Remedy Is The Latest Studio To Cancel A Big Multiplayer Project

The announcement comes just months after Naughty Dog canceled the troubled The Last Of Us multiplayer spin-off.

Remedy Entertainment, the Finnish developer behind 2019’s Control and the Alan Wake series, announced it will cancel one of the multiplayer projects it was working on.

Codenamed Kestrel’s is the latest scrapped multiplayer project from a big-named studio. Last year, Sony-owned AAA-studio Naughty Dog announced that it would cease development on The Last Of Us multiplayer spin-off that was in the works for three years.

Remedy announced that development on the project known as Codename Kestrel, will not move forward in a press release published Tuesday morning. The company says it made the tough call to cancel the project in order to double down on its other games.

"Codename Kestrel showed early promise but the project was still in its early concept stage," said Remedy CEO Tero Virtala in the release. "Our other projects have advanced well and are moving to the next stages of development, and increasing focus on them provides us with benefits.”

Downloadable content for 2023’s Alan Wake 2 is just one of several projects Remedy is working on.

Remedy Entertainment

Previously known as Vanguard, (not to be confused with the 2021 Call of Duty entry) Codename Kestrel was one of the five projects Remedy was currently working on, alongside the Control sequel, a Control multiplayer spin-off, the remakes of Max Payne and Max Payne 2, and the Alan Wake 2 downloadable expansions. Kestrel was described as a “premium cooperative multiplayer game,” and was being developed in collaboration with Chinese mega-publisher Tencent. Tencent is one of Remedy’s most high-profile investors.

“We can reallocate talented Kestrel developers to these other game projects, and many of our support functions get additional focus on their operations,” Virtala continued. “Though we decided to discontinue the project for wider Remedy benefits, our team has done good work and provided us with valuable learnings.”

“I also want to thank Tencent for their partnership so far. They have been very professional and supportive,” the CEO concluded.

While little was known about Codename Kestrel, there were signs that the game had some bumps in the road. Remedy confirmed in business reports that the game’s development had restarted last November.

Remedy will still release a multiplayer game based on 2019’s Control.

Remedy Entertainment

“Despite the promising progress during the first half of the year, we decided with Tencent that the potential was not there,” the report reads.

Last week, the company announced that the game was in the conceptual stage, with the team refining its concept, according to its most recent quarterly business report.

As the industry has seen in the last year, studios who’ve made big bets on live-service multiplayer games rarely find enough success to justify keeping the title going for a substantial amount of time after launch. In 2023 alone, games like Knockout City, Rumbleverse, and Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, were shut down after failing to find a big enough audience.

This year’s Suicide Squad game has become the latest example of a live-service flop from a respected AAA developer.

Rocksteady Studios

Rolling into this year, Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad game served as further proof that investing big in on-going player experiences can prove to be a bust, especially if post-launch support isn’t up to the standards of live-service juggernauts like Fortnite and Genshin Impact.

Remedy already has numerous interesting games currently in development at the moment. The decision to back out of this multiplayer project before investing millions of additional dollars into it, seems like the right call considering how much interest has waned in these kinds of games. Like Rocksteady, Remedy has a legacy of creating premium single-player experiences. Doubling down on preserving this legacy is a decision that any Remedy fan can get behind.

Even though Codenamed Kestrel is canceled, it doesn’t mean players won’t get to see what the studio can do with a multiplayer concept. Codenamed Condor, the co-op shooter set in the world of 2019’s Control, is nearing completion, according to Remedy. At the very least this multiplayer game is based on an award-winning IP most players want to keep exploring.

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