Undead Labs opens fungates in soft-launched Moonrise prior to 31 December shutdown

Getting experimental

Undead Labs opens fungates in soft-launched Moonrise prior to 31 December shutdown

Ambitious creature-based RPG Moonrise is shutting down.

In fact, the news is slightly more complex as the game technically hasn't been properly released yet. 

It was only in soft launch on mobile and available on Steam in Early Access.

Yet Seattle-based developer Undead Labs (the mobile version was to be published by Kabam) has announced that it can't retain enough players to make the game sustainable or profitable.

"What we’ve found is that while some people really love Moonrise, there were unfortunately many more people who played the game and then moved on after a few days," said CEO Jeff Strain in a statement. 

"For a standalone, offline game that might be fine; but for an online game with significant server hosting costs and an expectation for ongoing development and new content, it can mean a game that not only doesn’t pay for it’s development costs, but might even cost money to operate.

"As you can imagine, that’s not something that makes sense for an independent studio like Undead Labs, nor for that matter would it be a good business decision even for a large publisher."

Open the fungates

On the brighter side, Strain says Undead Labs will take the opportunity to "have some fun and open the floodgates", in terms of releasing new content, more rewards, free currency and items, and generally making the game easier to progress in.

The servers will be shut down on 31 December, making the next couple of months an interesting experiment for the developer in terms of what it can learn for future games.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.