PS Plus Extra's newest co-op live-service game is ending support

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,

PS Plus Extra has plenty of live-service games that are supposed to give players years of content support to keep entertaining. However, with support for Back 4 Blood's co-op zombie action coming to an end, bandwidth is limited.

Back 4 Blood has seen a surge in players since it launched as a part of the PS Plus Extra, Premium games for January 2023. However, it looks like things haven't quite gone as planned for developer Turtle Rock as the Back 4 Blood co-op zombie shooter action is ending live-service support soon.

Back 4 Blood's live-service support is ending just as it hits PS PlusBack 4 Blood's live-service support is ending just as it hits PS Plus

PS Plus Extra gets can't reanimate Back 4 Blood live-service support

Announced on the Turtle Rock website, the Back 4 Blood developers explained the decision to cease further support for the co-op zombie shooter. "Turtle Rock Studios is actually pretty small for a studio making AAA games. We don’t have quite enough folks to continue working on Back 4 Blood content while we spin up another game — yes, another game!

“Given this, it’s time for us to put our heads down, get back in the lab, and get to work on the next big thing,” wraps the statement. Back 4 Blood was released in 2022 to middling to positive reviews, with some of its monetizable systems heavily dragging the game down at launch. Since then, Turtle Rock supported the game well with three major expansions — Tunnels of Terror, Children of the Worm, and River of Blood — but none quite made an impact big enough to put the game in the annals that hold Left 4 Dead, the developer's previous zombie-survival effort.

Back 4 Blood AchievementsBack 4 Blood hit PS Plus Extra in January 2023

At launch, the game looked geared for long-term support and one has to imagine that, regardless of developer size, if the game had found a bit more of a mainstream audience Turtle Rock would have kept supporting it rather than moving on (as any developer would, in fairness). However, for us, at least, with support moving to another game, it leaves us wondering whether PS Plus is just becoming a bit of dumping ground for live-service games without an audience.

We can't help but think of Marvel's Avengers in its last year of support on Extra or the underwhelming Hood Outlaws and Legends which came to Essential along with Knockout City — which is about to have its servers shuttered on June 6th, 2023. It's pretty much every month we get games like this and, while we understand developers are probably keen to pick up the Sony paycheck and attempt to inject the game with a fresh load of players, it's become clear that we are pretty much at maximum live-service bandwidth.

Back 4 Blood open betaBack 4 Blood reaching for the PS Plus stars

It's something that is frequently reiterated in the comments on this here website: even fans of a good online romp already have favourite spots established. That means that you really have to do something exceptional to move the needle. The result is that PS Plus' libraries are just starting to look like live-service dumping grounds as support wraps for a barrage of conceptually similar games. We feel for Turtle Rock, who have clearly made a decent game and are a small team trying to make their way in a rapidly changing industry, but man — we hope that Evolve and Back 4 Blood's short lives have helped the team start thinking about a unique approach to the tiresome life-suck layers of surface level video game interaction.

What do you think? Have you been enjoying your time with Back 4 Blood? Let us know in the comments about your thoughts and opinions and you'll be sure to find us there!
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and Sony news. He writes about PS5 exclusives like Horizon, The Last of Us, God of War, and Death Stranding 2 using experience from years of playing PlayStation games. He also covers PS Plus and trophy news, as well as his favorite games — The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed, and some indie gems — before an evening swim.
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