Less than two months after finally launching Dirty Bomb in full, Splash Damage have announced they are stopping development on their free-to-play FPS set in merrye olde Londone tahn. The servers will stay up as long as enough players keep on playing, they say, but don't expect any big future updates. Splash Damage say that, despite a big effort to renovate and finish it, the Enemy Territory-style shooter simply wasn't making enough money to justify continuing live development. So it goes.
"After regaining publishing rights for DB nearly two years ago, we staffed up a load of developers and tried our best to deliver a Dirty Bomb experience that would be feature-rich with tons of new content, while maintaining its great gameplay feel & balance," Splash Damage said in Thursday's announcement.
"Unfortunately, despite all the added time and resources, there were some challenges we couldn't overcome, and we were not able to make DB the success that we hoped it could be. The bottom line is that we can't financially justify continuing to work on the game we love."
Dirty Bomb, to refresh your memory, is a class-based multiplayer FPS focused on attack/defend objectives including tasks like escorting vehicles, blowing stuff up, and other things you'll remember from Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and Brink. It very much is that sort of Splash Damage game. And it seems a fair one of 'em? But I was deep into other multiplayer games when Dirty Bomb hit, so I never gave it much of a chance.
The game entered open beta in June 2015, after several years of letting people pay to get into the alpha, then hit version 1.0 at last in August 2018. It won't get far beyond that.
Splash Damage do plan to host official servers "as long as the player count supports it" and keep rentable servers, so the game's not going down, but the final update is expected to be some bugfixes due "in the upcoming weeks". People who have bought the 'All Merc Pack' DLC will get the cost refunded to their Steam account, now that Splash Damaging won't be releasing more characters.
Dirty Bomb is free-to-play on Steam.
Disclosure: A pal worked on Dirty Bomb, which I had half-forgotten until I loaded the game this morning and heard his voice coming out a character's mouth like WHAT HUH OH HEY THERE RIGHT I REMEMBER NOW.