Daybreak Game Company last night announced plans to shut down PlanetSide Arena on January 10th, 2020. The free-to-play battle royale FPS spun off from PlanetSide 2 launched into early access on September 19th, so that’s less than four months. Daybreak say it hadn’t attracted enough players to sustain the sort of large battles it’s meant to. The servers will shut down, the game will become unplayable, and people who paid real money for DLC or microntransaction cash will receive a refund.
Daybreak explained in Friday’s announcement, “While our team set out with an ambitious vision for a game that combined the massive-scale combat and camaraderie of PlanetSide through a diverse collection of new game modes, it has become clear after several months in Early Access that our population levels make it impossible to sustain the gameplay experience we envisioned.”
PlanetSide Arena started out supporting 300-player matches (with 25 teams of 12) and was planned to eventually enable over 1000 in a single match. Across November, the highest number of players in-game at any point (not necessarily even in a match together) was 70.
We sent Brendan and Sin in to check out Arena and return a verdict when it first launched. They did both like the moments of chaos with big fights full of vehicles and explosions. “But I didn’t feel overly impressed by much else,” Brendan said. “The movement, the shooty-shooty, the item-hoovering. For me, in terms of royal bats, this ain’t no Apex predator.” It wasn’t, no.
PlanetSide Arena is still free-to-play on Steam, if you’re curious. It’ll become unplayable when the servers shut down on January 10th. Refunds should automatically hit Steam Wallets after that.
Over the past few years, Daybreak have hit employees with several rounds of layoffs and shut down several games.