The Future of Knockout City
Hey all you brawlers out there, I’m here to share with you some major information about Season 9 and the future of KO City.
Today we are announcing that Season 9 will be Knockout City’s final season. Then, on the morning of June 6, 2023, over two years after our initial launch, all servers around the world will be shut down and the game will no longer be playable. This was an extremely difficult decision for us, but a necessary and important one for our studio. Before that happens, there are a ton of new updates in store. We’ve got a jam-packed Season 9 full of all the amazing new content you’ve come to expect, an epic send-off both in and out of the game, and even a private server version on PC so Knockout City can live on forever. Read on for a full explanation of why we’re making this decision, what it means for you, how it affects the game, and everything you can look forward to over the next few months.
Velan Studios’ mission is grounded in innovation. For Knockout City, we set out to make something fresh and fun, starting with just those initial ideas of third-person dodgeball, throw-catch rallies, and balling up to become the weapon. Through relentless iteration and experimentation, we got to the experience you know and love today, seamlessly blending half a dozen different game genres from shooters to sports games, fighters, brawlers, platformers, and physics simulations. It’s a game that defies any traditional definition, which is what makes it both so amazing and challenging to work on.
What excites our team the most is making something new, something fun, and something we can learn from. After two years of live operations, we’ve learned a lot about Knockout City and live games in general. It’s been a truly rewarding experience growing the game each season, talking to the community, trying new things, creating content that makes us laugh, and best of all, having a blast playing the game ourselves! Over the course of development and live-ops, we created an original IP, built a brand-new game engine, self-published when we went free-to-play, and created over fifty Playlists, eleven maps, a dozen balls, and almost three thousand different cosmetics. A ton of love, passion, and hard work has gone into Knockout City, and our amazingly positive and dedicated community of players has made it well worth the effort. We love you all, and we would keep doing this forever with you if we could!
Creating such a different game with no points of comparison and running live services for the first time in many of our careers has also made the past couple years particularly challenging. Despite over 12 million players and billions of KOs around the globe, there are several aspects of the game in need of major disruption to better attract and retain enough players to be sustainable. Since we are a small, indie studio, it’s simply impossible for us to make those kinds of systemic changes in the live game while continuing to support it. So it became clear to us that we needed to take a step back and pave the way for Velan to do what we do best by innovating. Now we can take everything we learned, everything that succeeded and everything that needs improvement, and get to work on exploring new possible experiences for Knockout City and other games and products we are very excited about. We’re currently in the process of doing a comprehensive retrospective on every aspect of the game, all the community feedback and analytics data, and even our development processes. Our hope is that sometime in the not-too-distant future, all this information can be used to start work on what comes next in the Knockout City universe. While we can’t promise that Knockout City will be back, what we can promise is that you’ll continue to see new and innovative games from Velan Studios that will surprise and delight players around the world.
There’s a lot of information to share about Knockout City’s final months which we’ve included in a FAQ at the end of this blog, but here are the high-level details: On February 28, 2023, Season 9 of Knockout City kicks off with the release of our final planned update, version 9.0. This will be a 12-week season, with six back-to-back events featuring some of our most creative cosmetics yet, fresh new twists on several of our best playlists, a whole event focused exclusively on League Play, and a super-sized two-week Midnight Madness where the community will pick the two Playlists they want to play to close out the last Season. There will be a whole new map to accompany an entirely season-themed Brawl Pass and Deep Space Dispatch storyline! The full announcement for Season 9 will come in a few weeks, and we can’t wait to share that with you when the time is right.
Also starting on February 28, all real-money transactions will be removed from the game. You will no longer be able to purchase Holobux, the Deluxe Bundle, or either of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bundles on any platform. To make up for this, we’ve packed every event in Season 9 with rewards for XP, Style Chips, and thousands of Holobux. Every event also features a massive sale shop with huge discounts, and almost every cosmetic we’ve ever sold will make its way into one of these sale shops. The rewards for League Play, Daily Login Bonuses, and the Brawl Pass have also been drastically increased, and the price of the Premium Brawl Pass will be reduced to just 50 Holobux (which you can easily earn in the Free Pass)!
On May 23, just after our two-year anniversary, Season 9 ends and our final 2-week farewell event begins, which we’re calling Thanks for the KOs. This will be one final in-game celebration of Knockout City, featuring TRIPLE XP, massive rewards, and the return of the community’s favorite playlist, Superpowers: Power Grab. Then at 12:00 PM UTC on June 6, 2023, the event ends and all servers will be permanently shut down. Since the game requires a connection to our servers to function (even for the Hideout and Private Matches) that means the game will become unplayable on all platforms and you’ll be unable to progress past the title screen.
During this final Event, Knockout City celebrations are also taking place outside the game! This includes giveaways galore, a huge, final tournament for our competitive players, some new merch that looks back on the amazing years of Knockout City, a final season of Deep Space Dispatches we’ll be releasing in a new podcast feed to wrap up the story, and a bunch of other surprises! Best of all, we’ll be releasing a standalone player-hosted version of the game for Windows PCs. Even after the official servers go offline, Knockout City can continue to be played for eternity by fans that want to host their own servers! We’ll have more details about all of the events and this final version of the game soon, so be sure to stay tuned over the weeks ahead.
On a personal note, announcing the end of Knockout City is a bittersweet moment for me. While this is the end of a two-year journey for some of you, I and a handful of others on the team have been living in Knockout City for over six years. I am so proud of the team at Velan for creating such a wild new game with such critical acclaim at launch, for creating a brand new engine from scratch that’s capable of doing things no other engine can do over the internet, for creating what I think are some of the most creative (and hilarious) cosmetics of any live-ops game on the market, and for keeping the game running, evolving, and improving for two years straight. I’m also so grateful to all of you, the players, for being the most positive and supportive game community any of us have ever seen, for dedicating your time to talking to us on Discord, Twitch, and elsewhere, for teaching me new tricks in my own game every time you beat me down in a match, and for putting up with me when I’m laying on that Taunt button a bit too much!
