[UPDATE 06/29/22] I missed the news from VentureBeat early this morning announcing that Proletariat had been acquired by Activision Blizzard. That pretty much explains the reason for shutting down Spellbreak. The team of 100 will cease operating as Proletariat and will be folded into Blizzard to support World of Warcraft and its upcoming Dragonflight expansion. Our original post from this morning follows.
Proletariat announced on Tuesday that development work had ended on Spellbreak and that the game will shut down in “early 2023”. Spellbreak was the magic-based take on the battle royale genre that launched on consoles and PC (though an Epic Games Store exclusive for the first few months) in September of 2020.
While it probably enjoyed a bump in players thanks to the early days of the pandemic, it appears the game was not able to “reach a sustainable place” to continue development. Below is the official statement made on the game’s homepage followed by a post from Seth Sivak, CEO of Proletariat on the game’s subreddit.
After more than four years of elemental magic and spell combinations, we’ve made the decision to end development of Spellbreak. The servers will be shut down as of early 2023. Thank you to the millions of players who have joined us in the Hollow Lands since 2018; it’s been an amazing journey.
Our vision was to create a fresh, multiplayer action-spellcasting game with exceptional movement and class customization that would give players the chance to unleash their inner battlemage. We are grateful to everyone in the game’s community for exploring the magical worlds and experiences we created together. Spellbreak was an ambitious project that saw our team push new boundaries in design and development and we are excited to continue to innovate as we create new titles in the future.
To all Spellbreak fans around the world, thank you for the support and dedication that made the game and community so special.
Spellbreak Development Team
Spellbreak started as an idea to create a revolutionary multiplayer fantasy experience. I feel we achieved that—in combat, art style, storytelling and more.
When we started development on Spellbreak, we thought we would be lucky if we got an early-access, PC-only release. The excitement and engagement from the community allowed us to push the boundaries on quality, gameplay, platforms, and more. Spellbreak was the first game ever released fully cross-platform with cross-play on day one across PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. Over 10 million players have dropped into the Hollow Lands, which is an incredible milestone for any new IP launching from any developer.
It is challenging to sum up the experience of both building Spellbreak and launching it to the world with the help of every single one of you. It is even more difficult to tell you that we will be shutting down Spellbreak early next year.
Unfortunately, the game industry is a difficult business. Spellbreak was not able to break through and reach a sustainable place where we could continue to invest in it in the way we had dreamed of. We picked a hard path as an independent studio and decided to compete with some of the biggest games in the world. While we could not get the escape velocity needed, I do not regret the bold decisions we made in bringing Spellbreak to life.
While this is goodbye for Spellbreak, I cannot thank this community enough for the support and help along the way. Spellbreak transformed our studio and touched the lives of so many. So again, thank you.
Seth Sivak, CEO of Proletariat Inc.
Although not stated outright in the above announcements, an in-game message currently shows a countdown to January 9th, 2023. All microtransaction purchases have also been removed from the game since the announcement was made. If you want to get back into the game or check it out before it’s gone, you can grab it on Epic Games, Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
I’ve added the date to the Watch List calendar and will have a page up on the site later. Thanks to our own HandMaskTar for pointing out the news.