While Bleeding Edge still remains and will continue to remain playable for the foreseeable future, yesterday's announcement stating that there will no longer be any content updates definitely feels like endgame for the franchise, less than a year later from March 24th's full release. Although many felt like this announcement was inevitable, it doesn't hurt any less to finally have that confirmation.
I don't really like to speculate on why this decision has been made, nor do I really want to use this thread to criticise how and where things could have been better. However, a lot of false information is being thrown around, such as the developers never cared or they simply gave up, the community was too toxic, they should've gone F2P, etc etc. I think the most likely outcome is the prioritisation of Ninja Theory's other upcoming projects, as they stated themselves in their announcement. Ninja Theory have earned themselves a pretty valuable reputation since the release of Hellblade, so much so that they were acquired by Microsoft Studios back in June 2018. Bleeding Edge was already well into development by this point. I'd imagine getting a brand new Ninja Theory-stamped game straight onto Game Pass in a somewhat lacklustre Game Pass market at the time (multiplayer, moba) would add a lot of immediate value to it. Obviously I don't have the official numbers, but I'd wager a huge percentage of players trying Bleeding Edge came from a Game Pass subscription, which is very much in line with the demographic of players you run into to this day - in fact there has always been a steady number of brand new players trickling in. With Ninja Theory's new projects, they are seemingly pushing new boundaries in the gaming industry and it's something to be genuinely excited about. I'd imagine all 3 of which, most definitely Hellblade 2, will be Series X system sellers therefore there's probably a decent amount of pressure from Microsoft to get these projects shipped. While the core community certainly believe Bleeding Edge can grow and become something special with more support, seeing current numbers on the game probably don't give enough reason for resources to remain on Bleeding Edge with the overhanging importance of the other 3 projects as stated. The developers of Bleeding Edge certainly don't deserve any resentment for this decision, and they absolutely did care, and still do very much. The closed Alpha period of the game's development was almost as long as the shelf-life of the full release. With the game's unfortunate release time right when the coronavirus pandemic truly hit the globe for the first time, and with Ninja Theory employees working from home ever since then, I'd imagine it was even harder to continue to update Bleeding Edge as much as they would've liked along with also staying on schedule with their other 3 projects.
Now that's out of the way, I just wanted to say THANK YOU to the Bleeding Edge developers from myself and the community. From a personal standpoint, it has been an amazing journey. I first played Bleeding Edge back in June 2019, the first ever closed Alpha build of the game. I believe there were only around 50 people per region permitted to play at this point, during a 2 hour window every week. I didn't have much of an idea of what I was getting into, but I quickly felt very welcomed. I met some amazing people, as well as some of the developers who regularly joined in playing and chatting with the growing community. I remember always looking forward to that 2 hour session every week, and the time absolutely flying by when it eventually came around. I remember messing around in the Dojo when the servers were offline, trying out cool combos and looking for easter eggs with the community on the Discord. I have written NOVELS worth of feedback and discussion on the forums, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The game was very different back then, and I wish a lot more people got to experience Bleeding Edge in that moment. To this day, I still hop on almost daily, with every character maxed at level 30. I really do love the game.
My favourite parts of Bleeding Edge, in no particular order:
-The character designs! Wow! Every character felt so unique and personable.
-The soundtrack! I get heavy nostalgia when listening to "Life Packs Punches", takes me back to those moments of anticipation while waiting for the clock to hit 7pm so I could queue up during the Alpha
-The EVOLUTION the game went through! Again I feel very privileged to have witnessed this, but it's truly amazing how much the game naturally grew and evolved. Not only with balance changes and QoL updates from the devs, but players discovering cool new strategies and combos. I remember one of the most common criticisms back in the Alpha was the game lacking depth and that's been well and truly disproved with present day Bleeding Edge
-The devs - how unbelievably friendly they were towards me and the rest of the community. Playing and chatting with you all was an absolute pleasure
I encourage you all to share your own favourite parts or favourite moments as well!
I've been trying to come out with something to say for a while now, but for once it's been difficult for me to fill a page with writing on here without stopping! I'm truly sad to hear that this game will no longer be receiving support, and the days of being able to still find a match are numbered. But I will leave this game with some amazing memories, truly one of the best experiences in gaming I've had, so THANK YOU for everything! I wish you the best in your future endeavours. Thank you to the community for being awesome as well.