Has Xbox and Ninja Theory's 'Bleeding Edge' been abandoned? (Updated)

Bleeding Edge
Bleeding Edge (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

All the way back in July 2020, Bleeding Edge got a brand new fighter, dubbed Azrael, joining what, at least appeared to be, decent on-going support for Ninja Theory's 4v4 brawler.

Update October 26, 2020: Since posting this article, Bleeding Edge tweeted again for the first time since August, and support staff began engaging again in the game's Discord. It certainly seems like there's still life in the game. Staffer 'Rebel Tetris' offered this: "Regarding new content I have no update, but the game is still active the servers are still up and we still respond to support requests and try to resolve player issues to ensure they can continue playing."

Bleeding Edge was in development by a subteam of Ninja Theory before Microsoft acquired the studio, also known for DmC and Hellblade. Ninja Theory is working on Hellblade II, alongside a mysterious horror title dubbed Project Mara. A smaller team was leading on-going updates for Bleeding Edge, but since July, there has been no developer correspondence on the future of the game whatsoever.

Even a brief glance at the game's official blog, socials or official Discord paints a bleak picture. None of have been updated with community messages since July, save for some service degredation alerts. Developers have been completely and utterly radio silent on the game's official Discord, with community messages left ignored, declining to engage in any form of discussion about the game.

When I reviewed Bleeding Edge, I saw it as a game with strong potential, albeit lacking in complexity and variety, at least at launch. While playing it, I couldn't help but feel like I spent long periods of time not really doing anything, as I waited for enemies to respawn, or waited for nodes to unlock, and so on.

Balance also felt a little off, with some healers like Kulev, at least back then, vastly outshining others. I had plenty of fun with the game, mopping up the vast majority of the achievements, using Kulev's mind control skill to force players into traps was also hilarious. At the same time, I just ended up feeling like I could play superficially similar, but far more complex games like Overwatch, or even World of Warcraft PvP, where Bleeding Edge draws some obvious inspiration from.

I was hoping with Xbox Game Pass as a vehicle, Microsoft would see fit to continue updating the game as an added-value proposition. But it looks like as with Killer Instinct, to speculate, it might have ended up being "too niche," or something along those lines.

I think Bleeding Edge may still have an update in the works, possibly adding ranked play, or something along those lines to give it another push. It would be a shame to see it sunset prematurely, given how good it can feel to play at times. For now, it looks like Bleeding Edge's shrinking group of players will just have to wait a little longer.

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Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!