Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Sky pirate MMO Worlds Adrift shuts down in July

Land's end.

Worlds Adrift, the promising air pirate MMO which looked a bit like Skies of Arcadia, shuts down for good in July.

In an open letter to fans, developer and publisher Bossa Studios admitted the game simply hadn't attracted enough players to keep it online and financially viable.

Bossa will throw an End of the World Party on an exact date still to be announced during July 2019. The event will be livestreamed on Twitch.

Until then, servers will remain up and all of the game's premium cosmetic items will become available for free.

Any copies of the game purchased since 29th April can be fully refunded through Steam, and any premium item purchases at any point will also be refunded. You'll still keep the item until the game's servers shut down.

The game's Founders (all 7000 of them) will also get free copies of fellow Bossa games I Am Bread and Surgeon Simulator.

Cover image for YouTube videoThe End of Worlds Adrift

It's a sad end for a game which promised much but never got there. First announced in December 2014, Worlds Adrift was a seed of an idea from a game jam. Four years later it finally arrived on Steam Early Access, remarkable for being a fully open world whose floating islands and ships were designed entirely by players, and for its physics-based air combat.

But it never got close to being finished - something the developers admit in the frank video above. Around 20 per cent of the game's features were ever implemented, Bossa says, with the rest of its time spent simply trying to get the basics right.

Here's Chris Donlan saying pretty much this, back when he previewed the game in 2015:

"I'm taken with the underlying cleanness of the concept, once I worked out what it truly was: that players are going to make wreckage as they play that will create a shifting topsoil for other players to pick over. This is a game about archaeology, as much as it's a game about anything, and only the very bottom layer - the ancients and their terrible tragedy - has been prepared in advance."