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Undead Labs Shutting Down Moonrise With A Fan-Friendly Blowout

by Jeff Cork on Sep 02, 2015 at 05:32 AM

The studio behind the cult zombie-survival favorite State of Decay clearly has a thing for reanimated corpses, as its name, Undead Labs, hints. That doesn't mean that the developers there are only interested in things that moan "Brains." The studio has been working on a free-to-play monster-collection game called Moonrise, too. Unfortunately for its player base, the game isn't going to be making it past Early Access. Undead Labs isn't just letting it wither and die, however – Moonrise is going out with a bang.

Company founder Jeff Strain broke the news on Undead Labs' site. The reasons for axing the project before it's made commercially available make sense: In its pre-release state, most players tended to download it, play for a few days, and then move on. Considering the title's free-to-play model, keeping a large pool of players engaged is critically important for keeping the lights on. Strain does, however, acknowledge that the game has attracted a small group of dedicated players, and the company is doing some cool stuff for them before the game's servers shut down at midnight on Dec. 31.

"There are some fantastic elements to the game that we’re extremely proud of, and those might find their way into a future game someday, but for now we’re going to make some changes to the game that make it a blast to play for our existing players," Strain writes.

"Since we won’t have to worry about whether the game is profitable, we can just have some fun and open the floodgates. We’re updating the game with new Solari, wildlands, dungeons, and clothing shops. We’re also increasing rewards in Arena Mode, making it easier to earn XP and hit upgrade and evolution milestones, increasing drop rates, decreasing leveling time, and generally making the game play faster and easier across the board. We’re also giving every player a free Sunset Pack containing 2,000 gems, 10,000 gold, two Solari Boosters, and a bunch of essences. Detailed patch notes are here."


Our Take
It's pretty cool that Undead Labs is doing something like this for its fans instead of just unceremoniously yanking the plug. Who know? Perhaps player behavior over the remaining months will inform the team on what might work better for an upcoming release. In the meantime, players can go nuts and enjoy the game in what's likely to be a delightfully unbalanced and crazy form.