The Darwin Project battle royale ends development, servers stay up for now

    
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So who remembers Darwin Project? It was kind of a battle royale title, popping up in 2018 with a weird Running Man gameshow template whereby one player was the show director and the others were running around the Northern Canadian rockies trying not to die, while the director and the viewers were placing bets and messing with the participants. The game hit steam back in January of this year.

Anyhow, don’t get too excited because Darwin Project is shutting down, which probably won’t surprise anyone given that its launch numbers were so low. Scavengers Studio says it will no longer develop the game and that the servers are effectively slated for execution probably next year.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to stop developing new features for the game,” the studio says. “April’s update was the last one for the foreseeable future.”

“Five years ago, we started Darwin Project, our first project. It was a very bold and ambitious one to say the least, and we have been fortunate enough to have worked on it for so long, with the support of our partners and community. Over the past years, we saw a decreasing playerbase, and have been working hard on finding solutions –from a new platform development (PS4) to bringing new content (class system, battle passes, systemic maps, customizable craftwheel, new tiles, live events), spectator interactions extension, and continuous optimizations. We have assessed all potential solutions and scenarios, but unfortunately, Darwin Project is unable to sustain itself thus forcing us to come to this very difficult decision. We are still very proud to see what had started as a scribble on a piece of paper become a fully released game that has reached millions of players. We will keep Darwin Project servers up at least through to the end of the year, and you will still be able to play the game.”

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feleran

I don’t like to play battle royales. Still, Darwin Project was my favorite battle royale game.

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Jack Kerras

I actually really dug the game-runner aspect of The Darwin Project.

Playing with a good game-runner felt awesome; they’d come and talk to you, or taunt you, or give you hints or send you buffs or heckle players who got too far ahead and help engineer their demise; it was a GREAT idea, a really nice tight crafting game that worked on super-short time frames, and it felt great to play.

I don’t love the Battle Royale genre – the most Battle Royale I’ve done has been in The Cycle and that’s mainly because I’m a human puppy-dog who is far too friendly to harm in many cases, so pacting works well for me – but even so The Darwin Project seemed like an interesting one, and like it had a lot of shit people should really crib notes from.

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3dom

Those PvP games are as fast to shutdown as they are fast to develop. Low cost and low motivation to keep them running.

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Greaterdivinity

Man, I’m actually kinda surprised. I feel like Microsoft gave this one a ton of promotion on Xbox One, which should have given it a big boost (even if XB1 install rate is reportedly pretty low). I honestly didn’t even know about the Running Man-esque mechanics, that actually sounds like something that makes it kinda less boring and somewhat unique in the BR space.

I imagine that, like with the MOBA’s, survival sandboxes, and every other fad-genre, we’ll be seeing a lot of these games shuttering while the big bois remain on-top even after the next genre-fad hits.