Last week, Kotaku’s Zack Zweizen and I teamed up for a few rounds of Knockout City. I played fairly well. Zack, on the other hand, crushed it, even ending one match with a jaw-dropping positive-15 KD. Sadly, save for the screenshots we both snapped in shock after the fact, there’s no way to tangibly commemorate bragging rights in Knockout City. The game doesn’t currently offer a permanent way to track your stats.
Knockout City, a surprisingly fun multiplayer game about dodgeball, came out late last month for PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Switch. Since launch, the game has rapidly and unexpectedly picked up the pace, topping more than five million players to date. Part of that runaway popularity is due to the manner in which it was released (various degrees of “free”). But it’s also no doubt a result of the game’s premise, which is fundamentally more simple than basic addition: Toss dodgeballs at your opponents. Dodge the dodgeballs they throw at you. Two hits and you’re out. First to a set score wins the round. Rounds move at a blistering pace, and the game certainly captures that “OK fine just one more match” mentality.
After each match, you can pull up a list of post-match stats. A scoreboard will show your knockouts, your assists, your “deaths,” and so on, coupled with a neat little ratio that can instantly indicate how well or not-well you performed in the prior match — y’know, like basically any competitive multiplayer game. But, once you pop into the next match, those stats are gone, poof, shipped off to the internet farm upstate where data goes to take a little vacation.
This is, all things considered, a fairly minor gripe, but the absence of a comprehensive stats tracker remains somewhat of a bummer. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I genuinely enjoy poring over my performance, good or bad, in multiplayer games.
It is fascinating to see, in hard numbers, a birds-eyes view of how you’ve played on a macro level, and to use that data to potentially inform how you can hone your craft. There’s also a motivational factor: When you compare how you play in your 100th match to how you played in your tenth, you can usually chart a direct improvement. Keep playing, and who knows, you’ll probably see another improvement at your 150th, or 200th, and so on. Over the years, I’ve possibly burned more hours on Halo Waypoint than I have on any Halo game individually. (Sole exception: Halo 3. And maybe Halo: Reach, too.)
I’m not the only person to wonder why this multiplayer game doesn’t currently offer a stats tracker. (Your ranking in League Play, Knockout’s competitive mode, offers some indication of how well or poorly you’re playing, but nothing remotely close to the in-depth stats you can find in some other multiplayer games.) Over the past few weeks, Knockout City players have taken to the game’s subreddit to air confusion about why this multiplayer doesn’t have such a feature. To date, the answer remains a resounding “Huh, no clue,” though some Reddit users pointed out that developers of ongoing games tend to add features as a response to community requests.
Knockout City also isn’t the first wildly popular multiplayer game to launch without a deep stats tracker. Apex Legends, the battle royale played at one point or another by literally every single person in the entire universe, didn’t get a proper stats tracker until its second season, which went live in July 2019 — five months after Apex officially released. Knockout City is still in its first season, with 52 days left to go. The developers at Velan Studios have already updated the game significantly since launch, adding a ranked mode and a new map to the game, plus a bevy of daily challenges.
It’s unclear whether or not Velan has any plans to add a stats-tracking component in future updates or seasonal rollouts. When reached for comment by Kotaku, representatives for the studio didn’t have any info to add.