Totally Accurate Battlegrounds (opens in new tab), the battle royale with beatboxing and punchable cheese, has reached the end of the road. Less than a year after going free to play, developer Landfall has announced that low player numbers mean it is "unlikely" the game will receive any further content updates.
Released in 2018, Totally Accurate Battlegrounds was a parody tie in to Landfall's physics-based brawler Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, but it quickly grew beyond a mere gag. Helped by the fact that it was free for the first 100 hours of release, it put up a peak concurrent player count of more than 29,000 when it launched. Those numbers quickly tailed off, but spiked again in April 2021 when the game went free to play (opens in new tab). It's also earned a "very positive" user rating on Steam across nearly 68,000 reviews—an enviable measure.
Unfortunately, it appears that the joke is finally over. The downward trend on the player counts was much slower following the change to free to play, but efforts to halt the trend haven't worked out.
"As you know, the player numbers haven’t been great since this summer," Landfall wrote on Steam (opens in new tab). "The relaunch did not go as we would have liked it to. This is due to a lot of different factors, which we take full responsibility for."
"Initially, we had another studio on board to focus on the F2P aspects of the game like the in-game store so that we could spend our time creating new and exciting content. This didn’t work out and we had to remake the store ourselves causing us to not be able to add new content until a few months after the relaunch. If we would have been able to add more content and fixes early on, it’s likely that player retention would have been better. This combined with the anti-cheat issues, performance issues, and the AMD bug also affected the player count negatively."
Developers also looked at options like adding bots to turn things around, but said "the development sins we made in 2018"—perhaps suggesting that corners may have been cut during the weeks-long development process—meant that bringing in major new features would be very difficult. And with the game no longer covering its own costs, the studio is moving on to other things.
The good news for players—and there are currently several hundred of them in the game—is that while new content won't be happening, the servers will remain up for now, and there will still be "occasional upkeep for the servers" and anti-cheat efforts.
"We understand that this is disappointing, it is to us as well. TABG has always been the game that was never supposed to be," Landfall wrote. "It started out as an April Fools joke that we didn’t plan to update and ended up being a fiercely loved passion project for us."