Gorgeous Tactical RPG Duelyst Is Shutting Down Next Month

Image: Counterplay Games

Duelyst’s servers will go offline on February 27 the game’s developers announced yesterday on Steam, bringing the ingenious tactical RPG card game hybrid’s nearly four year run to an end.

“Saying goodbye to any game is never easy, and it’s always hardest when you love the game as much as we all love Duelyst,” the studio behind the game, Counterplay Games, said. “We’re incredibly proud of the effort our developers have put in on Duelyst over the years, and even more proud of the amazing community of friends and gamers that have enjoyed Duelyst.”

The game was originally Kickstarted with $US137,707 ($201,907) in funding in April 2014 and released two years later as a free-to-play competitive card game. Unlike traditional card games though, Duelyst’s combat happens on an isometric grid similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. Players spend mana each turn to cast spells that add new units to the field or target the ones already there. As a result it combined the depth of a deck-building game with the territorial strategising of something like Chess. Plus it featured some of the most dazzling sprites and pixel art animations of any game in recent memory.

Despite getting picked up by publisher Bandai Namco in 2017, the game has struggled to find a bigger audience, averaging under 100 concurrent players on Steam for much of 2019. Counterplay Games didn’t specifically give a reason for why the game was shutting down so suddenly, but it could have something to do with its work on Godfall, the “loot-slasher” for PS5 announced at last year’s Game Awards. That game, which Gearbox is publishing, is due out before the end of this year.

For those of us now morning Duelyst, however, Counterplay has slashed the prices on its in-game currency, making it easier for anyone who wants to dig back into the game before it’s gone forever.


    Aww man, this sucks. I've had a lot of fun with Duelyst over the years and it's a shame to see it close down.

    Let’s not forget Anton Fadeev @shant_elife & all that above & beyond concept art he did for the game. Amazing stuff. Shame there’s no offline play? Local lan?? Hmmm.

    Games as a 'service'.

      Yeah I wonder if it's business model was it's downfall.

    Noooooo! What a bloody great game! I love Duelyst!!!

    Ah, this is really sad, but I'm surprised it took this long, as the game had been on life support for over a year. The game is not only beautiful it's also one of the best and most refreshing takes on the now saturated genre of online competitive card battlers. I'm not privy to the details but having followed closely the evolution of the game, I feel that they failed at finding a way to either better monetize their game out of their small but dedicated base, or growing said base. And they really tried, too, but alas, sometimes the market is a whimsical and cruel missus.

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