6 years after it closed for good, a free-to-play hero shooter is making a comeback as a paid game with ‘zero microtransactions’

The MOBA-hero shooter Gigantic made a good impression when we first checked it out in 2014, but it didn’t catch fire with fans, and in 2018 it closed its doors for good. But following a surprise “limited time throwback event” in October 2023, Gearbox has now announced that it’s coming back for real as Gigantic: Rampage Edition, with a closed beta set to kick off in just a couple days.

Gigantic: Rampage Edition will feature all the content of the original game along with two new heroes, two new maps, and a “more accessible, fast-paced, and action-packed” game mode called Rush. A ranked mode will be added after the game’s launch in April, and more hero skins will be added in subsequent free updates.

Maybe most interesting of all, the new take on Gigantic will not be free to play, as the original was: Instead, it will carry a $20 price tag and “zero microtransactions”: All content will be unlockable either through gameplay or with in-game currency that’s also earned by play.

The original Gigantic was developed by Motiga, which closed in November 2017, while the Rampage Edition is being developed by Abstraction Games, which has support studio credits on games including Baldur’s Gate 3, Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. 

“It’s an honor to help Gigantic make an incredible comeback,” game design lead Bart Vossen said. “With Rampage Edition, we knew right away that we wanted to make everything fans loved about Gigantic bigger, better, and even more accessible for all players. We can’t wait for players to dive in and see all new content and improvements that make this the definitive edition.”

Making Gigantic: Rampage Edition a premium game (albeit a low-priced one) with no microtransactions is a bold move but may help it stand out from the crowd, especially at a time when big-budget games like Diablo 4 and Skull and Bones are enthusiastically embracing the microtransactional model on top of their already-steep price tags. But first things first: Will this overhauled version of Gigantic be able to attract a sustainable audience six years after the original flopped? Gigantic hit a peak concurrent player count of 8,308 just after it launched in July 2017, but by the end of that year the number had tailed off to just over 200—and that’s when the game was free.

That said, there does seem to be some genuine enthusiasm for the comeback on Reddit, and the circumstances are (possibly) better this time around: As we noted when the launch date was announced, Gigantic had “the unenviable struggle of competing with Overwatch,” which had arrived a year earlier and was then in full stride. MOBA trappings aside, Gigantic had a very Overwatch-like vibe, at least superficially, and that’s not a fight it was ever likely to win. But Overwatch isn’t the juggernaut it used to be, and that could provide an opportunity for a game like Gigantic to find a place to flourish.

The Rampage Edition also has a much larger potential player base: The original Gigantic was only available for PC and Xbox One, but this new version is also coming to PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox Series X/S consoles.

Gigantic: Rampage Edition is set to debut on April 9 and will be available for PC on Steam and the Epic Games Store. Ahead of that, a closed beta will run on Steam from 12 pm PT on February 22 to 9 am PT on February 23. Signups for the closed beta are open now—just head over to the Steam page and hammer the “request access” button, then cross your fingers for the “you’re in” email.

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