Home Knockout City studio announces two more titles — but not Knockout City’s return

Knockout City studio announces two more titles — but not Knockout City’s return

Velan Studios promises it hasn’t forgotten about Knockout City.

The live-service game, published in 2021, was an arena shooter presented as a zany, colorful, and futuristic brand of dodgeball. It had plenty of fans, but not enough to keep the lights on. Originally published by Electronic Arts, Velan took the game back in the summer of 2022, turning it into a free-to-play title. But the audience was by that point saturated and not growing.

A year later, it was all gone, though with a promise that Velan, the studio founded by brothers Guha and Karthik Bala, would some day bring it back. Velan over the weekend announced two new games but, perhaps mindful of the promise made in 2023, vowed that Knockout City would still come back someday.

“We know that some of you are waiting for Knockout City to return and are disappointed we didn’t announce any news about that this week,” the Balas wrote in an update on Friday. “Rest assured we love KO City as much as you do and want to bring it back, *just not yet*.”

The studio founders went on to say that they “don’t want to rush the process for the next game in that universe. We love that world and can’t imagine not going back to it at some point, when the time is right.”

In lieu of a Knockout City revival, Velan announced Midnight Murder Club, a multiplayer-only PC game set in a haunted house, somewhat like Dead By Daylight, in which players are engaged in a fatal game of hide-and-seek.

On the other end of the spectrum is Bounce Arcade, a virtual reality game that basically puts the player inside a pinball machine, instead of sticking them at the table working the flippers.

The Balas founded Vicarious Visions, the Activision studio behind big-budget franchises like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Guitar Hero, and Skylanders. They left that studio in 2016 to start Velan later that year. Before Knockout City, Velan developed Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for the Nintendo Switch, a toys-to-life racing game involving real radio-controlled cars.

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Owen Good
Gaming Editor (US)

Owen Good is a 15-year veteran of video games writing, also covering pop culture and entertainment subjects for the likes of Kotaku and Polygon. He is a Gaming Editor for ReadWrite working from his home in North Carolina, the United States, joining this publication in April, 2024. Good is a 1995 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 2000 graduate of The Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, in New York. A second-generation newspaperman, Good's career before covering video games included daily newspaper stints in North Carolina; in upstate New York; in Washington, D.C., with the Associated Press; and…

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