The 1000-player battle royale game Mavericks: Proving Grounds is canceled

(Image credit: Automaton)

Mavericks: Proving Grounds, first revealed to the world in 2017 as Project X, was intended to be a tactical shooter supporting up to 1000 players at a time, with a 400-player battle royale mode. We listed it as one of the most promising FPSes coming in 2019, declaring that its unprecedented scale, enabled by SpatialOS, could have a legitimate shot at cutting into the player bases of Fortnite and PUBG.

Sadly, it will not—and unless it's picked up by another developer, it won't even see the light of day, as developer Automaton Games has fallen into insolvency, and halted development of the project.

"Paul Cooper and Paul Appleton were appointed joint administrators of Automaton Games Limited on 30th July 2019. They are managing the affairs, business and property of the company. The joint administrators act as agents of the company and act without personal liability. Paul Cooper and Paul Appleton are licensed to act as insolvency practitioners in UK by the ICAEW," the Automaton website now says.

"Please be advised that due to insufficient funding, the development of the Mavericks: Proving Grounds game has now ceased. The joint administrators are in the process of licensing the Deceit game so there will be no change in the live operation and provision of this game."

The cancellation comes as a surprise. Automaton released a new patch and began a new alpha testing session less than a week ago. And while there's no direct connection between the two, Mavericks isn't the first SpatialOS-powered MMO to shut down recently: The equally ambitious fantasy airship simulator Worlds Adrift closed its doors on July 26—coincidentally, the same day that the final Mavericks alpha test began.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.