MMO Fallen Earth rises from the dead two years after it was shut down

Some post-apocalypse survivors having a fight.
(Image credit: First Orbit)

Fallen Earth is a 2009 MMO that has had something of an interesting history. At launch the game was an unusual proposition, and probably too ambitious for its own good: a hybrid FPS-RPG combat system, a realtime crafting element, hundreds of weapons and vehicles, a thousand square kilometres of world for six PvP factions to fight over and, of course, many flaws.

The game wasn't a great success and, two years after launch, the rights were sold to publisher GamersFirst, which took it down the free-to-play route. Fallen Earth found a niche and trundled along until, in 2018, publisher Little Orbit acquired the rights and, a year later, made the decision to temporarily shut it down citing performance problems, old server code, bugs, exploits and, probably most important of all, too few players.

Fallen Earth is now back as Fallen Earth Classic (thanks, MassivelyOP), a version of the MMO that, according to Little Orbit CEO Matt Scott, "balance[s] getting this back online in a reasonable amount of time versus the laundry list of things I'm sure players would have wanted. We did our best."

Some post-apocalypse survivors showing off their weapons.

(Image credit: First Orbit)

Scott was the main driving force behind Fallen Earth's acquisition in the first place, and Little Orbit apparently has future plans for a more fully reworked and rebuilt version of the game. But for now this is it, though there will be one very welcome surprise for those interested in returning.

"For various reasons, I don't want to monetize this version of the game" writes Scott. "It is truly free-to-play. I'm going to look at turning on the highest level subscription rewards for everyone, but there won't be any ability to purchase anything from the online store."

This company's brought back a dead game and doesn't even want to charge players for the privilege: hard to knock. Here's a blast from the past: way back in 2009 PC Gamer took a look at the original Fallen Earth: "Overstretched on launch, Fallen Earth is broken in too many places. Wait a while and the ambitious world could be impressive." Well a dozen years on, at least you can say is it's still here.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."