Loadout shutting down this month ahead of GDPR

The European Union’s impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can carve another notch into the barrel of its pen, as the makers of Loadout have cited the GDPR as one of the reasons they plan to shut down the free-to-play arena shooter. Several problems squeezing at once meant it’d be too expensive to rework a game that was already losing money and so, similar to Super Monday Night Combat, it’ll shut down this month. Loadout had entered early access in May 2013, then launched in January 2014. And was pretty good, Old Man Rossignol said in his Loadout review.

The GDPR comes into effect on May 25th, at which point companies doing business with EU folk will need to follow new rules about keeping customer data. Coming into compliance isn’t a mega-huge cost but for a game that’s already hobbling along–Loadout has 200-ish players online at peak time–it can be large enough.

Loadout was already “losing an alarming amount of money per month” before the GDPR came along, developers Edge Of Reality said in yesterday’s announcement.

Their overall server costs had recently become “much higher”, the studio explained, while revenues had stayed flat. They said they were also facing reworking Loadout to work on a new product from their cloud server provider as the current is being discontinued, which would be “a major undertaking” and they simply “don’t have the resources to do that.”

So the game was already in trouble, but the GDPR is setting a deadline and giving it one final shove.

“The well-intended GDPR legislation creates major burdens for small companies to do business in the EU, starting on 5/25. We don’t have the resources to update Loadout to GDPR compliance, and a big portion of Loadout players come from the EU. Sadly, while big companies have the resources to comply with the GDPR, that’s not always the case for small businesses. We still protect your privacy, and we wouldn’t dream of doing otherwise. We just don’t have the resources to overhaul Loadout and implement new features to meet a large list of new requirements.”

And that’s that.

“Any one of these could have been fatal, but with all of them hitting at once, it’s clear that we have no choice but to shut it down.”

So Loadout will shut down on May 24th then become unplayable. The devs say “Maybe someday Loadout will return” but that’s a big maybe, so if you’re curious go grab it free on Steam now.

“I like it,” Jim said in 2014. “Very much. It plays well, and I will even forgive it for being third-person.” Have a look while you can?

24 Comments

  1. Halk says:

    Well, if all multiplayer games came with the ability to connect over IP, without the need for a central server (or the ability for players to host their own dedicated servers) like in the good old days™, such things would not need to happen.

    • Nelyeth says:

      *For Honor throwing confused looks in the background*

      • HiroTheProtagonist says:

        For Honor mostly did that to save itself from dying. Before that, it sold big on launch but shriveled next to practically every other Ubisoft game besides maybe Steep.

        Besides, one modern game does not a trend make. More games need to bring back dedicated private servers and server browsing. Matchmaking is 99% of the reason toxicity is such a problem these days.

  2. c-fan says:

    Man.. I’m kinda baffeld to see this EU-crap hit games _this_ hard. I mean. Sure, I’d expect some kind of adjustments need to be made, but to see that more and more chooses to shut down because of it is sad. I’m donwloading this game right now on my PS4 to see if I can get some trophies atleast before it dissapears just for the heck of it.

    • aepervius says:

      I am not baffled i am betting that many of those were actually selling customer data or game data on the side, and cannot anymore with GDPR. And then there are prolly the games which dont bring enough money anymore and use GDPR as a or excuse to close down “look fans ! It is not us or you or the lack if money , it is the GDPR boogyman!”

      • tekknik says:

        There’s always someone like you in these threads. Why is it impossible to understand that the GDPR is a huge burden to small companies? One GDPR request can be handled, more than 10 and a 1-3 man team is locked up in politics and features aren’t being made or bugs being fixed. One can not sell data, use ads or do anything with a users data and still be affected by the GDPR. The EU has a market for games, but it’s dwarfed by the Chinese and US markets, so the path of least resistance is to stop EU operations and just forgo that potential revenue. Not to mention they said they were already operating in the red so even if they were selling data it obviously isn’t as ludicrous as you apparently think.

    • Mahaku says:

      Real bummer indeed, I loved the game in its heyday (until the weird release introducing aliens or some such). Tried to reconnect with it about a year ago but matchmaking just took too long.

      So the GDPR was really only the final straw, a welcome excuse of blaming “this EU crap” — which in this particular case is all about the protection of the fundamental right for privacy. Not exactly a small matter I’d think!

    • KDR_11k says:

      To me it sounds like these games were at the brink of shutting down and doing the adjustments just wasn’t cost effective for what little money the game brought in. So this just pushed them over the edge.

    • c-fan says:

      I can agree.. It might be something about the use of data they collected that makes this case hit harder then needed, but still.. It’s suprising that the games where into this buisness in the first place. Some, I can imagine, but right now it seems like more then a handfull. And yeah, it’s probably a nice excuse to finally shut down for games that’s allready on the brink of not worth running as there are too few players.

    • Zoopy says:

      I wouldn’t really blame GDPR for this (and strongly disagree with the idea that it’s ‘EU-crap’). I’d rather question what kind of data gathering they’re doing that places this in the realm of complete unaffordable.

      So either they’re gathering a lot more data than is reasonable for an online game or this is just a very convenient excuse to shut down a game that’s been on life support for a long time already.

  3. Zanryu says:

    One core problem of Loadout was the lack of care for PC. There were major patches released on PS3/4, but, as far as I know, they never saw the light of day on PC, which lead to a decline of the player base as the game got to stale.

