it also has a unique gameplay style. It never pretended to be a mech simulator. Playing Hawken felt much more like fighting in a futuristic distopian anime than anything FPS related. It’s really really sad it’s not going to be around anymore.

    Imo the biggest problem was lack of publicity. Evidenced for example by half the comments on this article where ppl have no idea what the game is about. I’ve spent several hours playing it. Had tons of fun. I even feel kinda guilty for never having the opportunity to put some cash in it. Well. RIP.

  12. pandiculator says:

    I enjoyed so much the feel of this one – you were mechs more in the oversized exosuit sense than the 100t Mechwarrior sense, and there was a recognition of that in the movement and handling. Not much else out there like it…

    Shows that you need an active, engaged developer to keep a community interested. Shame.

  13. JoeX111 says:

    I really enjoyed this game, once upon a time. I even bought the little-known board game version, which–in a nice touch–came with redeemable points to use in the online game. I unlocked several mechs, dove into the guts of configuring them, and spent some time in the forums and wikis to learn the intricacies of the system. There was a lot going on behind the scenes, little boosts and tweaks you could apply to round out each mech. Then the devs released a huge update which completely wiped out everyone’s progress, relocked all the mechs, and retooled everything about the upgrade and configuration system. At that point, I was done. I came back once or twice, but never glommed on like I had the first time. It just felt like a chore to learn this new, “better” system I never asked for.

    During one of my visits, I saw that the devs had decided that VR integration was really what the game needed. To that end, they scuttled the neat mech dashboard interface–where your health and shields and everything appeared as little screens and gauges and monitors throughout the cockpit–in favor of some generic glowing numbers floating in the air. I remember reading in the forums fans begging them not to do this, or to make it only mandatory for the VR modes, but the devs soldiered on anyway.

    Such a shame. There was really something great there, a long long time ago.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Wow, I remember “sabotage*” back in the open Beta days… but that is a new low.

      *Not real sabotage, just the usual of a dev deciding something is magic, golden, special and has to be done, even if it includeds shooting your own foot, cutting off your own nose and then using those to make a turd sandwich… but “updates” and “new!!!” so must be better, right?

  14. michelangelo says:

    Hawken is pretty much the only online shooter I not only tried but played for quite a while. Even revisited once it landed on PS4 (with terrible menus redesign). Many say (not in this RPS chat thou) it’s not mechy. I say it is. Scale wise just sized as cars, not houses. Some are agile, some not. And there is no healing, there is repairing, and it takes time and it makes mech vulnerable and stuck while repairing. And it looked just gorgeous.

  15. dorobo says:

    Yet again devs do the worng thing wich they did over the years and years. They will suck life out of a console version too very soon. I’ve built my youtube channel around hawken.. people liked my stuff and i liked to play the game. Sad.

  16. Premium User Badge

    cultiv8ed says:

    Its quite sad that in 20 years time there won’t be much in the way of “retro” gaming from this period as most games are clients with no public server software available.

  17. NZLion says:

    So I played it today for the first time since May, and dear god what have they done to it?

    The menus are ugly, the textures on the mechs are now ugly or at least colour shifted and parts of the customisation are now gone. Also any finesse around wear patterns etc is gone. The visual effects in the menus like film grain are gone, and the new menu design doesn’t always fit properly on ultrawides. In game the one map I tolerated had been modified (the highway onramps level from the trailer etc) and is now a confusing mess. The energy walls of the map bounding box now only become visible as you get closer, but this means you commit to a corridor only to find yourself fleeing into a dead end. The models of vehicles etc that were lying around have had polycounts reduced. Explosions have been toned down and anything that generates particles has had that setting turned way down – even if you have the option in place to crank this to max – it’s like they turned off physx.

    TL;DR: The game I remember enjoying has already gone. Whatever shambling zombie remains is not the Hawken I want to remember.

  18. OceanMann says:

    First, it’s a shame that this is shutting down right after I started playing it. Second, is it free on PS4?

  19. thesoupcan says:

    Awww… I downloaded Hawken couple of weeks ago and even though the only alive gamemode was Bot TDM it was such a blast to play.

  20. Lorenzitto says:

    I’ve just signed up on rockpapershotgun to express my disappointment.
    I’VE BACKED HARD HAWKEN WITH VANGUARD PROGRAM BACK THE TIME IT WAS RELEASED! I’VE BOUGHT VANGUARD GOLD FOR 70€ !
    Let’s make a HUUGE petition to keep the game alive and going on PC, and it needs a stable 1000 players quota monthly.
    Or i’m gonna miss that game. And my 70 €.

  21. Twoult says:

    I put 500+ hours in the game before dropping it early this year and I have many war stories.
    Sadly, I believe that many new players didn’t get to this point. Empty lobbys and aim botters pushed them away. Plus, it was just too similar in style with cookie-cutter arena shooters. Why not allow players to customize every aspect of their chassis? Devs needed to focus on the Mech gameplay of Hawken. That is if the devs could focus on the development. Come on, the loyal fans deserved better end result.