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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Knockout City already has over 2 million players

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EA’s temporarily free-to-play ball-chucker Knockout City has amassed over two million players within a few days of release, the publisher announced last night.

Pardon me for being cynical, but I was sort of preparing for Knockout City to fall flat on arrival. The game’s reveal trailer was widely ridiculed, and Tyler walked away from an early preview feeling unimpressed. EA had also just seen Rocket Arena (a similarly quirky arena shooter) fumble. What hope did 3v3 dodgeball have?

And yet, despite everything, it seems to have taken off.

Welcome to Knockout City, population: YOU! Well, you, and TWO MILLION of your friends!If you haven’t joined in on the #BlockParty free trial, why the heck not? Knockout City is available free to try right now! 1/3 pic.twitter.com/Wo9u0R4Z9vMay 24, 2021

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Now, it probably helps that Knockout City is free to play for its first ten days, making a dip into superpowered dodgeball an easier ask. The game also launched with full cross-play, in an effort to make sure the game had the best shot possible in sustaining a playerbase. 

But it also seems Knockout City simply turned out to be a fun, accessible, and surprisingly complex competitive shooter. Our Morgan’s been playing it all week, and reckons it could be the freshest multiplayer game of the year.

“I’m impressed with how harmoniously Knockout City’s mechanics gel together. Even when I’m ganged up on in a 1v3, I have the opportunity to either dodge or catch every ball sent my way. The basic rules of dodgeball naturally create comeback scenarios where I’m repeatedly catching/throwing/catching/throwing until I’m the last one standing. It’s downright intoxicating.”

It’ll pay to see how much of this audience Knockout City retains when it pulls up a $20 pricetag at the end of the month. But with the game’s first season starting today (bringing with it a new map, playlist, and ranked League Play), Knockout City doesn’t look to be dodging away anytime soon.

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