Oops, they’ve done it again. Autumn boysMediatonic’s vibrant platformer royale, released yesterday on Xbox and Switch as part of a major free-to-play overhaul† The game’s servers immediately burned down, with reports of connectivity issues lasting more than 24 hours later.
First released for PlayStation and PC in August 2020, Autumn boys was one of the breakout games of the lockdown-era pandemic. You have to remember, life For real sucked then (okay, in covid terms, it still sucks). For a moment, Autumn boys brightened up some dark times, its chaotic atmosphere and bite-sized 60-player minigames – not to mention a turn as PS Plus’ monthly “free” gameand a Twitch-based marketing campaign-help to propel it to huge popularity.
In March 2021, Epic Games has acquired Mediatonic downright. Part of that deal meant moving Autumn boys from the Steam storefront to Epic’s own game launcher. †Autumn boys is no longer for sale on Steam.) But another part involved turning the game to a free-to-play model, taking an approach similar to: Rocket Leaguewhose developer, Psyonix, was picked up by Epic in 2019†
That free-to-play rollout happened yesterday, as part of Autumn boys‘s sixth season, aptly titled “Free For All.” Players immediately reported problems playing. Like the social media feeds of the game they tried (and failed) to play, many of those reports taken the form from memes†
At 10:02 a.m. ET, the official Autumn boys Twitter account recognized the misery, followed 50 minutes later by a second acknowledgment. Then it switched back to normalcy, tweets about cake, in-game cosmetics and the disturbing fact that Autumn boystitular fall guys are six feet tall. The game’s official feed did not say whether Mediatonic considers the issue resolved.
Certainly not players. on social media, some say they have to wait a long time to get into a match, or consistently reset to play. Others say they can’t get into games at all. Mediatonic has not provided a timeline for a solution. It is, as with many online game launches, a mess. The only difference between this and, say, outsiders is that Autumn boys has been out for almost two years.
When reached for comment, Mediatonic representatives forwarded: Kotaku to Epic. Epic representatives did not respond in time for publication. †Update, 3:15 PM ET: A Autumn boys spokesperson sent the following statement:†The launch of Free For All yesterday set multiple records for Autumn boys, including the highest number of concurrent and one-day players ever. This put a heavy load on our servers and affected some of our matchmaking systems during the day, and we apologize for this! [everyone] who had to wait to jump into the game. Fortunately, several fixes have already been successfully implementedto stabilize performance, and we’re happy to see so many people jump into the game with friends on different platforms††
This is not the only time Autumn boys has been hampered by severe server outages. In 2020, Mediatonic built up a lot of pre-release buzz by granting early access to Twitch streamers and their massive fan base. When the game was launched, a reported 120,000 players tried to play right away. The servers sputtered† What does that say about time and flat circles?