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Can't Catch 'Em All: Undead Labs Dropping Moonrise

Never left Steam Early Access

I'm almost done catching up on news I missed over the long holiday weekend and, aw, this last bit's bad news. State of Decay creators Undead Labs are planning to close their pocket monster battling game Moonrise [official site] without ever officially launching it. Moonrise launched on Steam Early Access in May, selling $15 and $20 bundles of creatures and virtuacash and whatnot. It was supposed to turn free-to-play when it launched but, well, it won't launch and they've pulled it from sale.

Undead Labs founder Jeff Strain explains in a blog post:

"What we've found is that while some people really love Moonrise, there were unfortunately many more people who played the game and then moved on after a few days. For a standalone, offline game that might be fine; but for an online game with significant server hosting costs and an expectation for ongoing development and new content, it can mean a game that not only doesn't pay for it's development costs, but might even cost money to operate. As you can imagine, that's not something that makes sense for an independent studio like Undead Labs, nor for that matter would it be a good business decision even for a large publisher."

As such, they plan to close the servers at midnight on December 31st. Until then, though, they're making it more fun for existing players. A patch on Friday boosted levelling and drops, and gave players a load of resources to play with. Does that make up for closing the game? Don't look at me.

Remember: Early Access is a gamble, so be sure you're happy with the odds.

Anyway, Strain concludes:

"I want to personally thank every one of you who played Moonrise, and in particular those of you jumped in on our Steam and UL player forums and shared your feedback with us — both the praise, which makes us giddy like little kids, and also the criticism, which makes us learn and get better at our jobs. Our future games will benefit tremendously from your feedback and support."

Here's what Moonrise was/is:

Cover image for YouTube video

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Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.