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Developers throw in the towel on free-to-play shooter Dirty Bomb

Servers will stay open as long as there are enough players

Dirty Bomb Splash Damage
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Dirty Bomb, which dates back to 2013 under another name but only saw its full 1.0 launch in August of this year, is no more. Developer Splash Damage told players this week that it was ending development on the free-to-play multiplayer shooter.

The cancellation is noteworthy considering the game’s long pre-launch history — it went into an open beta on Steam in 2015. It also got a lot of attention because Splash Damage was the studio behind 2011’s Brink for Bethesda Softworks, a first-person shooter game that was heavily promoted and critically panned when it launched.

Dirty Bomb began life as Extraction and was at first published by Nexon, with Splash Damage reacquiring publishing control of the game about two years ago. A note to players mentioned this change in ownership, and Splash Damage’s ambition for its game after assuming full control. “We staffed up a load of developers and tried our best to deliver a Dirty Bomb experience that would be feature-rich with tons of new content, while maintaining its great gameplay feel & balance,” the announcement said.

“Unfortunately, despite all the added time and resources, there were some challenges we couldn’t overcome,” developers continued, “and we were not able to make DB the success that we hoped it could be. The bottom line is that we can’t financially justify continuing to work on the game we love.”

Dirty Bomb, according to, peaked at 4,000 concurrent users in August when the 1.0 update launched. But its average concurrent player base hasn’t been above 1,000 since April. Splash Damage said that “as long as there are a meaningful number of players” in Dirty Bomb, it will keep servers open. Players who bought the Merc Pack DLC will have that purchase refunded by January.

“The future is bright at Splash Damage,” the announcement said, “we have many announced and unannounced titles in production that we can’t wait to work with you on!”

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