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Firefall is dead, shuts down tomorrow

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Team behind the MMO gave PC players 48 hours notice, mobile game in development

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Firefall Red 5

Firefall, the ambitious but troubled MMO from developer Red 5, is shutting down. Word of the closure comes from a post made on the studio’s official site late last night.

“With heavy hearts, we regret to inform you that after much review and analysis, Red 5 Studios have decided to suspend the Firefall efforts on 7th, July 2017,” the post said. “Thank you for being an important part of the Firefall experience and for your loyalty and dedication to the online community.”

Red 5 says it plans to continue Firefall in a different form, however, as a mobile game.

Polygon has reached out for more detail about the closure of Firefall.

Firefall was the product of a lengthy development process. Officially announced in 2010, the goal was to blend a first-person shooter with an MMO. In it, players piloted futuristic exoskeletons called Battleframes through exotic, tropical environments. The game eventually moved from a paid model to become free-to-play. The final product was remarkable for its vivid colors, its sense of scale and fluid movement. Gameplay itself was uneven at best.

It underwent a number of significant changes to its class and progression systems ahead of the open beta in July 2013. Server and performance issues at the time prompted then CEO Mark Kern to issue an apology. Lay-offs followed, even before the game’s official launch, and Kern himself was ousted soon after.

The breakup spawned a messy and public feud that persists to this day. Kern has taken the opportunity of Red 5’s distress to promote his own crowdfunding campaign for a 200-plus player online wargame with a goal of $20,000.

After his departure, Red 5 was eventually able to secure significant additional funding and officially launched Firefall in July 2014. But the company continued to have financial woes as the game struggled to find an audience. It missed its payroll on Christmas Day 2015. This time last year there were rumors that the game might have simply winked out of existence overnight, but operations returned to normal that same day.

“Your efforts and loyalty will not go without recognition,” Red 5 told fans in today’s brief post. “Firefall is currently developing a mobile version of the game and all of Firefall’s founders and players will be rewarded greatly in the new game. We will be sure to provide everyone with more updates as we have them.”