Mavericks: Proving Grounds 400-Player Battle Royale Cancelled, Developer Bankrupt

Early last year upstart UK studio Automaton Games made waves when they announced Mavericks: Proving Grounds, a 400-player take on the then white-hot battle royale genre. Mavericks grew out of another project called Project X, which was an MMO-shooter that promised a whopping 1000 concurrent players in a single world. These impressive player counts were going to be achieved with the power of SpatialOS, the new cloud tech that allows a game to be run on multiple dedicated servers at once.

Well, don’t get too excited about anything I just wrote in the previous paragraph, because Mavericks: Proving Grounds and Project X are both no more. Sadly, Automaton Games has gone bankrupt, with this message being posted to their website

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Paul Cooper and Paul Appleton were appointed joint administrators of Automaton Games Limited on 30th July 2019. They are managing the affairs, business and property of the company. The joint administrators act as agents of the company and act without personal liability.

Please be advised that due to insufficient funding, the development of the Mavericks: Proving Grounds game has now ceased. The joint administrators are in the process of licensing the Deceit game so there will be no change in the live operation and provision of this game.

I actually got a chance to play Mavericks: Proving Grounds at E3 2018, and I can’t say I was terribly impressed by what I saw. In the state I saw it, the game basically played like a very rough PUBG – there was no hint of the massive world, huge player count, or other innovative features Automaton were promising. I can’t say I’m terribly surprised Mavericks didn’t make it to the finish line.

This isn’t the first SpatialOS-powered game to fizzle out in recent months – the sandbox MMO Worlds Adrift was shut down in May. Are these projects failing due to their own issues or is SpatialOS not the wonder tech it’s been made out to be? There are still a few more SpatialOS projects in the works, so I guess we’ll see how they work out.

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