Babylon’s Fall fell indeed, and now the live-service loot slasher’s next season is going to last twice as long as Square Enix had originally planned. After promising players everything was just fine a couple months ago, Platinum Games is now planning to “re-evaluate” its future content plans.
Babylon’s Fall, which has players grind through the linear levels of the titular tower for shiny orbs and new rare gear, is currently wrapping up its first season of post-launch content. Starting May 31, Season 2 will go live, bringing a “small-scale update” and some new content to the PS5’s worst game, and then it will continue to stick around for months, and months, and months.
“Based on the feedback we have received from our players, we feel that we need a period to re-evaluate the game’s future operating roadmap and accordingly have decided to extend Season 2 by three months, meaning it will now run until Tuesday, November 29, 2022,” the game’s development team announced last Friday. Platinum will use the extra time to work on the game’s “next update.”
At the start of season 1, Square Enix was painting a much rosier picture. “Is the continuing service in danger?” it asked no one in particular on March 18. “No, there are no plans to reduce the scale of development on Babylon’s Fall.” While delays and changes to new content in the wake of the game’s obvious systemic issues don’t mean Platinum or Square are preparing to bail, it’s not a move that instills confidence.
For every busted launch redemption arc like Final Fantasy XIV or No Man’s Sky, there are those that were eventually left for dead like Anthem. BioWare’s live service Iron Man sim delayed content and plugged holes for months until EA eventually decided to abandon ship. In-between the failures and successes are the Marvel Avengers and Fallout 76s, games that have plugged along despite never quite delivering on their original ambition.
Babylon Fall’s struggle, meanwhile, seems to have caught its creators by surprise. “It really brings home the realization that this game is very much a service as well as a standalone product,” director Kenji Saito said in a recent interview. “We do understand that these measures are still far from enough and will continue to push on with further fixes and improvements alongside all the new content we will be releasing going forward,” his co-director, Takahisa Sugiyama, added.
I can’t see the future, but I have a hard time seeing where Babylon’s Fall goes from here unless Square Enix is prepared to invest another one to two years in completely revamping it beyond reactive “fixes” and then re-launching it as a free-to-play game. I still don’t think I would want to play it, but others might. Then at least the lone few still keeping Babylon’s Fall alive on Steam would have company. Currently there are more people playing the Outriders demo.