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Sci-fi MMO Firefall is offline and may finally be dead (update: it's back)

Players can’t log in and the developer’s website is gone

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Red 5 Studios’ massively multiplayer online shooter Firefall may be down for the count. Players of the free-to-play MMO are reporting that they’re no longer able to log into the game, and both the game and studio’s websites are no longer working.

There’s been no official communication from developer Red 5 about the closure of Firefall, though unconfirmed reports from July indicate that the studio’s last remaining employees had all been laid off. The game’s former community manager announced he’d been let go on July 25.

We attempted to reach Red 5 by phone, but no one picked up; the developer’s phone system no longer lists any active extensions. An email sent to Red 5’s press line bounced back.

If this is the end of Firefall, it’s not an unexpected fate for the troubled MMO. The game’s overwhelmingly negative recent reviews on Steam, many of them from players with hundreds of hours of playtime, lamented the state of the existing game. Veteran players viewed the game as both abandoned by its creators and vastly different from its original design.

Firefall launched in open beta the summer of 2013 with a "rocky start." Later that year, Red 5 ousted its co-founder and CEO. In July 2014, Red 5 officially released the game. Since then, Red 5 Studios has gone through several rounds of layoffs and made headlines for missing employee payroll on Christmas last year.

Update: It appears the websites for Firefall and Red 5 Studios have come back online. The game's account sign up page, however, is not currently functioning. Since this article was originally published, Firefall has been removed from Steam.

Update 2: Players are now reporting that they're able to log into Firefall and the game has since been relisted on Steam. There's still no official word from Red 5 on today's outage.