As if it weren't already clear that the world is not desperately short of F2P MOBAs, and that dressing a game in the clothes of a known brand isn't attractive enough to players, another branded arena 'em up is closing.
Dead Island: Epidemic [official site], a MOBA-y spin-off from the open-world zombie-slaying FPS-RPG, will close next month, publishers Deep Silver have announced. The game will never have left open beta testing.
"Ever since starting with the Closed Alpha, and all the way through the Closed Beta and Open Beta, we've received a great amount of useful criticism and encouraging feedback from our players. This has been invaluable for all the teams involved in developing the game," say Deep Silver. "Over the past weeks and months we've been evaluating how to proceed with Dead Island: Epidemic and looking towards the future for the game. We're sad to announce today that we've come to the conclusion to cease further development."
I believe that's a long-winded way of saying it wasn't making enough money.
Deep Silver will keep the servers running until October 15th, then shut down. Until then, characters and boosts are heavily discounted so people can see more and spend their virtuapennies before it goes away. Before entering open beta, Epidemic sold access in bundles with microtransaction guff.
While Techland created and made the first Dead Island, their publishers Deep Silver own the rights and had hoped to turn it into a major franchise. That has not gone too well. Escape Dead Island was awful, something funny's afoot with Dead Island 2 with developers Yager being taken off it, and now Epidemic is closing. They'd wanted the same for Ride to Hell too, launching a barrage of games, and... well! Take it easy, Deep Silver. Slow down. Make good games first, treat them well, then see if they naturally grow - forcing it is evidently not working.