Ubisoft has issued a formal denial of a rumor claiming that its free-to-play roller derby game Roller Champions will soon be cancelled, saying that it "fully supports" the game. However, it will delay the start of the next season while it works on new features and fixes aimed at addressing player concerns.
The rumor of Roller Champion's looming demise came from Jeff Grubb, who suggested during the XboxEra Podcast (via VGC) that Roller Champions could be cancelled after its third season. But Ubisoft, which actually touted the success of Roller Champions in its most recent quarterly financial report, said it's not happening.
"Let's clear it out of the way first, Roller Champions isn't getting cancelled, and Ubisoft fully supports it," developer Ubisoft Montreal said on Twitter. "What the Roller Champions dev team is doing is making sure we focus on what our players have told us needs improvements, and that supersedes all other priorities."
To that end, Ubisoft is extending the current season, Disco Fever, in order to launch an update incorporating cross-invites (Roller Champions supports crossplay, but you can only invite friends to play if they're on the same platform as you) and, separately, "to solve the issues our players have voiced as irritants." Ubisoft said the cross-invites patch will include other fixes, but it will continue working on other improvements to the game after that, but before it begins a new season.
"As far as content is concerned, we can tell you that we've got exciting stuff planned for the next seasons," Ubisoft wrote. "We strongly believe, however, that before we release new content, we've got to do right by our players, hence why we are taking the time needed before we do."
Hello Champions! Let’s clear it out of the way first, Roller Champions isn’t getting cancelled, and Ubisoft fully supports it.You can rest assured we’ll keep you updated as we roll forward.Full statement: pic.twitter.com/U8mfQRZRoHJuly 25, 2022
I played some Roller Champions back in May when it first went live, and I can't say it made much of an impression. The gameplay was simplistic, team dynamics in pickup games are effectively zero, and—I said it before and I'll say it again—it's just not violent enough. I expect a roller derby game to let me mess people up in fun and interesting ways, yet Roller Champions is soft and bloodless. Sure, you can knock people down, but can you run them into the rails and fold them up like a soft taco? No, you cannot.
Now this is roller derby:
And this, for the record, is Rollerball.
What made the blandness of Roller Champions even more surprising is that it had been delayed for two years prior to release. I'm glad Ubisoft isn't pulling the plug on it straight away—it deserves more than three months to establish itself—but I can't argue against the decision to put new content on hold while developers work on more basic issues, either.