Final Strike Games‘ Rocket Arena launched on July 14th… and it immediately went off the radar. The only time I heard it mentioned again after launch day was when it got a free weekend on Steam a few days ago (which wasn’t accompanied by a sale, a rare occurrence in this kind of situation, and one that probably hurt the game’s chances of success even more).
So, what is the cause for this lack of buzz? Is the game so bad that no one wants to play it? Actually, no, that’s definitely not the case. I’ve played it and, while there are some pretty annoying matchmaking issues (that would be solved if there were more people playing the game), it’s a fun experience that has no real equivalent in the shooter space right now. In my opinion, the real reason is that no one is willing to spend thirty dollars on a game that right now has a very low player-base, and a publisher that is known for killing titles that fail to catch on.
It’s obvious that EA knows that the game’s biggest issue is its price tag, as they’ve been running countless giveaways, trying to artificially inflate the player-base so people start giving the game a try. And while I can’t blame them for trying, I think that this way of doing things is only hurting the game’s future chances of success, as people can very easily see that the publisher doesn’t have a lot of confidence in Rocket Arena.
If that wasn’t enough, the already almost nonexistent buzz around the game will be even less of an entity when EA finally realizes that they should switch things up and go F2P, meaning that the inevitable re-launch will die almost as quickly as the first paid release. I’ve seen this happen a number of times before, and it was never a pretty sight, especially considering that it always seems to happen to games that I personally enjoy.
So, to wrap things up, I’d say that the longer EA hesitates, the less chances Rocket Arena has as a F2P title. This is not a case of not knowing how to monetize the game either (since it already has a Battle Pass and paid skins), so it’s obvious that the publisher is currently too proud or too stubborn to admit that they made a mistake when they chose to launch Rocket Arena as a 30 dollars premium title. It’s not too late to turn the ship around, but every passing day makes things harder.