Edge of Reality’s 2014 free-to-play online shooter, Loadout, is getting shut down on May 24. The developer announced the news on Steam earlier this week, citing, among other reasons, the prohibitive costs of making the game compliant with new European regulations.
Screenshot: Edge of Reality (Loadout)
“Loadout just received a few death blows,” wrote the CEO, Rob Cohen, on the game’s Steam page. “Any one of these could have been fatal, but with all of them hitting at once, it’s clear that we have no choice but to shut it down.”
These death blows, Cohen wrote, include the game relying on a cloud service that is about to be retired, continually rising server costs, and, most significantly, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation that goes into effect in Europe on May 25. The new laws require companies to do more to protect users’ privacy and be more transparent about how their data is being used.
While Cohen applauds the legislation as “well-intended”, he writes that it simply wouldn’t be economically feasible to make Loadout compliant with it.
“We were pleasantly surprised that with some cost-saving measures, Loadout numbers plateaued barely above our costs, and we were able to keep it running,” Cohen told Kotaku in an email.
He explained that the PlayStation 4 version of the game had actually seen some growth recently, but the new GDPR rules have forced its existing cloud providers to discontinue some of the current services that the game relied on.
“We were expecting costs to catch up with us someday [but] the GDPR forced our hand now,” he said.
Loadout largely took its cues from Valve’s Team Fortress 2, but with less emphasis on strategising around classes and a bigger focus on over-the-top action. As the name implies, it was also great at letting you really dig into unique loadouts for your characters, mixing and matching things such as magazine size, ammo type and scopes to create bizarre stuff.
I played a little of it back in the day because, despite coming out into a market already flooded with free-to-play shooters, it offered something a little different.
Unfortunately the servers and matchmaking were also a mess, which is partly why much of the game’s initial playerbase abandoned it within a couple months of its release. The game hasn’t had over 1000 concurrent players on PC since the start of 2015.
“I wish it was more financially successful, so we were able to afford continuous development,” Cohen said in the email. “It has been frustrating at times to take criticism for ‘abandoning’ development. I try to remind myself that those people are really saying they love Loadout, and they really just want more Loadout.”
Unfortunately, they will only have two more weeks to love it.