Born during covid, Blasball was a bizarre text-only fantasy baseball simulator that essentially imagined baseball as it was played in a world of otherworldly horrors.
I regret never having been able to play Blasball, and now it looks like I won’t make it because developer The Game Band is shutting it down. The company dismisses its Blasball development team and will provide them with severance pay, healthcare extensions and a dedicated staff member for job search assistance.
It was a standout example of procedural storytelling. Blasball players could wager on the games to earn points throughout a given week, where chance encounters, Dungeons & Dragons-style could rip games and reality itself. At the end of the week, BlasballThe community of could spend their points to vote on new rules for the game, and in D&D fashion, anything could happen. Or at least that’s what I take away from this delicious recap of what has become known as The Discipline Era:
As a quick recap of some of the highlights, The Discipline Era saw a hellish maw open that devoured the desert of Moab, three eldritch gods in the form of a giant peanut, a massive floating microphone that could have being a ghost of a gamer or something, and, naturally, a massive squid that seemed to be mostly hanging around, but tried to eat someone before. A powerful grand slam exploded the space-time continuum, splitting Los Angeles into infinite parallel versions of itself, causing its name to be changed from The Los Angeles Tacos to The Infinite Tacos.
After pissing off The Great Shelled One by not respecting his idols, he buried the three most idolized players in giant peanut shells. The community kind of resuscitated them, and there was some kind of supernatural financial mess?
Also, there was a raven weather.
Samuel Fung has created a wonderful article for The edge which covers the season from a player’s perspective, and it’s well worth a read.
Anyway, from its stop, BlasballThe developers of said this:
The short is that Blasball is not durable to run. From Blasballwe fight against the amount of work it takes to keep Blasball true to form while financially supporting the team and keeping our staff healthy. We’ve tried countless solutions to make this work, and have 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.
Blasball developed an incredibly dedicated online fandom, which even created a merchandise store full of fan-made apparel, Blasball cards (ahem…TLOPPS cards), mugs, and more, where all proceeds were donated to charity. The store will continue to operate until June 30, 2023, then will also be closed.
Looks like it was a great three year race, and I’m sad I forgot to be a part of it.