About three years ago, a group of developers known within the Super Smash Bros. community for working on the popular Project M mod came together to form Wavedash Games and began work on a fighting game inspired by the crossover fighter they loved so much. After some initial criticism at the time of its reveal, Icons: Combat Arena successfully entered Steam Early Access in July.
Unfortunately, things have gotten pretty rough for Wavedash Games since the Early Access launch. Reception to Icons: Combat Arena was pretty mixed, and the game never caught on within the platform fighter community as much as the developers would’ve liked. As a result, Wavedash Games had to lay off a majority of its development team last week, and has begun work on a more final “definitive” version of Icons: Combat Arena.
In the post that revealed this news, the developers also thanked the supportive community and teased the aforementioned definitive version of the game, which they will be fully unveiling later this week. It is currently unclear what the future of Wavedash Games will be once work on this version of Icons: Combat Arena is complete. You can check out their full message from last Friday to the community below:
“Wavedash will look very different next week. Effective today, we are unfortunately laying off the majority of the development team.
When we started Wavedash three years ago, our mission was to create the game that we most wanted to play, and to share it with the world. Along the way, as the mission grew, we had the great fortune to be joined by some of the most talented, passionate builders in the game industry. Sadly, we have fallen short of our goals – but we feel immensely fortunate to have had the chance to bring Icons into existence, together.
Having learned this day was approaching, the team has been hard at work on a “Definitive” version of Icons that will continue to live on, fully playable, for the community. We’ll post about what that looks like next week. The most important thing to know for now is: you will still get to play Ezzie.
To the Icons community: thank you. You held us to a very high standard, and that standard was our defining difference in building Icons. Thank you for the private tests in tournament back rooms, the thousand-person stress tests, and every time you pushed us to be better, both as developers and as players. We still see vast opportunity in the Platform Fighter genre; we’re hopeful that, with you, the vision can live on.
To the entire team Wavedash team who worked on Icons: Thank you. We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with you. We’re committed to doing everything we can to help as you look to new endeavors.
We will have more detail about Icons’ future development next week. For today, we’re saying goodbye and thank you to a group of highly talented developers, and friends.
DualShockers’ thoughts and best go out to anyone impacted by these layoffs at Wavedash Games. Icons: Combat Arena is currently available in Steam Early Access on PC, and we will be sure to let you know what’s next for the game and its developer.