October continues to be a rubbish month for free-to-play games, especially niche ones. The latest to take a hit to the warp core is Fractured Space, Edge Case's free-to-play MOBA-like take on capital-class space combat. Announced on Steam today, the studio are officially ending development on the game and moving on to other projects. As of the next and final episodic update to the game - Infection - premium currency is being removed from the game, and all items will be made purchasable using the in-game currency. Servers will remain online for "the foreseeable future".
This announcement comes just after a spate of similar stories among free-to-play developers. Dreadnought's studio had to make major cuts after a rough launch, Dirty Bomb will no longer be developed or expanded, and Wildstar and its studio are both gone. Rough times. In the case of Fractured Space it seems especially unfortunate because it casts a long, dark shadow on the 'big spaceship' genre as a whole, considering that Dreadnought was very similar, albeit less fully featured. Fractured Space contains solo and co-op modes on top of its competitive multiplayer core.
As sad as this news is, I do applaud Edge Case for their plans to make the game truly free, at least until it becomes impossible to keep the servers running. I'm hopeful that the studio will be able to find their footing on some other project before having to close their doors altogether. I admit that I never found as much time as I would have liked to play Fractured Space, but I hope to return and catch up on the episodic content released once the Infection update is live.