Blaseball is dead: "The cost, literally and metaphorically, is too high"

(Image credit: The Game Band)

Baseball, the unhinged sports simulation, is shutting down as developer The Game Band says it can no longer afford to keep the game running.

"The short of it is that Blaseball isn’t sustainable to run," the developers say in a blog post. "Since Blaseball’s inception, we’ve been fighting against the amount of work it takes to keep Blaseball true to itself while financially supporting the team and keeping our staff healthy. We’ve tried countless solutions to make it work, and we’ve come to the conclusion that this fight isn’t one we can win in the long run. The cost, literally and metaphorically, is too high."

Layoffs will follow, but the blog doesn't detail how many developers will be affected. The Game Band says it will support those laid off with "severance, healthcare extensions, and job search resources with a dedicated staff member for job placement." The studio is putting out an open call on social media to find open positions for its workers.

If you're not familiar with Blaseball, it is (or rather, was) a game that takes place on a website that looks like a pretty standard baseball stat-tracking page. You picked a favorite team from a list of fictional ball clubs with names like 'Kansas City Breath Mints,' then bet on games with fake money, and spent resources to vote for rule changes across the league between seasons.

But those simple statistics gave way to some very strange stories. Weather effects like 'birds' or 'jazz' could have ridiculous effects on the games. Players could die and be resurrected, returning to play as undead entities. There was a fight against a peanut god early on. A robust fandom ensued, with enthusiasts drawing fan art and creating elaborate backstories for players that became their own sort of canon on the Blaseball Wiki. Fans created their own news networks dedicated to the game, and even hosted live commentary in the style of sports broadcasts through Twitch.

"To Fans of Blaseball, who have cheered and cried with us, who watched Suns die and Eras pass, who have defied the Gods and death itself, who have been with us through the end of the world as we knew it and then what came after: thank you. It has been one of the great joys of our lives to make Blaseball for you, and we will grieve its loss like everything else - together."

Baseball's latest (and last) season began earlier this year, and was intended as a newbie-friendly reboot. 

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.