Wayfinder sales halted as developer promises a major rework of the game: 'We have no plans for it to disappear like so many online-only games'

Wayfinder screenshot - grey-skinned woman with horns and glowing eyes standing in front of a bright purple background
(Image credit: Airship Syndicate)

Airship Syndicate announced today that it has "reached an agreement with Digital Extremes to begin the transfer of the MMO action-RPG Wayfinder to Airship in earnest," and that as the first step toward resurrecting the game, it has halted sales while it finalizes plans for what comes next.

Wayfinder looked very promising when we previewed it in 2023, but it was brought low by server troubles at launch resulting in hours-long queues, failed connections, and disconnections during gameplay. Combined with complaints about steep pricing on in-game items, it quickly added up to a "mostly negative" rating on Steam

Things got worse for developer Airship Syndicate a few months later when publisher Digital Extremes eliminated its external publishing wing. DE said it would transfer control of the game to Airship Syndicate, a small bright spot amidst the trouble, but then the studio ran into its own problems, laying off 12 developers in January. Through it all, Wayfinder's concurrent player count continued to tumble, and hasn't broken double digits since mid-March.

Airship Syndicate acknowledged Wayfinder's "rocky launch" in today's announcement, but says it still believes in the game "and the world we created."

"When we founded Airship it was to create great games in compelling worlds, with memorable characters and adventures," the studio wrote. "With those core principles in mind, we've spent the last several months working behind the scenes, challenging some of the core ideas in Wayfinder and creating an experience that remains consistent with our standards and beliefs.

"We did this while keeping in mind that we want to respect our founders and excite new players—all while staying feasible as a business model for us as a new independent publisher. We plan to share these changes soon, but we aren’t quite ready."

Because of those planned changes, Airship Syndicate has "turned off sales of the game for the time being," presumably to prevent impressions of the game as it currently stands from growing—although that said, Wayfinder's Steam rating has now climbed to "mixed," with 47% positive reviews. That's still not great, but it's an improvement, and No Man's Sky's long, slow climb to a "mostly positive" rating stands as proof that it's possible to turn these things around.

The "coming soon" page for Wayfinder on the Epic Games Store (via Wayback Machine) has also been taken down, and the playwayfinder.com website now launches with a message saying it will not be updated during the transition—players are instead directed to the Wayfinder Discord and update blog to keep up with happenings.

"We hope to provide more information to players on timeframe in the coming weeks, but we can confirm the game will be coming out of Early Access this summer," executive producer AJ LaSaracina told PC Gamer. "We hope to share more about the many major changes soon!"

(Image credit: Airship Syndicate (Twitter))

A time frame for Wayfinder's return wasn't provided, but Airship Syndicate said it's "committed to keeping Wayfinder active and vibrant," and that more information on what's in the works will be revealed in the next four to six weeks. Anyone who already owns the game will continue to have access to it.

"There will be major changes, and major improvements, but we have no plans for it to disappear like so many online-only games we’ve all played and loved," the studio wrote. "We think Wayfinder can be something special, and be around to play forever."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.