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Housemarque put ill-fated battle royale Stormdivers "on hold"

Pour one out for Stormdivers, readers. Developers Housemarque today revealed that the long-suffering battle royale contender is being shelved indefinitely, along with all other projects at the studio – save one. See, if there’s any remorse in the Finnish firm’s announcement, it doesn’t show. On Housemarque’s 25th anniversary, the developers are gearing up to announce their most ambitious game yet – and if they’re gonna make their next big hit, they can’t be dragging their heels on a struggling shooter.

In a blog post celebrating the studio’s silver anniversary, CEO Ilari Kuittinen announced that Housemarque have gathered the whole band together for the studio’s “most ambitious and biggest game to date”. This means pressing pause on everything else, including ill-timed battle royale Stormdivers.

Kuittinen isn’t willing to share much more about this mystery project for the time being. Expect to hear an announcement in the “coming months”. As much as I’d like them to pull a 180 on the whole “arcade is dead” angle, this secret project’s been in the works for about three years, with 80 people now attached to the game. Rather overkill, I’d reckon, if they were just making another Resogun.

As for Stormdivers? While only “on hold” for the time being, it’s hard to picture Housemarque bringing it back. Despite bringing in nifty gadgets, superpowered jetbikes and a player-swallowing tornado, Stormdivers has always felt behind the curve – missing both the initial battle royale bubble and a planned 2019 release date.

Kuittinen himself seemed pessimistic about Stormdiver’s chances last April, telling VG247 that success was “unlikely because of the tough competition.” I can’t say I blame him. For all the swish sci-fi novelty on display, Stormdivers looked resoundingly fine. Nothing spectacular, and very little Apex Legends‘ cast of superpowered jackasses haven’t exceeded.

It’s never fun to kill your darlings. But in Stormdiver’s case, it sounds like Housemarque may have been ready to move on for some time.

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Natalie Clayton

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