Camp 1944 (opens in new tab) Launched in Early Access in 2018 as a return to the early days of Call of Duty games.There are some hiccups, predictable for an early access game, but it seems like a pretty good start (opens in new tab) Suitable for small crowd FPS. Square Enix, which released Battalion 1944 under its indie-focused Square Enix Collective, apparently thought so too: it got 20% equity (opens in new tab) November 2018 in developer Bulkhead.
Unfortunately, neither the game nor the relationship between Bulkhead and Square Enix has lived up to expectations. Battalion 1944’s average concurrent player count has been in the single digits since mid-2020, and the console release promised in 2016’s Kickstarter never happened, and today Bulkhead announced that it has “officially ended” its relationship with Square Enix .
Announcement on @PlayBattalion pic.twitter.com/pvFQJx8ibzAugust 9, 2022
“We’re deeply disappointed that Battalion 1944 never made it to the console, and we’re refunding all console Kickstarter backers,” the studio said. “Thanks to everyone who supported the console version, we’re sorry it took so long to correct this.”
The announcement ends an unpleasant process that has dragged on for years longer than expected. Clapboard recently promised that a console version of Battalion 1944 is “still in production” until April 2021.
Community manager Aaron Baker wrote: “There are a lot of things we can’t talk about right now, sorry.” Reddit (opens in new tab)“It will become more obvious in the future. I know it’s a bad situation, but that’s it for now.”
Ironically, Baker said in the same post that the move to free-to-play “isn’t going to happen,” but Bulkhead also announced today that “a revisited and final version of Battalion 1944” will be available for free on Steam because Camp: Legacy (opens in new tab).
In Baker’s defense, Legacy doesn’t appear to be free, but outright free: players can rent or buy game servers, but otherwise, it appears to work for everyone. It also promises to be more than a quick dump of a rough, unfinished game: the new version of Battalion will add Britain as a new playable faction, along with over 30 weapons and various upgrades.
“We’ve taken the best aspects of Battalion 1944 and honed them to create a smooth bug-free experience, including a usable server browser, new factions, new weapons, the classic search and destroy game mode, and All available weapons, complete UI rework and visual overhaul,” the studio wrote in the announcement steam (opens in new tab). “CAMP: Legacy is the culmination of work, integrated into an old-school experience for all to enjoy.”
Despite the looming free launch of Camp, the reaction from supporters has not been universal. Many replies on Twitter expressed frustration with the long and ultimately pointless wait for the console’s release; some were unhappy that Kickstarter backers could get their money back, but those who bought directly from Steam couldn’t — — Presumably ignoring the fact that the refund offer is exclusively for those who support the console version.
However, one follower offered a longing goodbye to what might happen:
As for the future, Bulkhead is working on a new Unreal Engine 5 based FPS called war dog (opens in new tab), and it has another project in the works, which will be announced later this year. “We just wanted to close a chapter,” Baker told PC Gamer. “[Battalion 1944] No longer represents the quality standards we strive for as a team and company in capability and direction – although we are proud of what Battalion has achieved. “
Currently, Battalion 1944 is still available for purchase on Steam. Obviously, at this point, I’d highly recommend waiting a week and getting the upgrade for free – Camp: Legacy goes live on August 16th.