MMOs, unfortunately, do not last forever. When they sunset and close down for good, the whole genre mourns.
The only really good news for Battleborn fans is that the end of updates does not mean the end of everything for the game. The servers will still be up, you can still play the game, all of that stuff is still there. But the game’s update stream is dropping out altogether following the game’s fall update, so you had best hope everything you want out of the game is in there, because there will be no more.
For those of you who have forgotten, Battleborn was a team-based hero shooter that happened to launch very close to another team-based hero shooter just over a year ago. The public chose the victor in that particular contest rather emphatically, and it never managed to pick up the traction or critical mass to avoid its slow slump. Our condolences to any fans who had hopes that were never realized for the title.
Do you remember Raptr? You can see a screenshot from our own memories of it right there in the header. Yes, there was a time when Raptr provided us plenty of information about which games were most popular among Raptr users. But no longer; the service is officially shutting down on September 30th, with the option for existing users to download their user data and overall usage history for the past decade of tracking.
The stated rationale for the shutdown is simply that the world is a different place from when it launched, and at this point there’s just no need to keep it around any longer. There are several first-party optimization clients for game settings already available, which does render the original purpose of the Raptr service fairly redundant. Our condolences go out to those affected by the shutdown.
If you’ve followed its history over the past half-decade or so, you might have noticed that the action-MMO Dragon Nest hasn’t had the easiest go of it. It was shut down in North America a while back and then relaunched last year by developer Eyedentity Games.
Now Eyedentity is expanding its global influence on the Dragon Nest brand by taking over operations for the MMO in southeast Asia from Cherry Credits. The latter company will stay on only to provide customer service support.
As part of the move, Dragon Nest SEA shut down and will relaunch on September 7th in the region. Affected players are asked to create an Eyedentity Games account and link it to their old Dragon Nest one to transfer their characters and progress over.
Stay tuned for a cheering message!
Cast your mind back to 2015 and see if you can recall an odd MMO launching on PC and PlayStation 4 called Wander. It was notable for being a non-combat game that focused on exploration and had you roaming about as a giant tree (at least part of the time). It was also notable for being called the “worst PlayStation 4 game ever.”
It was pretty obvious that Wander wasn’t going to be even a mild success by that fall, and the studio stopped issuing patches and updates for the game in September 2015. The last Twitter message from the company was in late 2015, saying that there was another update in the works.
The deathknell for the game came in last month, when it was delisted from Steam, as Endgame Variable noticed: “Sorry to say we are now removing Wander from sale. We would have liked to switch it to be free, but alas our agreement with CryTek for use of the CryEngine will not allow that. Thanks to all Wanders and sorry.”
It’s both an end and a beginning for Perpetuum Online.
The team announced on September 3rd that it is no longer actively developing for the sci-fi sandbox MMORPG: “So you haven’t heard from us in a long time, and the reason for that probably became more and more obvious with time: I’m sorry to inform you that Perpetuum is not actively developed anymore […] We knew from the start that Perpetuum will be a niche game and we were cool with it. But even considering that, it never really got off.”
Calling the game’s development history a “catch-22,” the team said that a lack of a publisher and low population numbers led to little money available to expand the game’s foundation, which resulted in fewer players over time, and so on it went.
We’ve known for a while that social network Miiverse would eventually be closing, but Nintendo confirmed the news and the official death date yesterday on its Japanese site. For those hoping it may only affect Miiverse in its home country, a second shot has since been fired on Nintendo’s North American site: Miiverse shuts down at 1 a.m. EDT on November 8th (10 p.m. PDT on November 7).
Miiverse wasn’t an MMO, but social-minded MMO players might care about the sunset all the same because of the MMO-like games it effectively serviced and the multiplayer future it could have heralded. While Nintendo cites the reality that users have migrated to other social media platforms as the reason to shut the service down, the fact remains that Miiverse integration made a lot of Nintendo games more multiplayer. Nintendo’s clumsy code system could often be circumvented through Miiverse, allowing people to add new friends by seeing who was active on a game’s Miiverse page, looking through profiles, and requesting to add buddies to friend lists. Miiverse profiles allowed not just text and mentioning of favorite games or personal interests but also custom art, something we still infrequently see in MMOs.
