Coming fresh off the heels of EA’s closure of Visceral Games, it has been announced that Motiga - developers of the free-to-play game Gigantic - is being closed by, Gigantic publisher and parent company, Perfect World Entertainment.
Gigantic is a third-person multiplayer hero shooter that sees two teams clashing against one another to power up large monsters. When one of the monsters has gained enough strength, it can attack the opposing team’s creature, leaving it vulnerable to wounds (and ultimately defeat) at the hands of the attacking team. It's a unique experience in a market that’s growing increasingly saturated, and its vibrant and flashy art style certainly helps.
Unfortunately, that apparently wasn’t enough for Gigantic. The game was struck with publishing issues back in 2016 when Microsoft backed out of its initial deal with Motiga; at that time, Gigantic was slated to be an Xbox One/Windows 10 exclusive. After the game was picked up by Perfect World Entertainment, it maintained its exclusivity and was released in July 2017.
Gigantic did reasonably well around launch, peaking at 8,303 concurrent players according to Steam Charts. It also offered cross-play between the PC and Xbox versions of the game, which no doubt helped those numbers. However, the player base rapidly dwindled, and only three months later it was sitting at a peak of 704 players on Steam.
As a result, Perfect World decided to shut down Motiga, citing budgetary restrictions as the cause and leaving over 50 employees without jobs. This also comes not long after Perfect World’s closure of the Seattle office for Runic Games; developers of the Torchlight series and the recently-released Hob. Plus, according to a statement made by Motiga CEO Chris Chung, “Motiga is not the only Perfect World studio being impacted by this decision.”
Could more Perfect World studio closures be on the horizon? Perfect World responded to Chung’s statement, saying that the Motiga and Runic Games closures were unrelated, but it’s unclear whether Chung was referring to past or present studio shutdowns. He later followed up to say, “I may not have had all the facts surrounding what happened and I apologize for any error,” but didn’t go into any specifics.
In the meantime, Gigantic is still alive thanks to a “maintenance team composed of few dedicated folks at Motiga,” according to Chung. Despite only having around 200 concurrent players, it’s still fairly easy to get into a match (at least against bots), and the game is quite fun and interesting. If you’ve got a chance, check it out before it’s gone; too many multiplayer games have been fading into oblivion lately. In the meantime, best wishes to the former Motiga employees; hopefully new opportunities will turn up soon.
Gigantic is available on PC and Xbox One.