Another year gone, another set of live service games consigned to dust. Last time we had one of these posts was 2020. Probably should have done one for 2021, but eh.
There’s no hard and fast rule to be included/not included on this list, but generally speaking, being a “Dead gaem” with low player base is not enough. There has to have been some form of termination of service, be it eternal life support, or just yanking the plug.
Anyway, in memorium.
Published by Nintendo and developed by CyGames, Dragalia Lost was a mobile game for iOS and Android. It was released in 2018, and now, just four years later, it’s been shut down/being shut down. Look, I expect this post to go up at the end of the year, but I’m writing this specific summary in March. So chronology is a bit difficult. Regardless, I played for a bit a while back, and I’d say it was a pretty good game all things considered. It’s certainly better then a lot of mobile trash.
Tera was an MMO, developed by Bluehole Studios. It’s got a bit of a better track record, lasting just about 10 years since release, but it’s still going/gone as of the 30th of June, 2022. I never played it, but I saw folks play it and praise it for it’s combat systems. Don’t know too much else about it though.
I never played Spellbreak, or saw anyone play it. It was a battle royale in an already crowded genre, that apparently never really took off. However, the Spellbreak team has moved onto working for Actiblizz, so… I guess they have that?
Look, being employed > being unemployed, but ActiBlizz is a shithole company that can burn for all I care.
Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD
I’d like to congratulate Ubisoft on somehow finding a way to sunset a singleplayer, offline, game.
What do you get when you have a developer primarily known for making games based around stylish combat and weird stories develop a multiplayer looter grinder? A game that doesn’t even last a full year. It released in February, and Square Enix announced they’re pulling the plug. It might actually be the shortest lived game on this list.
Killer Queen Black
I’m going to be honest. Like many of my rants, I write lists like this to dunk on trends and design patterns I don’t like in games. Haha, lets make fun of the short lifespan of mobile gacha! Lets mock live service games that are dead on arrival! Lets point out how pointless it is to trend chase when you’re already late to market.
I like Killer Queen Black though. I bought Killer Queen Black. But no amount of those two things will stop Amazon GameSparks from being sunset, and taking Killer Queen Black with it.
So… yeah. I guess the lesson here is “If you build on any level of proprietary technical infrastructure for your online components, it might just break, and you’ll be hosed.”
Doesn’t really fit on a bumper sticker does it?
Crowfall isn’t dead! They’re just taking the game off temporarily. And making everything free in the cash shop. And “evaluating the current state of Crowfall“. But don’t worry! Just like all those animals you saw on the side of the road as a child, Crowfall is “Just taking a little nap.”
I did a writeup on Crowfall. Honestly, I’m not suprised by this turn of events.
I was going to say that there’s no moral or lesson here, but that’s not actually true: the lesson is that if you make a game with heavy online multiplayer as a component, and the tools to host servers/multiplayer aren’t distributed/available to your player base, that game will die.
Here’s your moral then: Every live service game is in a race with the reaper, and the reaper always wins. It’s just a question of how long that race takes to finish.