A huge blow for such a unique game
Killer Queen Black launched back in 2019, and it’s been a staple of my household ever since. The extremely unconventional team-versus-team game involved 5v5 battles to the death, with multiple ways to win each match. It encouraged a heavy dollop of team communication and tactical nuance in a way most games couldn’t touch. But the era of playing it at home online is coming to an end on November 30, 2022.
Thankfully, Liquid Bit CEO Matt Tesch has fully explained the situation in a new blog, which they say is out of their hands. The crux of the problem is Amazon GameSparks, which essentially hosted the backend of Killer Queen Black. Amazon shut it down on September 30, but the team was able to get an “extension,” through November 30, partially to finish out what will likely be the last run of online league play. Tesch notes that this was not “planned or foreseen,” and came suddenly, explaining: “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.” Local play will still be possible.
This will impact the PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and…Google Stadia versions of the game (which had a shelf life outside of this situation). Naturally, Killer Queen will live on in arcade form (here is a handy map of where you might be able to find a cabinet, but make sure to call ahead), where it was born. Tesch says that they’re “working on plans to open-source the game,” and hopes it will “rise again in the future,” plus they’re working on a “new title,” that the team hopes to share “very soon.” They’re also working on making sure this doesn’t happen again.
While it’s a totally understandable situation, especially for an indie outfit, it’s unfortunate that it had to happen to such a unique game with an active competitive community. Either way, the legacy of what the game accomplished will live on.