'Knockout City' is going free-to-play in June

The popular dodgeball game is ending its partnership with EA and will be self-published by Velan Studios

Velan Studios

Dodgebrawl brawler Knockout City will be free-to-play on all platforms, starting with the launch of its sixth season later this year. Game developer Velan Studios will also be publishing Knockout City in-house, instead of through its original publisher, Electronic Arts. According to an announcement published today on the game’s website, this will give Velan the ability to grow Knockout City’s global audience and carry out its vision for the future.

“We couldn’t have introduced Knockout City to the world without the incredible support of EA Originals, but now as we switch to free-to-play, the natural next step is for us to take over publishing responsibilities and work even more closely with our community. We have exciting plans for Knockout City, and bringing publishing in-house will allow us to fully realize our vision for the long-term future of this game. There’s so much to look forward to, because this is just the beginning,” wrote the studio, based in Troy, NY, in its announcement.

As a consequence of Velan focusing on Season 6’s rollout, Knockout City fans can expect Season 5 (to released on March 1) to be a lot lighter. There will be no Brawl Pass, fewer bundles and no new cosmetics. There will also be no new map or new ball. But expect Season 6 to be packed with new features, including a new special ball and multiple maps.

Velan revealed little else about Knockout City’s future, but promised there would be more announcements to come. While the multi-player dodgeball game was a knockout success after launching in May 2021 (it drew roughly 5 million new players in a month), the enthusiasm has died down a bit. Players have complained about the amount of time it takes to match with other players. Going free-to-play will likely reignite the game’s popularity for some time, but players will likely have to tolerate ads or fork over for additional features. For now, Knockout City’s future looks uncertain, but fans should stay tuned.