Rocket Arena sputters out, not with a bang but a whimper

Rocket arena character looks at a gate.
(Image credit: EA)

Developed by Final Strike Games and published by EA, Rocket Arena was a 3vs3 arena shooter launched in 2020 and was really rather good. While the name had gamers of a certain age wistfully thinking of Quake fragfests, the experience was more mellow and akin to something like Super Smash Bros., all about controlling space and forcing your opponent out of bounds rather than just endless gibbing.

Rocket Arena had considerable post-launch support for a year after launch, and clearly had some live service hopes and dreams, but it never attracted enough of an audience to justify continuing with that business model. It hasn't been updated since 2021 and now EA has, without any kind of announcement or fanfare, de-listed the game from both Steam and the EA store (thanks, RPS).

Both store pages remain active, with Steam saying "Notice: Rocket Arena is no longer available on the Steam store" while the EA store goes all poetic and claims "We realize the disappointment of this moment". EA had given some notice of the game's removal from its own Play Store on November 14, but there's been no other word from either it or Final Strike Games.

The development studio's site says it's working on an "unannounced new IP", and has also been working on Fortnite, most recently on the relaunch of that game's original map. However things may not be that rosy: several staff members posted on social media about being laid-off in May this year, and there are unverified rumours that Sony pulled the plug on the unannounced project, resulting in the studio losing 40% of its staff

Rocket Arena was a fun game but, as with many similar titles, unfortunately that's often not enough in the contemporary industry. It may seem callous of EA to simply de-list the game without any official word (I have asked for comment) but the publisher may simply have thought that no-one would especially care: at the time of writing, this multiplayer game has a single player on Steam.

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."