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Knockout City will shut down in June 2023

Knockout City is throwing its last dodgeball in June 2023, as service for the game ends.
knockout city game shut down

Knockout City, the team-based ‘dodgebrawler’ from Velan Studios and EA, will be shut down on 6 June 2023. It becomes the latest in a long line of live service games being sunsetted, following in the footsteps of EA’s own Apex Legends Mobile and Battlefield Mobile, as well as Rumbleverse, and Fuser.

The game was first launched in mid-2021, and achieved success largely thanks to its high-speed gameplay, colourful aesthetic, and breezy sense of fun. Despite this, it appears the game did not achieve the longevity it aimed for.

‘On the morning of June 6, 2023, over two years after our initial launch, all servers around the world will be shut down and the game will no longer be playable,’ Velan Studios announced in a blog post. ‘This was an extremely difficult decision for us, but a necessary and important one for our studio.’

‘After two years of live operations, we’ve learned a lot about Knockout City and live games in general. It’s been a truly rewarding experience growing the game each season … Creating such a different game with no points of comparison and running live services for the first time in many of our careers has also made the past couple years particularly challenging.’

‘Despite over 12 million players and billions of KOs around the globe, there are several aspects of the game in need of major disruption to better attract and retain enough players to be sustainable. Since we are a small, indie studio, it’s simply impossible for us to make those kinds of systemic changes in the live game while continuing to support it.’

The Velan Studios team has promised to take everything they’ve learned from Knockout City and work on ‘new possible experiences for Knockout City and other games’.

While players will still be able to jump into Knockout City to play through Season 9, a 12-week event featuring new cosmetics and playlists, this will mark the end of the game.

Notably, in the final sign-off from Velan, the studio confirmed that Knockout City wouldn’t go away entirely – unlike other live service games. Players will still be able to access the experience by hosting their own offline servers, as fully endorsed by Velan.

While player-led offline servers usually pop up around defunct games, companies rarely support these endeavours – so it’s a refreshing change to see Velan acknowledge the practice, and give it a proper blessing. This will ensure that Knockout City lives on for as long as players want to keep it alive.

Knockout City will begin winding down features from 28 February 2023, with the official servers being shut down permanently on 6 June 2023. Be sure to pop into the game for final multiplayer rounds ahead of this date.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.