Eariler this week we reported that PSVR multiplayer shooter Starblood Arena is shutting down. Now developer WhiteMoon Dreams has spoken up with a bittersweet goodbye.
Studio CEO Jay Koottarappallil took to the PSVR subreddit to talk about the game’s closure. “People, we loved this game so deeply,” he wrote, “it became a large part of the studio’s identity and though we work on other things today, the roots of SBA run deep, making this time even harder.”
Starblood was an enjoyable six degrees of freedom (6DOF) VR shooter that launched in 2017. It had some good ideas on how to build a VR shooter, but struggled to find a robust audience. That’s a common theme with VR games. Sony will take the servers offline in July. Koottarappallil revealed that the decision to shut servers down came from Sony itself, and WhiteMoon isn’t being given the chance to save it.
“Sony called earlier to let me know that they were shutting down servers,” he wrote. “The call was something along the lines of “This is always a very hard time, but its time to shut down the servers”. There wasn’t a whole lot of detail past that and there was no option for us to support servers ourselves, much less make any new releases. At the very least, we would have liked to have the option to pay for servers ourselves.”
However, Koottarappallil emphasized that he didn’t want the blame to be leveled at Sony. The post even cites a lot of figures at Sony that helped get the game made.
“As for you, well, I can’t thank all of you enough for how you guys carried SBA from launch,” he wrote, addressing the community. “We launched in April 2017 with zero marketing and PR support, much to our disappointment, but you guys rallied.”
WhiteMoon itself isn’t facing closure, though. Koottarappallil confirmed as much in an email to UploadVR and the post says the studio is working on new projects. Starblood Arena may be over, but hopefully WhiteMoon will continue its work in VR.