Niantic is shutting down Catan: World Explorers after a lackluster early access run

    
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Not everything Niantic touches turns to gold — or becomes an instant hit. Case in point, Catan: World Explorers has been kind of a dud ever since coming to early access in 2020. While the board game is a legitimate hit, the thought of running all over the real world to pick up sheep and wood resources didn’t really prove to have the same appeal.

Because of the lackluster reception, Niantic announced that it’s pulling the plug on World Explorers without giving the mobile title a chance to launch. The closure isn’t immediate; Niantic is “winding things down” with some final events and bonuses before all goes dark on November 18th. World Explorers has been pulled from both iOS and Android’s mobile app stores, however.

“Trying to adapt such a well-designed board game to a global, location-based Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game was a tough challenge,” Niantic said. “We’re so proud of the game we made, however we got a little too complicated and a little too far from the original Catan game.”

Source: Catan: World Explorers. Thanks Douglas!
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IronSalamander8 .

So much for the ‘wood for sheep’ jokes with this one now!

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Jim Bergevin Jr

I think it’s clear that we’ve hit the point of over saturation in the MMO field, and mobile in particular. No matter how casual and accessible you make them, today’s gamer has a finite amount of time to dedicate to games that, by design, are vast time sinks.

Games now are really going to have to focus on the bite-sized content that can be completed in 30 minutes or less and games that can be put down for days or weeks at a time to be picked up where you left off without the feeling of FOMO.

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rk70534

Didn’t even know about this…

Leo
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Leo

I didn’t even know this was a thing. And I like Catan. But I also don’t want to run around outdoors to play it…

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somber_bliss

Was an odd concept to be sure. I’m sad for it’s loyal players but can totally see why it didn’t launch.

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Mike Pieniaszek

also didnt know about it… seems like maybe there was a lack of advertising here tbh… would have likely given it a try if i knew about it

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

It was never fully released, basically just in beta in Australia, NZ, Singapore, Denmark, and Switzerland. I was curious to try it, but obviously that didn’t happen.