As of June 2, 2023, Blaseball development has been discontinued. As of June 7th the official Discord server will be shut down.
Our memories will remain.
The Dangling Plot Threads
We’ll never know what happened.
That’s the best part, and the worst part: the inchoate potential that will never be crystallized. We have been left with two Strikes and no championships. But then again, we were always a team of could-have-beens, weren’t we? Sources suggest that there was in fact no plan at all for what would have happened to this team at three strikes.
What we know for certain is that the Players are no longer playing Blaseball anymore.
They have been Released.
Three years ago, a web game about characters being trapped in an absurdist horror baseball simulation was launched by game studio The Game Band. It hit a nerve and was an immediate sensation – particularly because it was sort of like a mass tabletop roleplay (a LARP?), with the developers highly responsive to the plots and plans of the community. A Discord server was set up and carefully moderated by award-winning community managers. Twenty – later, twenty-four – subfandoms formed connected to each team. A nonprofit fan-merch store was established. Research papers were written. News blogs were created.
Between Eras, Blaseball went on siesta in an attempt to manage technical debt, and after the second Era eventually became bogged down in it. Eventually Blaseball died quietly in its siesta.
According to the Medium post, Blaseball has been discontinued because the money was running low, and they decided to shut everything down gracefully and give everyone severance and job placement rather than running themselves into a wall.
It would be remiss of me not to mention that Blaseball received 3 million dollars of VC funding almost exactly two years ago. Once receiving it they discontinued the Patreon, which was bringing in a tiny amount of money in comparison; keeping it open would have given them maybe another month more, at the most. We would not have been able to save it. So please do not feel guilty about that.
Who knows, maybe this was actually the most anticapitalist move of them all: removing money from the pockets of a venture capitalist and then leaving!
Perhaps, Alternately, This Could Be A Lesson
My personal suspicion is that the two years of no visible progress was a failure of excessive scope and poor project management – their eyes were bigger than their stomachs.
But this isn’t a unique level of incompetence. In fact, you have almost certainly experienced it yourself – setting bad goals is something people do all the time. New Years’ resolutions, missed deadlines for homework, chores that you know you need to do but never got around to…
The way to combat this in your own life is to set goals more carefully. If a goal isn’t working – firstly, figure out if it’s actually something you want or something you think you “should” do. (If it is about school, read this article first.) If it is something you genuinely want, break it up into smaller subgoals until you find something you can realistically reach, that is as specific as possible, and that is based on your effort rather than your results. (For example, instead of “I want to start going for hour-long runs”, consider “On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, I will lace up my running shoes, put my phone away, and at least stand outside for five minutes”. At which point you can either stand on the sidewalk looking like a dingus for five minutes or you may as well start walking.)
It is less clear to me how effective goal-setting would apply to game development, but I am not a game developer.
For The Future
Within half an hour of the announcement, an immediate unanimous consensus formed between all five Decentral Command moderators that were online at the time: our Discord server will remain open. We have a community now, and it is no longer entirely reliant on Blaseball running.
Fanworks are still being produced; for example, the Houston Spies AO3 tag continues to receive new material, as does the #fanwork channel on the Discord server.
As I said a very, very long time ago – the preservation of fandom history is something incredibly important to me. We will attempt to maintain our lists of Other Sources of Blaseball Intel and Other Team Sites for as long as possible. Agent Firey has also created this list of invite links to other Blaseball team Discord servers and gathering places. I have also spoken with SIBR – they have archives of Blaseball Twitter and will be doing their best to keep up the Blaseball Wiki for as long as possible. However, link decay will eventually set in, so I cannot guarantee that everything will still be there if you are reading this however many years after this has been posted.
There will be one more post here, with the goodbyes and websites of the other writers here.
I do not think that there will ever be another Debriefing. This blog was meant to summarize the events of Blaseball and, unfortunately, there will no longer be any events in Blaseball to summarize. I, too, am being Released.
The Last Words
And so I sign off one last time: good luck and good sense out there.
With all my love –