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Monday, September 25, 2023

The Game Developer Has Bad News for Switch Gamers


  • Saber Interactive cancels plans to port Evil Dead: The Game to the Nintendo Switch, disappointing fans and raising questions about the game’s player base.
  • Active support for Evil Dead: The Game is ending immediately, meaning no additional content will be released, although critical bugs will still be addressed.
  • The decision to cancel the Switch port and end active support may be due to low player numbers and cost-cutting efforts by Saber Interactive’s parent company, Embracer Group.



Evil Dead: The Game won’t be coming to the Switch after all, with Saber Interactive confirming that it canceled the plans to port the title to Nintendo’s hybrid console, in addition to sharing some more bad news for the fandom. Its announcement arrives just 16 months after Evil Dead: The Game released to mostly favorable reviews.

While movie video game tie-ins don’t exactly come with a quality guarantee, the Evil Dead franchise had more luck with them than most. That’s possibly due to its long track record of committing to interactive spin-offs, with Evil Dead: The Game being its tenth such adaptation since the mid-80s. Fans and reviewers alike praised the tie-in’s blend of survival horror and multiplayer elements, which included both cooperative and competitive content.

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Nevertheless, Saber Interactive is already ending active support for the latest Evil Dead game, effective immediately, having announced as much on social media. The Florida-based studio thus won’t be putting out any additional content for the title, and has also scrapped its Nintendo Switch port, which was originally announced in late 2020. The company did not elaborate on its decision, having merely reassured the existing player base that it will not be shutting down Evil Dead: The Game servers in the “foreseeable future.” The end of active development also doesn’t mean Saber will stop addressing critical bugs, should any such issues arise for as long as the title remains playable.

Some of the fans have already taken to social media to express their disappointment with this announcement, not least because many felt that Evil Dead: The Game still had a lot of life left. And though Saber didn’t attach any wider context to its decision, the very fact that it’s stopping active support of a 16-month-old live-service game is a pretty strong indicator that its multiplayer title is down to a skeleton player base; moves like these don’t normally happen in a vacuum, especially when it comes to companies with thousands of employees that are used to juggling between many projects and have the resources to maintain them.

Therefore, since Saber is already ending active support of Evil Dead: The Game, it’s not a huge stretch to assume that it crunched the numbers and concluded that making additional content simply isn’t worth it. Whether a similar train of thought could have also been the driving factor behind the decision to can the Switch version of the game is less clear. However, the cancelation itself suggests that the port was nowhere near completion even after years of development.

Alternatively or additionally, this end-of-life decision could have also been influenced by a directive above the pay grade of the studio’s leadership. Namely, Saber parent Embracer Group recently announced major cost-cutting efforts, stating that it will closely examine a wide variety of its projects as part of an effort to streamline operations in response to the worsening global economy.

Evil Dead: The Game is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

MORE: Now is the Perfect Time for the Evil Dead Battle Royale

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