Rocket Arena, the third-person hero shooter published in 2020 by EA, has abruptly vanished from the gaming landscape. The game, developed by Final Strike Games, has been removed from sale without any substantial explanation. Currently, it is no longer available for purchase on the Steam or EA store pages. The lack of prior warning is rather surprising, as the only mention of its removal was a small notification from EA indicating that Rocket Arena would be taken down from the game subscription service, EA Play, on November 14th. However, this notification failed to mention its removal from sale or the shutdown of its online services. Perhaps a hint at its impending demise was the game’s lack of updates since September 1st, 2021. Despite four seasons of updates that introduced new maps, characters, and battle pass unlocks, Rocket Arena struggled to attract a substantial player base.
Following the release of Rocket Arena in 2020, Final Strike Games redirected their efforts towards an unannounced new IP. Additionally, the studio provided “live services support” for Fortnite, even contributing to the reintroduction of Fortnite’s OG map. Unfortunately, the sudden disappearance of Rocket Arena seems to have erased any chance for the game to make a lasting impact or find redemption after its lukewarm reception.
For some, the name Rocket Arena invokes memories of a series of Quake mods that focused on the pure and acrobatic gameplay of slow-moving projectiles. However, EA Originals’ Rocket Arena offered a different experience by featuring rockets as primary weapons and introducing a unique damage model. Instead of a traditional health system, damage in Rocket Arena would accumulate, pushing players closer to a critical state where a single hit would result in their expulsion from the arena. To survive, players had to rely on the game’s third-person dodge movement. This distinct approach resonated with Sin, who expressed her enjoyment during her pre-release playtime. The psychological impact of watching the damage counter rise, the satisfaction of filling progress bars, and the elusive pursuit of landing that crucial final hit contributed to the game’s unique appeal.
With the sudden removal of Rocket Arena from sale, it appears that the game will fade away without a proper chance at a farewell or an opportunity for redemption. The lack of communication from both EA and Final Strike Games leaves players and fans with little closure or understanding regarding the game’s disappearance. The potential of Rocket Arena, despite its struggles to attract a substantial audience, seems to have been overshadowed by other projects and priorities.
Rocket Arena’s untimely demise serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by multiplayer games in a crowded market. It also highlights the importance of maintaining regular updates and engaging with the player community to ensure the longevity of a game. While Rocket Arena may not have reached the heights it aspired to, its disappearance leaves space for reflection on the strength of its unique gameplay mechanics and the missed opportunities that prevented it from becoming a lasting success.
In the end, Rocket Arena’s quiet exit from the gaming scene serves as a cautionary tale for developers and publishers. It emphasizes the significance of cultivating a passionate player base, providing ongoing support, and seizing opportunities for redemption. The demise of Rocket Arena will be a footnote in gaming history, a game that could have been something more, but ultimately succumbed to the challenges of the ever-evolving industry.