Wipe out! Bossa Studios cancel Decksplash

Bossa Studios, the folks behind Surgeon Simulator and I Am Bread, have cancelled their latest game after it failed to draw enough players during a free open beta. Decksplash was a multiplayer game blending the skateboard stunts of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater with the ground-painting territory control battles of Splatoon. Were enough people in such a game to make it worth finishing? Bossa hoped to find out my inviting everyone to play for a week, setting a target of reaching 100,000 players. If they hit it, they’d launch Decksplash into early access. If not, they’d cancel it. It did not, and they have cancelled it.

“The players who experienced the game liked it, but in the end there just wasn’t enough of them to guarantee a healthy online community and keep the game’s matchmaking alive for the long run,” Bossa co-founder Henrique Olifiers said in today’s announcement. He continued:

“The lesson to take home is that, though not the best, this outcome is a good one for everyone involved: its players won’t spend money on a game that won’t survive the long haul, the team can move on to a new Bossa project with a sense of closure having done their best with Decksplash, and we tried a new way of validating a multiplayer game. Should we have cancelled the game without this experiment, a ‘what if’ would always be there in the back of our minds.

“All in all, we create hundreds of games every year during our monthly game jams, the vast majority of them failing to even being shown to the players. Decksplash just went further than the rest before teaching us a thing or two, enabling us to go forth with yet another piece of the creative puzzle we put together every day.”

I played a little of the demo and eh, it was okay, but the skateboarding wasn’t as fun as a full skateboarding game and the territory battling wasn’t as fun as Splatoon. I’d rather be playing either one than the two combined. Also the name is awful.

Bossa are still working on craft-o-airship MMO Worlds Adrift and cat dating sim Purrfect Date. Brendan had a go at Worlds Adrift earlier this year and ended up getting into a fight over a parking space. You can’t take him anywhere.

13 Comments

  1. Jalan says:

    Decksplash was a name better suited to a card game. Probably one that was equally as non-captivating as the game the name did get attached to, but they all can’t be winners.

  2. frogmanalien says:

    This seems like the way of the future now unforunately- indie (and smaller studio) games will struggle to ever reach critical mass to do anything new in the multiplayer world, and the AAA’s COD’s, BF’s, OverWatch, etc will be left to do the trick- which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that they don’t use this position of power to try anything new for fear of scaring off the existing masses.

    Still, I’m ok with the indie guys ruling the single player experience – it’s probably where I want to hang out these days anyway (this comment feels equally well suited to the LawBreaker’s post today as it does to this too)…

    • April March says:

      I don’t know if I’d even call it ‘the way of the future’. Getting a community big and devoted enough to sustain it has always been a struggle for indie games, and this is just another corpse in the pile. Sad but true.

      • Baines says:

        Even big publishers have trouble getting a community big and devoted enough to sustain online multiplayer. The biggest difference is that big publishers have more games coming out.

  3. April March says:

    Sad. I couldn’t even connect during the free week, so 🤷‍

  4. DUH321 says:

    I played during the free week and enjoyed playing around in free play more than multiplayer. I think if would work better as a single-player/coop game with a bunch of THPS type levels and objectives.

  5. elevown says:

    Not that it sounds like anything I’d be interested in but My question would be – how do they know the issue was the game and not the method /amount, or type of advertising for the demo?

    How can they be sure how many people of the correct type heard of the demo? And knew where to easily access it? Maybe they reached far fewer gamers than would be required by ANY game to get that many players? I certainly never heard of it.

  6. Ogun says:

    Wanted to post about Wetherspoons Adrift, then clicked the link in the story and realised I’d sort of done it in advance back in July.

    It needs a *lot* of work and I (in my offical capacity as some random on the internet) wouldn’t recommend buying it until at least after the Xmas update when you can see how well that’s been received.

    Right now it has a lot of bugs, which is normal for EA/new tech. It also has creative, mechanical and technical design issues that could be harder to fix. E.g. it feels like they don’t always reassess gameplay loops after making balance changes.

    Hopefully the Xmas update will provide some of the depth/purpose/direction/cohesion/bugfixes it needs and some of the glut of enthusiastic players WA initially attracted will return.

  7. Moonracer says:

    hmm, I saw they had a free week, but rather late into the week. I clicked on their in store video and got screaming streamers (has a nerdcore band taken that name yet?) and backed away. A little sad I did’t give it a try as it’s at least an interesting concept, even if not my thing.

  8. Premium User Badge

    MOOncalF says:

    Hmm, the “what if” in the back of my mind is if I had known this was a thing that was happening, would I have tried it? I got quite a lot of mileage out of THPS tag mode where you colored geometry you tricked off. C’est la vie!

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>