Press F to pay respects for another failed launch of a Hi-Rez strategy game. Earlier today, Hi-Rez Studios, makers of the Smite-based auto battler Prophecy, announced that the servers will be shutting down. The developers didn’t say that they were permanently ending the game, but rather that they are going “back to the drawing board.”
Player retention was cited as the primary reason for the shutdown. Prophecy’s beta barely broke the 150 player mark for daily players over the past week. The game isn’t officially dead, but it’s pretty much comatose.
— Prophecy Games (@ProphecyGame) June 29, 2020
The shutdown date for the Prophecy servers was originally set for Thursday, July 2. However, since UPL Esports was originally planning to host a Prophecy tournament the weekend of the same week, Hi-Rez has agreed to extend the shutdown date to July 6. This will allow UPL Esports to host their tournament, giving Prophecy one final sendoff before the game goes into hibernation (or worse).
Many are speculating if the Prophecy auto battler will experience the same fate as its predecessor, the Smite-based card game Hand of the Gods. Both suffered from a startling lack of promotion given their unique takes on their respective genres.
Hopefully, if Prophecy relaunches, Hi-Rez will treat it different than it did with Hand of the Gods, and roll out some decent promotion. Launching a new game in today’s environment can be hard, and community events alone don’t draw players. You can’t expect excellent player retention if your potential players don’t actually know about the game.