Velan Studios has revealed that its free-to-play online dodgeball game, Knockout City, is shutting down in June. The game launched in May 2021 as a past-gen title originally published under the EA Originals label before the studio took over publishing rights.
While it’s going to shutter, Season 9 will commence later this month and a host of changes will be made, according to the developer’s blog. Once the new season drops, real-money transactions will be removed, but that doesn’t mean there are no rewards for its final season. XP, style chips, and the in-game currency holobux are all going to be part of the incentive. Most every cosmetic they’ve made will also end up on sale. Login bonuses, league play, and other similar events will also see an increase. In the final two weeks, fans also get the chance to earn triple XP, a fan-favorite community playlist, and “massive rewards.”
It’s worth noting that private servers, which are coming, won’t be shut down and existing players can still play like that, otherwise the game is unplayable.
The shutdown marks roughly a year after the game went free-to-play when the studio took over publishing responsibilities in June 2022. We can’t say it’s too surprising that the studio’s backing away from Knockout City. Game director Jeremy Russo took to the same blog post to explain why the studio’s sunsetting its live-service title. Simply put, the indie studio is too small to properly maintain the changes needed to keep it properly going forward.
Velan decided to cut their losses and analyze what worked, what didn’t work, community feedback, and more to see what the future holds following Knockout City shutting down. On top of that, they’ve made a video, too.
This reveal comes not long after the announcement of another notable multiplayer live-service title shutting, Marvel’s Avengers.
Russo’s Knockout City Statement
“Since we are a small, indie studio, it’s simply impossible for us to make those kinds of systemic changes in the live game while continuing to support it. So it became clear to us that we needed to take a step back and pave the way for Velan to do what we do best by innovating. Now we can take everything we learned, everything that succeeded and everything that needs improvement, and get to work on exploring new possible experiences for Knockout City and other games and products we are very excited about. We’re currently in the process of doing a comprehensive retrospective on every aspect of the game, all the community feedback and analytics data, and even our development processes. Our hope is that sometime in the not-too-distant future, all this information can be used to start work on what comes next in the Knockout City universe. While we can’t promise that Knockout City will be back, what we can promise is that you’ll continue to see new and innovative games from Velan Studios that will surprise and delight players around the world.”