Thank you, brawlers, for all your passion and support these past few years. I hope you all enjoy the final season of Knockout City, and I’ll see you out there!
Game Director of Knockout City
Voice 1 in Brawler Customization
Crew Captain of Team FEAR
- When are Knockout City servers shutting down?
- Public servers for Knockout City shut down on June 6th, 2023 at 12pm (noon) UTC.
- Why is Knockout City shutting down?
- In order for Knockout City to keep growing, a lot of our systems supporting long-term player retention are in need of significant changes. As an indie studio with a limited-sized team, making these sweeping changes to the game while simultaneously keeping the same pace of fresh content through game updates and continued live support is virtually impossible to do. We’ve decided to take everything we’ve learned building Knockout City and innovate in new ways. This means stopping development on the Knockout City, and exploring new possibilities in future experiences, whether in Knockout City or a different world.
- Will I still be able to play in Private Matches or the Hideout?
- Knockout City connects to a server for every aspect of the game, so starting June 6, 2023, you will not be able to advance past the title screen. If you want to play after this on PC, check out the Private Hosted Server version we’ll be releasing soon – more on that below!
- Can I still download the game after 9.0?
- Yes! Knockout City is still free-to-play, so enjoy Knockout City with all your friends until the final event is over!
- When will customer support stop?
- We will maintain full customer support for Knockout City through June 6th.
- What happens when 9.0 goes live?
- The 9.0 patch bringing Season 9 will go live on all platforms on February 28th, 2023, with a full set of updates and changes, just like any other Season. The only change from a normal season launch is players will no longer be able to buy Holobux, the Deluxe Upgrade, or either of the TMNT bundles with real money.
- What happens between now and June 6th?
- We’ve still got some fun content in store for the rest of Season 8, and then we’ve got an entire Season’s worth of content and cosmetics planned for Season 9! It will be a full-fledged Season with all the Events, Playlists, Brawl Pass, Deep Space Dispatches, and everything else you’ve come to expect, and after Season 9 wraps up on May 23rd, we’ll have a special two-week event called “Thanks for the KOs” where you’ll be able to enjoy one last hurrah with tripled XP, Superpowers: Power Grab, and some final surprises we’re saving for last!
- Is there still going to be new content in Season 9?
- Yes! Season 9 is a full-featured 12-week Season, with a new map, all-new cosmetics, Events, a Brawl Pass, a new season of Deep Space Dispatches, and more.
- Will there be more bugfixes in 9.0?
- Yes! Expect to see a full summary of Patch Notes for 9.0 when the new patch releases on February 28th, 2023.
Holobux and Monetization
- Can I still buy Holobux after 9.0?
- All monetization will be removed from Knockout City as of the 9.0 Patch on February 28, 2023. That includes purchasing Holobux. Although you’ll no longer be able to purchase Holobux after this, you’ll be earning thousands of Holobux (among other goodies) with Event Contracts throughout Season 9. You’ll also find that new Bundles are priced at drastically lower prices, and Season 9’s Premium Brawl Pass will be only 50 Holobux!
- Can I still buy the Deluxe Upgrade or TMNT bundles after 9.0?
- With monetization removed, that also means that the Deluxe Edition upgrade and the TMNT bundles will no longer be available to purchase once Season 9 releases.
- Are you offering refunds for Holobux or other items I've bought?
- We are not planning to offer refunds at this time.
- Will I lose my Holobux or items when real money transactions are removed?
- Nope! Nothing in your inventory is changing in the 9.0 patch. As long as you’ve purchased Holobux or bundles such as the Deluxe Edition Upgrade or the TMNT Bundles, you’ll keep those items in your live game account until public servers close on June 6th.
- How can I get more Holobux during Season 9 if I can’t buy them?
- Event Contracts are the way to go! In addition to Street Rank, Brawl Pass, and other existing sources giving you ways to earn Holobux today, every event in Season 9 will feature high-value Event Contracts granting thousands of Holobux per event. Whether you’re planning to scoop up all the new content in Season 9 or pick up that one Bundle you’ve had your eyes on since the beginning, you’ll have the Holobux to do it!
Private Hosted Server Version
- How does the Private Hosted Server version work?
- The Private Hosted Server edition of Knockout City will be available for free as a standalone download for Windows PCs in the coming months. Players will be able to download this separate version of the game to host for their friends, or join someone else’s server. We’ll have more details as we get closer to releasing this.
- Are all of my purchases and progress going to carry over into the Private Hosted Server version?
- The Private Hosted Server version of Knockout City is not connected to the live game, so no progress or unlocks will carry over, but we know showing up in style is really important, so we’ll have more to share about this when we’re closer to releasing this download.
- How much will the Private Hosted Server version cost?
- The Private Hosted Server edition of Knockout City will be available for free in the coming months.
- Is there going to be a Knockout City 2?
- One of our goals in sunsetting the current iteration of Knockout City is to give our team an opportunity to explore new ways of play. We’ll be exploring concepts for potential continuations of Knockout City as well as other new and innovative multiplayer experiences. We love Knockout City, and we’d love to bring it back, but we’re not making any promises here, because Velan Studios is all about innovation, and we want to explore all the possibilities in front of us!
- What does this news mean for Velan Studios?
- We’re already in various stages of development on a few other projects, and we look forward to sharing more with you very soon. After development wraps up on Knockout City, we’ll be shifting everyone on that development team over to other projects as well.
- When will you launch your next game?
- Stay tuned to the Velan Studios Twitter for news on all the exciting projects we’re working on.