Hoverbike shooter Disintegration had only been out for a few months when developer V1 Interactive removed its multiplayer modes, saying that they failed to attract "a significant audience" despite some interest in the singleplayer campaign. That was in November of last year, and at the time, studio co-founder Marcus Lehto said on Twitter that the game "never got a fair shake." We didn't hear much about Disintegration after that, and so today's news doesn't come as an enormous surprise: V1 Interactive is closing.
"We want to thank all the talented people at V1, both past and present, who helped make the last 5 years wonderful," wrote the developer on Twitter. Lehto added that the decision was made now so that employees "have ample time to search for new jobs" while the company is sunsetted.
We are sad to inform you that V1 Interactive is officially closing.We want to thank all the talented people at V1, both past and present, who helped make the last 5 years wonderful.And a heartfelt thanks to the amazing community that supported us. pic.twitter.com/XX6Sxtc32oMarch 8, 2021
Lehto is one of the co-creators of Halo—he's credited as art director on the first three games—a distinction which gave Disintegration some cachet, and perhaps helped influence Take-Two's decision to publish the game under its Private Division label.
The idea was to mash up first-person shooting and real-time strategy: From the point of view of a hovering grav cycle, you could take shots at other cyclers while also commanding ground troops beneath you. In a preview from early 2020, Morgan praised Disintegration's experimentation with genre glue, but didn't find the bonding of FPS and RTS elements much fun, saying that they failed to complement each other. "Ten players and 20-plus ground units all clashing at once looks like an unreadable slurry of lasers and explosions," he wrote.
Back when V1 announced the closure of Disintegration's multiplayer servers, it reaffirmed its decision to try something different, and suggested that there was more for it to do. "We believe the videogame industry needs constant innovation, and we will continue to take risks, follow creative visions, and support new ideas," said the studio. In January of this year, a tweet from the company also hinted at a rebound attempt. "Our #NewYearsResolution is to be more active with the community, and we can't wait to share our plans with you all," it said.
In his comment today, however, Lehto said that the studio has been "transparent with [employees] about the state of things for months."
Disintegration was V1 Interactive's only game. It's still available on Steam for $30, although without the multiplayer modes, of course. Currently, Disintegration has 146 user reviews and a "Mixed" rating.