Mavericks Proving Grounds, the ambitious MMO and battle royale shooter from UK developers Automaton Games, has delayed the launch of its Forge mode for early backers. The Forge had originally been scheduled to launch in just two days time but has now been pushed back by two months to Nov. 29.
The Forge was described by Automaton as the first step toward building the full version of the game. It replaced the original closed beta test that was supposed to launch back in August. Essentially, a section of the game that will be used as a four-week live playtest for backers of the game. Based on player-feedback, changes to would then be implemented before more of the game was tacked on and then a subsequent full launch.
For those not up to speed, Mavericks Proving Grounds aims to blow the popular battle royale multiplayer mode onto a massive scale with a server-cluster infrastructure that can support player counts of up to 1000 per map without the lag associated with conventional online games. The high-fidelity map includes destructible environments and a game design that allows players to track each other across its enormous open world. It is a first-person shooter with a third-person social hub and will support conventional battle royale match-types in addition to free roaming and other modes in the full version.
Impressed by its potential, Twinfinite interviewed Automaton’s CEO James Thompson at EGX Rezzed earlier this year to get a better flavor for his vision for the game and its future. I also played an early build of Mavericks at E3 2018, which I walked away rather luke warm from. There was certainly something there but it seemed a long way from the polished package that I could see making an impression on what is now an incredibly competitive battle royale scene. Today’s delay, therefore, doesn’t come as a huge surprise.
Automaton Games said the following via its blog:
We understand that this news will come as a huge disappointment to our community. And we know that we have previously shifted the date for playable content, so believe us when we say it was a hard decision for the team to make – and one we’re sorry to be announcing so close to our intended launch. Whilst it won’t ease the pain, we did want to offer a little insight into what we’ve been focused on in the last couple of weeks and why we felt it was necessary to delay.
We designed Mavericks to be groundbreaking by nature, and we’ve come to the realization over the past few weeks that we needed more advanced tools to handle the level of analytics we are going to be dealing with, and that traditional solutions currently do not meet our requirements. We’re taking steps to fix that, meaning we will have a more powerful and granular toolset at our disposal which we will integrate with The Forge’s launch. However, this has also required us to make additional adjustments to gameplay that ensure both a smoother online experience for players and allow us to collect the important data we need.
To their credit, Automaton Games are issuing backers free “Citizenship months” on top of their subscriptions when the game goes live, and they’re even offering refunds to disgruntled customers.