The makers of Battlerite and its spin-off Battlerite Royale have announced plans to 'scale back' development of their free-to-play MOBA-ish multiplayer murderzones, saying the two simply aren't doing well enough to be their main focuses. Stunlock Studios reassure players that the games aren't shutting down and they might return to them, but right now they have no plans for more big updates after Season 3, which starts next week. Our Matt gushed praised in his Battlerite review and enjoyed his time with Royale but, alas, they've just not found the players they need.
"We've seen declining player numbers and player investment for a while now, and diminishing returns on all of our latest gameplay changes and marketing campaigns," Stunlock explained in yesterday's announcement. "While players are willing to try out Battlerite and Battlerite Royale for a while, retaining them has always been our biggest challenge."
Competition for attention and playtime between free-to-play multiplayer games is fierce.
"With the state of the current playerbase we're no longer in a position where working on Battlerite and Battlerite Royale are sustainable as main projects for the studio," Stunlock say. "Battle Season 3 and the associated Battle Pass will be the last that we have planned for the foreseeable future. We are exploring ideas for development after Battle Season 3, and will announce any potential plans closer to the end of the Season."
So they may add more, or they may not. Season 3 ends on October 23rd, and we should hear more around then. What we do know for certain is some in-development features will not be finished. The tournament system, which Stunlock note they've been working on "for a long, long time now," is a gonner. They apologetically say "it remains to be one of our greatest regrets for Battlerite that we weren't able to complete it for you."
This doesn't look the end of Battlerite yet, mind, nor of Stunlock. The servers are staying up and they're planning another game.
"We'll be taking everything we've learned from Battlerite – what worked, what didn't work, what we could have done better, and more – to the next game and growing from it all," they say. "You'll hear from us again in the future on the future development plans for Battlerite and when our next project is ready."
If you're gonna battle, Battlerite (rite) battle with me.