Free-to-play, team-based dodgeball game Knockout City is about to be, well, knocked out. According to an official post today, it’s shutting down in June.
We have an important announcement about the future of Knockout City.
Season 9 will be our final Season. All servers will be shut down on June 6th. We have more in store, so stay tuned!
Learn more about the upcoming sunset in our latest blog: https://t.co/15hTpzmSyq
— Knockout City (@knockoutcity) February 3, 2023
In the full blog post, developer and publisher Velan Studios says that Season 9 will be the final season for Knockout City, with the game shutting down on June 9, 2023 — over two years after launch. This means that all servers will shut down and Knockout City won’t be playable at all.
Beginning February 28 (the same day that Season 9 starts), all real-money transactions will be removed. However, Velan reassures that Season 9 will include copious rewards in the form of XP, style chips, and the currency holobux. Additionally, “almost every cosmetic we’ve ever sold” will end up in one of the upcoming event sale shops, and rewards for login bonuses, league play, and other elements will be increased.
A final, two-week-long event on May 23 will conclude Knockout City’s run with triple XP, “massive rewards,” and a community-favorite playlist.
In its FAQ on the shutdown, Velan did say that a private hosted server version would be released on PC, which should allow players in pre-formed groups to enjoy the game and keep it alive for posterity. However, the live version of the game will be gone.
Notably, game director Jeremy Russo wrote in the same blog post a very detailed explanation for why Velan Studios is opting to shut down Knockout City, saying that it had become extremely challenging for Velan to create a large, live service game with “no points of comparison,” noting that there were many aspects of the game that needed overhauls to become sustainable longterm.
Since we are a small, indie studio, it’s simply impossible for us to make those kinds of systemic changes in the live game while continuing to support it. So it became clear to us that we needed to take a step back and pave the way for Velan to do what we do best by innovating. Now we can take everything we learned, everything that succeeded and everything that needs improvement, and get to work on exploring new possible experiences for Knockout City and other games and products we are very excited about. We’re currently in the process of doing a comprehensive retrospective on every aspect of the game, all the community feedback and analytics data, and even our development processes. Our hope is that sometime in the not-too-distant future, all this information can be used to start work on what comes next in the Knockout City universe. While we can’t promise that Knockout City will be back, what we can promise is that you’ll continue to see new and innovative games from Velan Studios that will surprise and delight players around the world.
It’s been a week of live service game shutdowns, incidentally, with EA announcing Tuesday that Apex Legends Mobile and Battlefield Mobile would be sunsetting soon, and Iron Galaxy almost simultaneously announcing that Rumbleverse would also be closing. Like both Rumbleverse and Apex Legends Mobile, Knockout City was critically praised, with our own reviewer calling it “one of the best team-based PvP games to come out in years.” Hopefully Velan’s able to bring the IP back for another round one of these days.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.