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GDPR spells closure for free-to-play shooter Loadout

Developer says new regulations are a "major burden" for small studios doing business in EU

The upcoming implementation of GDPR has forced another video game to shut down, this time in the form of online shooter Loadout.

Released for PC and PlayStation 4 in 2014, the free-to-play game was developed by US studio Edge of Reality and focused on over-the-top multiplayer battles. It has been played by more than nine million people since its closed beta in 2012, but will shut down on May 24th - the day before GDPR comes into effect.

In a community update on the game's Steam Page, Edge of Reality CEO and co-founder Rob Cohen explained that the studio does not have the resources to make Loadout compliant with the new privacy regulations - especially since the studio doesn't exist any more.

Loadout, while popular with its audience, has not been overly successful commercially, with the revenues generated just enough to keep server costs running. In fact, in a forum post last year Cohen revealed that Edge of Reality was wound down after Loadout continued to lose money.

The game has been able to remain active until now, but the impending change to GDPR makes this no longer feasible. GDPR is not the only factor behind the game's closure, but appears to be a significant one and an influence on various other "death blows" that Cohen detailed.

Loadout relied on "an old product from our main cloud provider", which is also ending its service. While Cohen could not confirm this is due to GDPR, he believes it is likely a factor. Porting Loadout to the newer product and adding new features to make it GDPR compliant would be a "major undertaking", according to the CEO.

Cohen also noted that the rise of cloud products getting discontinued is increasing server costs, while Loadout revenues remain flat. Since a large portion of Loadout players are based in the EU, there is no way to maintain the game without meeting GDPR requirements so the game will close by the end of the month.

"The well-intended GDPR legislation creates major burdens for small companies to do business in the EU," Cohen wrote. "We still protect your privacy, and we wouldn't dream of doing otherwise. We just don't have the resources to overhaul Loadout and implement new features to meet a large list of new requirements."

In the post, Cohen thanked the community of loyal players, the development team and supporters are Steam, PlayStation and Playfab for making Loadout possible.

It's likely we will see more online games suffer similar fates this month. Already the developers behind Super Monday Night Combat have been forced to close their game ahead of GDPR.

We recently posted a three-part guide to GDPR by legal experts Purewal & Partners, breaking down everything you need to know about ensuring your game meets the new requirements. The guide includes an overview of the new regulations, a closer look at how it affects digital entertainment, and a handy FAQ.

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James Batchelor avatar

James Batchelor

Editor-in-Chief

James Batchelor has been a journalist in the games industry since 2006, joining GamesIndustry in 2016, and also runs Non-Violent Game of the Day (@NVGOTD). He does play violent games, but always on Story/Easy mode.

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