After having launched into early-access this past September, it looks like Daybreak Games is moving on from Planetside Arena. In a post on its official website, the studio announced that servers for the game would be shutting down on January 10, 2020. There's a multitude of reasons for why this may have happened (Daybreak laid off staff in October, not to mention the plethora of other battle royale titles on the market), but it's still a sad day nonetheless.
"After careful consideration, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down PlanetSide Arena servers," writes Andy Sites, executive producer for the Planetside series. "While our team set out with an ambitious vision for a game that combined the massive-scale combat and camaraderie of PlanetSide through a diverse collection of new game modes, it has become clear after several months in Early Access that our population levels make it impossible to sustain the gameplay experience we envisioned."
As PC Gamer notes, the player count just this past week was at a meager three people. The ambitious battle royale game was set for feature battles with up to 1,000 different players, but the game launched to a concurrent player count of around 434. It sharply declined in the following weeks as players went back to Fortnite, PUBG, or Apex Legends.
To its credit, Daybreak will be refunding all purchases made during Arena's operation when the servers do close. This includes any cosmetic microtransactions and in-game currency. The servers are set to cease operation at 5 pm PST on the 10th, so you should see any refunds shortly after.
For the short time it was online, Planetside Arena was pretty okay. Mixing games like Tribes with PUBG, it was an interesting experiment in blowing up the player size for this sub-genre. The game was clearly in an early stage, though, which made it difficult to find matches or remain connected. Getting your guns to hit targets was also a crapshoot.
The main hurdle it had to cross was drawing attention away from Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex Legends. Considering those three are duking it out for battle royale supremacy, it was never likely that Planetside was going to carve out its own piece of the BR pie.
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