Knockout City Ushers in Final Season Before Shutting Down

And sadly, there goes another one. As part of a larger conversation around live-service struggles in the gaming industry, the team at Velan Studios has announced that season 9 of Knockout City will be its last.

In a heartfelt blog post on Knockout, Game Director, Jeremy Russo, details the challenges for the team and keeping Knockout City relevant in a crowded space.

Creating such a different game with no points of comparison and running live services for the first time in many of our careers has also made the past couple years particularly challenging. Despite over 12 million players and billions of KOs around the globe, there are several aspects of the game in need of major disruption to better attract and retain enough players to be sustainable. 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.

Knockout City season 9 will kick off on February 28th and will include a wealth of new content. It will run for 12 weeks and include a number of events featuring new cosmetics, playlists, and more.

Once complete, a final two-week farewell event titled “Thanks for the KOs” will begin.

On May 23, just after our two-year anniversary, Season 9 ends and our final 2-week farewell event begins, which we’re calling Thanks for the KOs. This will be one final in-game celebration of Knockout City, featuring TRIPLE XP, massive rewards, and the return of the community’s favorite playlist, Superpowers: Power Grab.

Then on June 6th, Knockout City will shutdown permanently.

Then at 12:00 PM UTC on June 6, 2023, the event ends and all servers will be permanently shut down. Since the game requires a connection to our servers to function (even for the Hideout and Private Matches) that means the game will become unplayable on all platforms and you’ll be unable to progress past the title screen.

It is worth noting that the team is creating a P2P service so that people can setup their own servers in the future so they can still play. Though we’d expect those games will be few and far between.

In his final note, Russo reflects on the journey.

On a personal note, announcing the end of Knockout City is a bittersweet moment for me. While this is the end of a two-year journey for some of you, I and a handful of others on the team have been living in Knockout City for over six years. I am so proud of the team at Velan for creating such a wild new game with such critical acclaim at launch, for creating a brand new engine from scratch that’s capable of doing things no other engine can do over the internet, for creating what I think are some of the most creative (and hilarious) cosmetics of any live-ops game on the market, and for keeping the game running, evolving, and improving for two years straight. I’m also so grateful to all of you, the players, for being the most positive and supportive game community any of us have ever seen, for dedicating your time to talking to us on Discord, Twitch, and elsewhere, for teaching me new tricks in my own game every time you beat me down in a match, and for putting up with me when I’m laying on that Taunt button a bit too much!

There is a large F.A.Q. at the end of the blog post that answers many questions so if interested, we would recommend reading through it!

Our Take

This is sad to see as Knockout City was a well-designed game with unique mechanics and a high skill-gap. Sadly it seems as though the live-service bubble is beginning to burst and the market simply can’t sustain an infinite number of games with paid cosmetics and battle passes.

We’ll have more to say this weekend on the Bitcast so stay tuned!

By Seasoned Gaming

Covering the videogame industry with daily content, unique opinions, and as always, no ads or filler.

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