Bulkhead have announced that they are splitting ways with Square Enix, and that their WWII multiplayer shooter Battalion 1944 will be rebranded and relaunched as Battalion: Legacy.
Battalion 1944 is a WWII multiplayer FPS that sought to bring back the old days of pre-Modern Warfare Call of Duty, before the series was all about kill streaks, tacticool gun attachments, and 100-player Battle Royale maps. The game entered Early Access in 2018, and got a full release in May 2019.
Despite Square Enix acquiring a 20% stake in the game and helping Bulkhead with publishing duties as part of the Square Enix Collective indie initiative, things clearly went very wrong for Battalion 1944. The game never really went anywhere, and currently holds a 61% positive user score on Steam, with most of the recent reviews being negative.
Not that it matters much, as the community seems to have fled the game a long time ago. According to Steam Charts, Battalion 1944‘s highest peak player count in the past month was 39, which is roughly triple what the game has been doing for about a year now. In the game’s defense, since most of its modes are 5v5, that is actually still enough players to fill at least one lobby.
There was also supposed to be a console port, but it has finally been formally cancelled in today’s announcement. Bulkhead states that they will be refunding any Kickstarter backers that pledged for the console version in the near future.
The announcement definitely implies that there was some bad blood behind the scenes between Bulkhead and Square Enix, which has led to the companies breaking their prior business partnership. On August 16th, Battalion 1944 will be rebranded and relaunched as Battalion: Legacy on Steam.
This new version of the WWII shooter will be free. It appears, at least at first glance, that Battalion: Legacy won’t actually have any monetization at all aside from server renting. If there are some form of microtransactions or season passes attached to Battalion: Legacy, then Bulkhead hasn’t mentioned them yet.
This relaunch will come with some new features and improvements as well. These include new British weapons, balance tweaks, and an updated UI.
Battalion 1944 is still available on Windows PC via Steam for $19.99, but there is obviously no point in actually buying it since the Legacy relaunch is merely a week away.