Bulkhead, the developer behind World War 2 multiplayer shooter Battalion 1944, has dropped Square Enix as its publisher.
The news comes courtesy of Battalion 1944’s Steam page, where Bulkhead said it was “formally” ending its relationship with Square Enix over its failure to publish the game on consoles.
"We are deeply disappointed that Battalion 1944 never made it to console and we will be refunding all console Kickstarter backers," wrote Bulkhead. "Thank you to everyone that backed the console version and we’re sorry it has taken so long to rectify this."
As noted by GamesIndustry.biz, Battalion 1944 was first crowdfunded on Kickstarter back in 2016. After several years of development, the game was released on Steam in 2019, with Bulkhead promising to bring the game to PS4 and Xbox One later one. We don’t know exactly what happened, but publishers typically help with bringing games to other platforms.
Square Enix previously helped Bulkhead publish its earlier game, The Turing Test. It also acquired a 20 percent stake in Bulkhead in 2018.
With Battalion 1944 not coming to consoles, Bulkhead will instead release the game in free-to-play form on August 16 under the new name of Battalion: Legacy. This revised and refined version of Battalion 1944 will feature a new faction, new weapons, a new Search & Destroy game mode, as well as a complete UI rework.
Square Enix sold Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics and Deus Ex creator Eidos earlier this year in a move that confused many analysts. In its most recent earnings call, Square Enix said the sale was made out of fear that both developers' games were cannibalizing sales from the rest of Square Enix's portfolio. The publisher said that it planned to perform a review of its studios that could result in more divestments. Funds from these sales would then be used to focus on Saure Enix's Japanese studios.
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