Kakao is permanently killing off Black Desert’s battle royale mode, Shadow Arena, this week


Dang, this was not the outcome we were expecting here: Kakao has announced it is outright sunsetting Black Desert’s Shadow Arena mode. On Wednesday, in fact.

MMO players will recall that Shadow Arena is a relatively new addition to the game; it’s a battle royale mode that rolled out of early access in February of this year. But it’s been nothing but trouble ever since, as hackers and exploiters swarmed the mode and made Kakao’s life hell as the company struggled to ban the offenders (and accidentally banned some innocents along the way).

It sounds like the cheaters had a lot to do with the cancellation of the mode, but so did the studio’s desire to focus on the core game instead.

“We had originally planned to provide continuous updates to Shadow Arena to keep it fresh and fun, but over time we had to consider how to balance making improvements to it, whilst working on fresh content. We felt that the focus on new updates was deviating from our original direction, partially due to the time being dedicated towards this mode. In addition, the recent rise of 3rd party software added to our concerns, making us further contemplate on its place within the scope of Black Desert Online. As a result, we have decided that partial improvements on Shadow Arena would not be enough to keep it running as a regular feature. So after much consideration and discussion, we have ultimately decided to close Shadow Arena in its current state with the April 10th maintenance.”

The company is apologizing for the move and promises compensation packages, saying it’s “currently focusing on not only introducing new content such as Star’s End, additional Adventure Log updates, and much more but also on improving the existing content already in the game.”

We played Shadow Arena when it launched back in February; you can watch our travails down below, and then check out our latest Black Desert column.

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