When Rumbleverse released in August last year, you might have mistaken it for one of the many other live service games that suddenly arrive and are just as quickly forgotten: think Knockout City, Hyperscape (RIP), Rocket Arena. It certainly bears that distinctive Fortnite-aping style, but unlike Fortnite, it has clearly gained no traction at all: after only six months, the game will stop receiving updates on February 28.
Iron Galaxy Studios and publisher Epic Games announced as much today. "This project has been a labor of love to create a new experience in a popular and highly competitive genre for games. If you’ve been a part of that journey, we thank you – whether you jumped into the first playtest after our reveal, or just shot yourself out of the cannon for the first time."
The wrestling battle royale will go offline on February 28 at 10am CST (8am PT, 5pm BST, or 2am the following day in AEST). All purchases made related to Rumbleverse—including battle passes or of in-game currency packs—will be refunded, with details on how to secure those coming soon. Between now and closure, the current battle pass is available free to everyone, and XP gain has doubled, so if you've been vaguely curious to try Rumbleverse, now might be a decent time to binge it ahead of its disappearance.
In a separate open letter to the Rumbleverse community, Iron Galaxy opened up a bit, making it painfully clear that the game's failure to establish a large enough player base is a disappointment to the studio. "When you work on a video game, you imagine the community that will show up to play it, someday. For years, we dreamed about a lively city filled with people fighting to become a champion. We strived to create a vibrant place that celebrated the competitive spirit. Our goal was to bring joy back to online multiplayer gaming." You can read the whole letter here, where Iron Galaxy also promises it will "keep making games".
While Rumbleverse's art style might have made it hard to stand out, actually playing it revealed a refreshing take on the battle royale. That's what Russell Adderson wrote upon its release last year, noting that "Rumbleverse takes the best elements of playing wrestling games with your friends and drops them from the top rope straight into a match of Fortnite."
That does sound fun, but the live service scene is an absolute bloodbath at the moment. It's so competitive that Ubisoft cancelled its battle royale take on Ghost Recon before it was even released. Publishers are constantly trying to hit on a winner, but it very much looks like a lottery nowadays, especially with competitors like Fortnite, Warzone 2, and Apex Legends.