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Long-suffering Diablo rival to end development and multiplayer support

Diablo style ARPG Wolcen will end development and support in September 2024, with the removal of multiplayer functionality and a price cut.

Diablo rival Wolcen set to pull multiplayer support and end development - A bald man with a long white beard wearing heavy armor.

Back in February 2020, when Diablo 4 was still a glimmer in Lilith’s eye, Path of Exile 2 was just beginning to surface as an idea, and Last Epoch was but a newborn babe looking to find its feet in the initial throes of early access, Wolcen looked to be the big new kid on the block. An ARPG with no class restrictions and a beautiful world to explore, it showed a lot of early promise. But bugs, technical troubles, and balance woes left the newcomer in a rough spot that it never recovered from, and now it appears the curtain call has finally come.

In a blog post shared via the Wolcen Steam page, developer Wolcen Studio announces, “It is with a heavy heart that we announce a significant change: Starting September 3, 2024, Wolcen will no longer support multiplayer functionality. Additionally, we will cease further development and support for the game.” It’s a sad end for the once-promising RPG, which felt for a brief moment like it could be a serious contender to the Diablo throne on a level akin to that seen with 2024’s Last Epoch 1.0 launch.

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“Thank you for your unwavering support and dedication,” the team writes. “We are fully aware of the challenges that have emerged from the early technical decisions made regarding the game’s architecture, challenges that are insurmountable without a complete technology overhaul.

“We have diligently updated Wolcen, enhancing every facet of the game from introducing new chapters and items to improving UI, animations, and the meticulous balancing of skills, items, and gameplay, alongside technical enhancements,” it continues. “Despite these efforts and the team’s dedication behind our patches, we’ve encountered foundational hurdles that prevent further improvements under the existing framework.”

As a result, you will no longer be able to play Wolcen in multiplayer, which will no doubt come as a disappointment to many. Indeed, the game’s recent Steam review score sits at an ‘overwhelmingly negative’ 18% over the last 30 days, with the all-time score at a ‘mixed’ 56%. Wolcen Studio notes, “We want to assure you that Wolcen will still be available to play in single-player mode and to purchase at a new, permanently reduced price.”

Wolcen Lords of Mayhem - A ball of lightning crashes down upon a group of soldiers in this Diablo-style ARPG.

I still remember the spark of excitement I had upon first seeing Wolcen – had it landed well, it might have been the perfect time-and-place Diablo contender to make a lasting impact. It looked fantastic, boasted some really strong ideas, and the free-form character building felt like a smart step forward for the genre. Unfortunately, it simply wasn’t to be, and now it seems the dream of it one day finding its feet has finally gone the way of the dodo.

“This decision allows us to focus on new projects, carrying forward the lessons learned from Wolcen,” the team writes. “We are committed to excellence and driven to create new experiences and adventures that we hope you will be eager to join. Your feedback has always been invaluable, and it will continue to guide the development of our future projects. Thank you for your continued support. We are excited about the future and cannot wait to embark on these new journeys with you, setting new standards for what we can achieve together.”

Looking for another ARPG to fill the hole in your heart? Here are the best games like Diablo to play in 2024. We’ve also picked out the best fantasy games for your perusal, if you prefer.

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