Barely two years and three expansions later, Turtle Rock Studios is ending post-launch content support for Back 4 Blood.
Back 4 Blood was billed as the next big thing, being the spiritual successor to the iconic co-op zombie shooter, Left 4 Dead. True enough, it retained several of the elements that made Left 4 Dead so popular, including a handful of developers that worked on the initial demo that later became Left 4 Dead. Back 4 Blood even featured an expanded storyline and could've gone on forever had it been popular. But, it wasn't.
Although it wasn't necessarily a bad game, players quickly lost interest in Back 4 Blood after its first couple of months on the market. Subsequent content updates, including the latest one, River of Blood, would give audiences a reason to come back.
Unfortunately, in a market filled with online titles with weekly updates like League of Legends and Fortnite, the quarterly release of expansions of Back 4 Blood just couldn't keep up.
Back 4 Blood now joins several other live-service titles that promised an endless stream of updates only to fall short of their promises en route to being shut down. Before Back 4 Blood, games such as Marvel's Avengers and Apex Legends Mobile were shut down by their respective developers.
The good news is that Turtle Rock has plenty of creative talent to rebound and bounce back big after Back 4 Blood. Now that it's become obvious that live-service titles are no longer the way to go (unless you have the financial backing necessary to keep throwing money at content problems), Turtle Rock can go back to the drawing board and come up with their next game, which, by the way, they're already doing.
It'll be interesting to see how Arkane Studios' upcoming co-op shooter, Redfall, will fare when it's out in May. Both Redfall and Back 4 Blood have a similar premise but the former is backed by Microsoft. We'll find out in the next few months if a near-endless coffer of funds - Microsoft is still worth nearly $2 trillion despite its recent shortcomings - will be a difference maker.