Ubisoft battle royale Hyper Scape will shut down this April

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Hyper Scape was launched suddenly in July 2020. Initially accessible only via Twitch drops, early streams gathered half a million viewers before it opened up to everyone ten days later.

Unfortunately its drop in popularity was just as sudden, and almost as immediate. Eighteen months later, Ubisoft have announced they’re ending development and shutting the game down on April 28th.

“We have made the difficult decision to end development of Hyper Scape and shut the game down as of April 28th,” reads the extremely brief post. “We set out to create a vertical, close-quarters, and fast-paced shooter experience and we are extremely grateful to our community for joining us on our journey. We will be taking key learnings from this game into future products.”

To its credit, Hyper Scape tried to do something different within the battle royale genre. Matt Cox compared it to Quake, owing to its rapid pace. “No quietly stalking through fields, or merrily yet slowly looting your way up to a deadly loadout. This is all guns all the time, baby – when it’s not all skyward leaps, groundpounds, teleports and bouncing metallic bubble shields.”

It didn’t click with players, however, and three months after launch Ubisoft wrote that they “were not able to achieve the high expectations we set for ourselves,” particularly around its August launch on console. They set about making changes by adding new game modes, with plans to make it easier for new players.

I guess these changes didn’t produce the results Ubisoft hoped for. The publisher said last year that the time was right for “high-end free-to-play games” across all their many series, but so far their attempts at live services games have mostly produced duds, including Ghost Recon Frontline which was shoved back in the oven even before its first closed beta.

Elsewhere, when not launching NFTs, Ubisoft continue to be accused by employees of not doing enough in response to an alleged workplace culture of harassment and abuse.

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