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Not every game needs to be a forever game

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It’s not easy for any developer to keep up with the constant demand for a live-service game, let alone developers accustomed to large projects with long deadlines. As big studios and AAA games continue to experiment with running models that act like games Destiny 2 And Fortnite, the toll the massive amount of constant updating takes on a studio becomes more and more apparent. But some developers are opting out of the update cycle in favor of bigger expansions and clearer end dates.

on Thursday, back 4 blood Developer Turtle Rock Studios announced that it no longer plans to develop new content for the game. Instead, the studio is moving on to a new project, while leaving open the possibility of its co-op survival shooter returning in the future — or at least, returning to the series. While Turtle Rock’s plans are unclear at the moment, they show that studios have options when it comes to making multiplayer games, and that they shouldn’t be averse to launching new projects.

back 4 blood Originally released in October 2021 and has since had three extensions, with its latest coming in December 2022. Players who paid for the game received over a year of post-release support, including free patches and paid expansions that included major content. Play. A decade ago, this would have been the standard life cycle of a multiplayer game, but now it’s almost an anomaly.

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Four characters go underground to a monster

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Image: Turtle Rock Studios / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

As tempting as it may be for developers to chase the dream of a forever updatable and sustainable game that generates revenue month after month, most projects built around that idea collapse under their own weight. She folds. The developers are either unable to release enough content to sustain the player base over months and years, or the games aren’t good enough to attract players in the first place. The last decade of sports is littered with titles like marvel’s avengers Or Anthem which promised players endless updates and has since been shut down – just this week, rumbleverse, Apex Legends MobileAnd knockout city suffered the same fate.

but an extension model like Turtle Rock back 4 blood The plan could provide more traditional studios with the option of making multiplayer games, supporting them with new content for a while, and then gracefully sunsetting them.

Expansions have fallen out of vogue over the past decade due in large part to the success of large-scale games. League of Legends And Fortnite, which are free-to-play and provide free content updates to their players every week or two. But such a game requires a huge studio to sustain, and that means a game has to be wildly successful – often right out of the gate – to have a chance to survive.

back 4 blood There’s never been a need to set the world on fire or make a billion dollars, and Turtle Rock didn’t need to bulk up its staff to keep it going. Instead, the studio can keep itself lean and move on to its next project, ensuring that players get content for the games they love — at least for a while.

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