“This is not something that was planned or foreseen”
- by Alana Hagues
Liquid Bit’s strategy multiplayer game Killer Queen Black is shutting down on 30th November. In an update posted to the developer’s website, Matt Tesch — CEO of Liquid Bit — shared the disappointing news with fans (thanks, Nintendo Everything).
The reason for the game’s shutdown is a result of the closure of the original Gamesparks, a service that enabled devs to build games while the Gamesparks platform itself managed various backend tasks (typically including game configuration, scaling, online authentication, leaderboards, and other more ‘behind-the-scenes’ facets of the software) using a cloud infrastructure.
Amazon acquired Gamesparks in 2017 (announced in 2018), and said last year that games using the original Gamesparks platform would need to transition to a new service — Amazon Gamesparks — before 30th September 2022, when the original service was scheduled to close.
According to the developer, Liquid Bit has negotiated an extension with Amazon which will keep Killer Queen Black running until the end of November. Here’s the official statement from the CEO:
“Dear Killer Queen Black Players and Friends,
It’s with a heavy heart that we’re announcing that after three amazing years, KQB will be going offline on November 30’th, 2022.
This is not something that was planned or foreseen. KQB was built on top of Amazon GameSparks, the service that provides the backend functionality for our game. Unfortunately, Amazon decided to shut down this service on September 30’th. We moved mountains and spent a treasure to migrate to a different provider, but unfortunately, the task amounted to an almost complete rewrite of the game, and that’s just not in the cards for Liquid Bit at this time. We’re working on plans to open-source the game, and hopefully, with some luck and support, it will rise again in the future.
We know that this comes as a shock and disappointment to many of you that have spent so much time and energy playing our game and making the community the great place that it is. We can assure you that we are just as disappointed as you are.
Please know that we did everything possible to keep the online component alive – unfortunately, it was just out of our capability as an indie developer. We did, however, secure a two-month extension from Amazon to use the service until November 30’th so our league play could conclude uninterrupted.
Liquid Bit is marching on, and we’re continuing to build out our new title, which we hope to share very soon. Rest assured, we will make sure issues of this nature are not able to thwart our production or shut down our future online games again.
It’s been a wild run and I am grateful for everyone’s support. Thank you. – Matt Tesch”
Fortunately, it sounds like Liquid Bit is looking to the future, and is hoping to reveal its new title “very soon”, but it’s surely disappointing news for fans of the game to hear that it’s closing up shop next week. We reviewed the game back when it came to Switch in 2019, and gave it a very deserving 8/10, calling it “easy to pick up but devilishly tricky to master”.
Sales of the game will be halted across all platforms from 6th October, according to a tweet from the developer, and the closure won’t affect local match play.
Let us know if you’re a Killer Queen Black player in the comments, and share your thoughts on the game’s closure below.
Update: The article above has been edited to add more information regarding the timeline for the original Gamesparks closure and distinguish it clearly from Amazon’s newer version of the platform.