    • Kollega says:

      This. I started playing Loadout right since the moment it went free-to-play rather than requiring an admission price, and even threw 20 bucks towards the developers because I really liked the game… and all was well for a couple of months, but then the devs abandoned the PC version and put all the updates on PS4 only, both good (co-op mode) and bad (lootboxes). The PC version basically ceased to update, the player numbers dropped into near-nonexistence… and for me, the game was already perfectly dead for more than two years. The GDPR shutdown doesn’t really alter anything in regards to it.

      And it’s such a damn shame too. Because as a shooter, Loadout was pretty alright, and as an F2P game the version I knew was quite fair and generous. But oh well… you can’t always get what you want, because sometimes people just make ill-considered decisions.

    • April March says:

      Oh, this explains a lot.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Why don’t companies just ban EU customers to get around this law? Flat deny all connections from EU IPs, and make part of the EULA stating that you can’t play if you are from the EU. Done, anyone playing anyway is breaking licensing and that’s hardly the game’s fault.

    • April March says:

      Because any game that is being shut down because of GDPR is a game that was on the verge of being shut down anyway, and any game that isn’t on the verge of being shut down likely has a substantial amount of its players and income from the EU.

  5. twaitsfan says:

    The punishment for GDPR violations is huge. Like 20% of income or something draconian I think. If this is a team struggling to get by, the amount of extra effort it would take to make sure they they comply with everything could easily put them over the edge.

    Also, it’s a lot easier to just ‘take all the data’ and only use some of it than to be very particular with what they look at. Granted, we certainly want to encourage the latter behavior, but until there is comprehensive third party software or services to do this for small shops, and to do it cheap, this will kill small publishers.

    • Sandepande says:

      Up to 5% of turnover or 20 million €, whichever is larger.

    • aepervius says:

      No this won’t. If the risk was real it would kill a lot of service industry in the EU. But you do not see the doom and gloom. The reason for that is that the requirement put by GDPR forward are not that big. There isn’t even a requirement that the privacy officer is an FTE, just that there is one assigned in the business – it can actually be the person you already have in charge of many compliance for privacy. If you were already doing commerce in EU you should already respect nearly all those laws. heck if I recall correctly France had a “right of check and rectification” for 30+ years now.

      If that was such a problem you would see a big huge wave of EU business threatening to fold. It ain’t happening , most of the complaint are from non EU business, and from game which were already on the way out and not generating much money anymore.

      • tekknik says:

        So in my company that consists of 1 artist and 1 programmer, operating on a small budget (like <$1k) who’s the privacy officer? How does my wife (she’s the artist) and I (I’m the programmer) not loose every bit of our assets because we’re slapped with a €20mil fine because we missed one part of compliance and some EU troll decided to take us to the bank? Most of us really could care less about the data collected but doing stuff like ensuring personal data (like your username/email and ip address) isn’t logged in a server output or ensuring TTLs on tables when the punishment for missing one line is so high is just unacceptable. It’s easier to pull out of the EU. Not to mention now we’re forced to keep a lawyer on retainer whereas before we didn’t need one. The EU increased the cost of entry like you pointed out with this law, not every business has the resources to comply.

        • Hartford688 says:

          Well then don’t trade with customers within the EU if you don’t like the GDPR.

          Most of the requirements are eminently sensible, and from what I read something similar will be proposed for the US. In fact, in the Netherlands anyway, anyone who was compliant with the existing Dutch data laws would not have so very much extra to do to meet the GDPR requirements. In other words, companies that have a lot to do were careless with customer data, or were misusing it, or had unnecessarily complex contracts.

          From discussion with professionals dealing with this here, the expectation is that enforcement will be on a) large companies with many customers and b) where volumes of complaints are received by the regulator. In other words they will focus where the risk is greatest. And while there are indeed no specific “small company” exemptions, it is fully expected that resources will be borne in mind for expectations.

          This law is important, and while yes it does add burdens, companies DO need to take real care of customer data.

          • tekknik says:

            Most of the requirements are eminently sensible, and from what I read something similar will be proposed for the US.

            I’ve heard nothing of the sort and I’m pretty on top of news items. Not to mention this would be a pretty big deal and nobody over here is talking about a US GDPR. You have any links to support this claim?

            And while there are indeed no specific “small company” exemptions, it is fully expected that resources will be borne in mind for expectations.

            This is the problem. The law needs specific language to handle small companies, which it currently doesn’t. Relying on the EU courts to determine which part of the GDPR I’m supposed to follow when the fine is so damn high is unacceptable risk.

            This law is important, and while yes it does add burdens, companies DO need to take real care of customer data.

            Nobody said it wasn’t important. In fact everybody I’ve polled as well as myself agrees with the spirit of the law, just not the language / uncertainty / clarity of some of the conditions. Nobody hates the GDPR because it makes businesses accountable for data use (except maybe those who’s rampant abuse of personal data is their primary business model).

        • Aeroren says:

          Unless your company is a public authority or body, or you are monitoring or processing data on a large scale, you don’t need a privacy officer at all (art 37.1 GDPR)

  6. April March says:

    Aw. Sad news, even if the game was dead anyway. Loadout was pretty cool. Not stellar, but it was well-made, it knew what it was doing, and it did it well. I particularly liked its take on Deathmatch, the ‘Deathsnatch’ mode where you have to pick up an item enemies drop when they die to score (and you can pick up your teammate’s item to deny the enemy team’s score). It’s a simple change, but it meant that team deatchmatches actually required teamwork and a single great player wouldn’t easily dominate the match. I hope enough people hop onto the servers before it shuts down for a last farewell.