The Free-to-play, team-based dodgeball game Knockout City is about to end. According to an official post from developer and publisher Velan Studios, Season 9 will be the final season for Knockout City, and it will be shut down on June 9, 2023. This means that all servers will be shut down, making the game unplayable. The shutdown marks the end of a two-year run for the game, which was critically praised as “one of the best team-based PvP games to come out in years.”
The shutdown of Knockout City comes amid a wave of live service game shutdowns, with both EA and Iron Galaxy recently announcing the sunsetting of Apex Legends Mobile, Battlefield Mobile, and Rumbleverse. Despite the critical acclaim that Knockout City received, it has become increasingly challenging for Velan Studios to support the game as a small, indie studio.
In a detailed blog post, game director Jeremy Russo explained the reasons behind the decision to shut down Knockout City. He stated that there were many aspects of the game that needed to be overhauled in order to make it sustainable in the long term, and it was simply impossible for the studio to make these changes while still supporting the game.
Velan Studios plans to use the shutdown as an opportunity to reflect on the game and all of the feedback from the community and analytics data. The hope is that this information can be used to start work on what comes next in the Knockout City universe. While Velan cannot promise that Knockout City will be back, the studio does promise to continue to innovate and deliver new and exciting games for players worldwide.
In order to make the transition easier for players, Velan Studios will remove all real-money transactions starting on February 28, the same day that Season 9 begins. In addition, Season 9 will include an increased amount of rewards, such as XP, style chips, and holobux. Almost every cosmetic that has ever been sold in the game will be available in one of the upcoming event sale shops. There will be increased rewards for login bonuses, league play, and other elements.
A final, two-week-long event on May 23 will mark the end of Knockout City, with triple XP, “massive rewards,” and a community-favorite playlist. Velan Studios will also release a privately hosted server version for PC, which will allow players in pre-formed groups to continue to enjoy the game after the shutdown.
In conclusion, the shutdown of Knockout City is a bittersweet moment for players and fans of the game. While it is sad to see the game come to an end, Velan Studios is committed to using the shutdown as an opportunity to reflect and innovate, with the hope that the game and the IP will be back in some form in the future.