Runescape developer shutters sci-fi looter-shooter and issues refunds across the board

Space Punks
(Image credit: Jagex)

Publisher and Runescape developer Jagex is calling time on Space Punks, a 2021 co-op looter shooter developed by Polish studio Flying Wild Hog. The game has been de-listed on the Epic Game Store, players who've made in-game purchases are to be refunded, and existing accounts will remain active until the servers are closed on November 6.

An update titled "The Last One" says that "with a heavy heart [...] Flying Wild Hog and Jagex regretfully announce the discontinuation of support for Space Punks. This decision [...] while tough, it was deemed necessary." It mentions market conditions and goals, the go-to euphemism for not having attracted enough players, and expresses "deep gratitude" for the players who found something to love in Space Punks.

The in-game store has been deactivated alongside the Epic de-listing, and all players who've bought something are eligible for refunds, though these have to be applied for via the Epic store (here's how). The FAQ also raises the prospect of some sort of send-off only to shoot it down: "We won't be hosting farewell events leading up to the shutdown. The decision to move forward without additional events was not made lightly, and we appreciate your understanding." The wording is all a bit odd, really: "Given the complexities of the situation, we won't be organizing such events." 

The announcement adds that a previous update, The Pretty One, will be the last update the game receives. The Space Punks subreddit and social media channels will also be closed as "part of the overall sunsetting process." I'll never get over that term 'sunsetting', which developers and publishers alike love to use when closing games and services. Here's the thing about a sunset: the sun also rises every day.

It's probably indicative of Space Punks' playerbase that I found it hard to find much reaction: the subreddit's posted the news, but no-one's commenting, while the tweets announcing this have minimal engagement. Just another live service game that never really made it out of early access. "Farewell, Pathfinders," ends the announcement. "We look forward to our next adventure."

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."