The shared world shooter Mavericks: Proving Grounds has been canceled after developer Automaton Games announced yesterday that it had entered administration. The ambitious game, which started development in 2017, was to feature a 1,000 player battle royale mode, with demonstrations showcased at game shows like EGX and E3.
The website’s official statement reads:
“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… Please be advised that due to insufficient funding, the development of the Mavericks: Proving Grounds game has now ceased.”
I spoke with CEO James Thompson back in April of last year where he shared his vision of tactical simulation game on a grand scale.
Destructible environments, dynamic weather, wildlife, and the ability to track players based by observing flora on the ground painted the picture of an ambitious project. Particularly given the game was set to feature the largest battle royale experience ever –1,000 players across a 16×16 map– made possible by what Thompson described as a “cluster of servers.”
Battle royale was only part of the package, though. Players were to launch into different game modes from a social hub called The Capital.
I later played an early build of Proving Grounds at E3 2018. It certainly did boast some of the features that Thompson described in our earlier interview but it was also very rough around the edges.
Only weeks ago Proving Grounds had announced the launch of an Alpha Play Session with big improvements to the overall gameplay experience based on user feedback, which obviously won’t now be taking place.
As for Automaton’s other online shooter Deceit, the developer mentions that the administrators are in the process of licensing the game so that there won’t be any interruption to its service.
There’s no word on how long the process is set to take or how many jobs are at risk, as noted by Gamesindustry.biz The outlet also points out that Proving Grounds follows Bossa Studio’s Worlds Adrift as the second game using Improbable’s SpatialOS technology to be recently canceled.