Bossa scraps Decksplash after free weekend failure

Skateboarding title struggled to attract 100,000 players during open beta experiment

UK developer Bossa Studios has announced it will no longer continue development on its latest game Decksplash.

The studio previously announced it would be deciding whether to keep working on the skateboarding titles based on the number of active players during an open beta that made the game available for free. If Decksplash could reach 100,000 players, the game would live.

But according to a post on the game's Steam page, Bossa Studios failed to reach this target. While the reception to the game was positive, the developer acknowledged that there weren't enough players "to guarantee a healthy online community and keep the game's matchmaking alive for the long run."

In an age of service-based games, it shows a sensible attitude on Bossa's part and underlines the need for a strong player base before committing to long-term development.

On the post, the Decksplash team wrote: "The lesson to take home is that, though not the best, this outcome is a good one for everyone involved: its players won't spend money on a game that won't survive the long haul, the team can move on to a new Bossa project with a sense of closure having done their best with Decksplash, and we tried a new way of validating a multiplayer game. Should we have cancelled the game without this experiment, a 'what if' would always be there in the back of our minds."

Bossa points out that this in no way leaves the studio without a project to work on. In addition to the upcoming SpatialOS-powered open world adventure Worlds Adrift, the developer hosts an internal game jam every month in search of new concepts.

The studio claims to create "hundreds of games every year" through this initiative, although most never reach players' hands.

"Decksplash just went further than the rest before teaching us a thing or two, enabling us to go forth with yet another piece of the creative puzzle we put together every day."

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Latest comments (1)

Ron Dippold Software/Firmware Engineer 2 years ago
This seems like a reasonable (if tough to steel yourself for on something you've been working on for months and months) idea. So many small multiplayer only games come out and just tank or just wheze on because nobody's interested enough to give up PUBG or DotA2 to play it as anything but a curiosity.

100K sounds like a lot, but that's not simultaneous (which would have been very hard), just 100K installs. If you can't reach that for free the interest probably isn't there. 'Prove to us this is Rocket League' - and sadly it wasn't. I salute Bossa for making the call, brutal as that must have been. I've been on projects that obviously weren't going anywhere except in management's desperate dreams, and those could have used a mercy killing much earlier.
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