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EA have removed Rocket Arena from sale without much warning

Booted from the arena

Rocket Arena, the third-person hero shooter published in 2020 by EA, has been removed from sale without much warning. So far neither EA or developers Final Strike Games have given a reason for the delisting, but you can no longer buy it from its Steam or EA store pages.

There was an easily-missed mention from EA a few days ago that Rocket Arena would be removed from game subscription service EA Play on November 14th, but at the time there was no mention of it being removed from sale or its online services being shutdown. I suppose the real warning might have been that Rocket Arena hasn't received an update since September 1st, 2021. Before that there had been four seasons of extra maps, characters and battle pass unlocks added to the shooter, seemingly without it attracting much of an audience.

Since releasing Rocket Arena in 2020, Final Strike have begun work on an "unanounced new IP". They've also been providing "live services support" to Fortnite, according to their website, including contributing to the recent relaunch of Fortnite's OG map.

To me Rocket Arena will always refer to a series of Quake mods which stripped away hitscan weapons in favour of the acrobatic, splash damage purity of slow moving projectiles. The unrelated EA Originals' Rocket Arena did have mostly rockets as weaponry, but its unique feature was that damage would add up, rather than counting down your health, until you'd enter a critical state where one more hit would boot you from the arena and you had to rely on its third-person dodge movement to survive. Sin quite liked it when she played it before release:

Somehow on a psychological level this [damage model] changes everything, as you watch someone's counter go up and up. We all love filling progress bars, right? And then, crucially, you have to get just that one last hit in. Chasing that final hit often feels thrice as difficult as doing the far heavier damage that preceded it. It works in reverse too, as you'll feel invincible until you're suddenly desperate to flee and hide for the few precious moments it takes for your damage to cool back down.

Not every multiplayer makes it, but it's a shame if Rocket Arena is being quietly turned off without a chance at a farewell or a redemption. I've reached out to EA for comment and to ask whether it'll return.

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Rocket Arena

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Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.