V1 Interactive, the fairly new studio led by Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto, has shuttered forever. The team made the sad announcement on social media today after months of quiet and its debut game, Disintegration, being taken offline just months after launch.
Disintegration was billed as a novel hybrid game mixing first-person shooters with real-time strategy where players controlled Gravcycles that dealt damage on their own while also directing minions below. Its sci-fi story dealt in familiar territory, touching on topics like consciousness and artificial intelligence, but did so with an unexpected comedic tone. It was the debut game from V1 Interactive, but struggled mightily and immediately, creating a hole for the team from which it would never recover. Multiplayer lobbies were quiet, down to as few as three concurrent peak players in the game's final days.
Disintegration never enjoyed more than 539 peak players, which came during a free trial weekend on Steam. For a game built on thriving multiplayer and players willing to spend real money on cosmetics, the lack of activity was a deathblow, despite the game's enjoyable campaign being available too. As a result, the game's multiplayer servers were taken offline last fall, just three months after its June 16 launch.
"We are sad to inform you that V1 Interactive is officially closing," the developer wrote on Twitter. "We want to thank all the talented people at V1, both past and present, who helped make the last 5 years wonderful. And a heartfelt thanks to the amazing community that supported us." The studio head, Marcus Lehto, followed up with more words, saying the leads at the team have "been transparent[...]about the state of things for months, and are making this decision now so they still have ample time to search for new jobs while being supported by our studio."
Last fall, when the team announced the servers were coming down, it said in a statement that it believes "the video game industry needs constant innovation, and we will continue to take risks, follow creative visions, and support new ideas." Disintegration will remain on store platforms where players can still access the single-player campaign. The game received an OpenCritic average of 63 last June.