Matt Bromberg, group general manager at Electronic Arts, announced that the company is ceasing development of its free-to-play MOBA Dawngate. Bromberg thanked all the fans who participated in the 18-month beta program, and assured players that anyone who spent money on the game during that time will receive a full refund.
As a part of the process of closing down Dawngate, we’ll continue to operate the game for the next 90 days. All players will be entitled to a full refund of any money spent during the beta. For most players, we’ll process those refunds within the next 10 days. If we don’t have current payment information on file for you, we’ll need to reach out first before initiating the refund. If you have any questions, you can reach us at help.ea.com.
Development of the game must have been going on right up until the bitter end, as they recently ended their Halloween theme and pushed out a large patch full of fixes just 16 hours before announcing the end of development.
Lack of growth was specified as the reason for the cancellation by Bromberg in the post, as well as the “extremely competitive” MOBA market. He certainly isn’t wrong – currently there are upwards of two dozen MOBAs both large and small. Ranging from the uber popular League of Legends and DOTA 2 to the smaller niche variants AirMech and Bloodline Champions. Not to mention the fact that Blizzard, with its stable of established heroes and personalities, recently made their own entrance into the genre with the beta of Heroes of the Storm.
Outside of giving you slightly more freedom when it comes to what role any given character could perform, Dawngate’s biggest failure was just not standing out. MOBAs are new and still evolving, and it’s hard to really pinpoint what EA and Waystone Games were trying to do with it besides jump in while the money fountain was flowing at full strength. Like any other MOBA, and free-to-play game, it likely would have been held up by micro-transactions and perhaps a bit more heavy-handed than others given that it has EA behind it – who are known to love themselves some micro-transaction moolah.
It’s a little too over-reaching to point to one game closing and predict a bubble bursting, but the fact that EA of all companies could not generate enough hype for a new MOBA could point to the genre finally settling into a groove. Not just anyone can come along and make their own variation and profit from it anymore. That micro-transaction and Twitch ad revenue is as enticing as ever, so I’m sure this won’t be the last attempt by a big company by any means, but it won’t be nearly as easy.
Zwill here – Let’s all focus on sharing what makes DG and it’s community awesome. Let that be DG’s community legacy :).
— Dawngate (@TheDawngate) November 4, 2014