A new update for the shooter game Insurgency: Sandstorm has completely removed the Competitive mode from the game, indie development studio New World Interactive announced. The removal is part of the game's 1.9.1 update.
According to a recent statement, the development studio behind the game considered the removal of the Competitive mode to be "best for the health and identity of the game" and that the mode "didn't really feel like Insurgency". The announcement was met with mixed responses on social media.
While it is no surprise the game's casual Versus and Co-op modes were significantly more popular, the Competitive mode was still played by a large enough portion of the game's player base that queue times were acceptable between 2 to 10 minutes.
The development studio, on the other hand, states that the mode "suffered from extremely low player participation, with players often struggling to even find a match" and that this causes new players to "essentially be stuck, confused, and annoyed."
Players speaking out against the recent decision point towards the studio's lack of support and commitment for the Competitive mode and note that its focus on over-the-top player customization in the form of paid downloadable content didn't fit with the Insurgency brand either. The recently announced character skin downloadable content has since been scrapped.
The Competitive mode will now only be available as a time-limited playlist through which players can play a modified version of Competitive Firefight. Modifications include normal Versus Firefight classes and normal supply costs for weapons and equipment. The studio currently has no plans to bring the mode back.