Sometimes in a game’s development cycle, hard decisions must be made and features can be cut. This can be due to several reasons, but generally the cuts boil down to a lack of funding, poor design or a combination of both. However, Firefall’s recent decision to shutdown all of its PvP content has thrown me for a loop. You see, I cannot recall a previous time when a developer spent so much effort on a feature, released said feature and then axed it.
That is the current situation Red 5 has found themselves with Firefall. In a news post on the official site, Mark Kern, CEO of Red 5 announced the developer’s plan to suspend Firefall’s PvP and take the system offline for an undisclosed amount of time. It may be obvious Firefall’s main draw is its open world PvE content, but apparently that is the only draw. Firefall’s PvP on the other hand isn’t doing so hot, with less than 3% of Firefall’s players opting to participate.
Kern hopes his team can use this downtime to regroup, rethink, and deliver the best PvP system possible. For now, the team has expressed the need to continue focusing on the more popular PvE part of the game. Just recently, Firefall entered into its second open beta stage which pulled back the melding and introduced new chosen fortresses to destroy.
With so little players participating in PvP, one could argue the shutdown won’t affect many. While true, I would argue any MMO which removes complete features -especially features as prominent as PvP- deserves some scrutiny. What do you think?