Bossa Studios announced Decksplash back near the start of the year, and it looked quite promising: "The Rocket League of skateboarding," we called it, following some hands-on time with an alpha build in May. But in October, the studio dropped an ultimatum: If it didn't attract at least 100,000 players during a free week set to begin on November 2, the whole thing would be cancelled.
Today is November 10, which means the free week ended yesterday, and I've got bad news for those of you looking forward to splashed decks in the future. The trial campaign fell well short of its goal (a little under 60,000 total owners, according to SteamSpy), and true to its word, Bossa is shutting 'er down.
"It’s not all tears, though... The Free Week proved what we suspected at the start: Decksplash is a good game, evidenced by its 79-86 Steam score throughout the week. The players who experienced the game liked it, but in the end there just wasn’t enough of them to guarantee a healthy online community and keep the game’s matchmaking alive for the long run," Bossa wrote in the cancellation announcement.
"The lesson to take home is that, though not the best, this outcome is a good one for everyone involved: its players won’t spend money on a game that won’t survive the long haul, the team can move on to a new Bossa project with a sense of closure having done their best with Decksplash, and we tried a new way of validating a multiplayer game. Should we have cancelled the game without this experiment, a ‘what if’ would always be there in the back of our minds."
I suppose it's possible that this is an ill-conceived PR stunt, akin to the infamous "GOG is closing" hoax from several years back. But I think that's unlikely. Bossa said it creates "hundreds of games every year during our monthly game jams," the vast majority of which never see the light of day. "Decksplash just went further than the rest before teaching us a thing or two, enabling us to go forth with yet another piece of the creative puzzle we put together every day."
It's not exactly the same thing, but if your heart is heavy over the loss of a scratch for your boarding itch, a free demo for the headed-to-Kickstarter game Session is yours for the taking.