So, remember how Ghost in the Shell Online announced it was shuttering in Japan without announcing that it was also shuttering in North America? Turns out the latter is happening as well. The team behind the game announced today that all services will be shutting down on December 6th for North America, South America, Europe, and Oceania. All cash shop services have been suspended, although the game will continue to operate normally until the shutdown.
The official word is that it was a difficult decision to make, but the ultimate conclusion was that further development time wouldn’t make the title into a large enough success to justify ongoing costs. Our condolences to the players and developers affected by this closure; we hope you get some last good matches in before the game goes entirely offline.
The bright side of the news that Ghost in the Shell Online will be shutting down service in Japan is that this is not, technically, the game shutting down in its country of origin. But it’s still something of a blow, considering that the IP it’s based on is extremely Japanese and it was expected to be rather successful in the country. Not so, it appears; no reason is cited for the servers shutting down, but the most likely explanation is lack of players.
The game will close on November 29th after just about a year of operation in the country. No statements have been made about the future of the title on Western shores, to you can feel free to extrapolate your own hopes or fears based upon the announcement.
Welcome back to our series on MMOs and other multiplayer games you you’ve never heard of! Tonight we have three to highlight.
Mad World has my attention because of its cute graphics first and foremost. The Korean-born game styles itself as an action-centric HTML5 MMORPG with crossplatform play across Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Studio Jandisoft – whose core members apparently worked on another game we’ve covered in this series, Metin2 – says it’ll launch next year on “a mission to offer a truly massively-multiplayer experience without boundaries,” but there’s a fun trailer out as of today:
Welcome back to another edition of MMOs You’ve Never Heard Of, where we pull together a few interesting little games we don’t want to fall through the cracks, and you pipe up in the comments that you have in fact heard of one of these, because someone is totally keeping score!
Terra Mango dropped into our inbox this week — its devs call it “MMOLBTDRTS (Massively Multiplayer Online Location-Based Tower Defense Real Time Strategy game), but the guys in marketing said we had to shorten it a bit.” It’s a free-to-play mobile MMO with multiple races, combat, research, and troop deployment, all with a focus on collaboration with teammates in a three-way war set kinda sorta in an ARG-like real world setting. Reminding you of a cuter Ingress?
Did our article yesterday on MMOs in limbo knock one loose? Probably not, but one of them is sunsetting all the same: Firefall. Late last night, an unknown Red 5 staffer posted the sad news.
“With heavy hearts, we regret to inform you that after much review and analysis, Red 5 Studios have decided to suspend the Firefall efforts on 7th, July 2017. Thank you for being an important part of the Firefall experience and for your loyalty and dedication to the online community. Your efforts and loyalty will not go without recognition, however. Firefall is currently developing a mobile version of the game and all of Firefall’s founders and players will be rewarded greatly in the new game. We will be sure to provide everyone with more updates as we have them. Thank you for your support and enthusiasm throughout the years; we will see you at the next battle.”
Yay, a mobile game. You could also head over and pick up your credit toward Mark Kern’s new game, Em-8ER.
Your favorite MMO is going to die. Don’t take it personally, though; every other MMO is going to shut down, too. That includes my favorites and everyone else’s favorites.
Do you like Final Fantasy XIV? It’s going to shut down. WildStar? It’ll shut down. Ultima Online? Oh, yes, the shutdown is coming. The Secret World? Guild Wars 2? The Elder Scrolls Online? Destiny (yes, I meant to leave off the 2, I mean the original)? RIFT, Trove, Black Desert, Revelation Online, Crowfall? All of the above will shut down.
But don’t get up in arms about this. Seriously, relax, take a deep breath, maybe hum a little William Shatner tune. All of these games are going to shut down, but that’s just because every single MMO exists in one of three states: not yet launched, shut down, or waiting to be shut down. And as cynical as that may seem, I think accepting that truth is going to do wonders for all of us when it comes time for the next unexpected shutdown. Because it’s going to happen.
It’s the end of the line for one long-running Japanese MMORPG.
Emil Chronicle Online, also abbreviated ECO (no relation), is closing down its very last server in August, MMO Culture reports. The anime MMO first launched in Japan back in 2005 and was gradually licensed out to other countries and regions over successive years. However, most of those other versions were subsequently shuttered (such as the English version back in 2010), leaving the Japanese server as the sole survivor.
The game went free-to-play back in 2009 and included some pretty wacky stuff, including the ability to morph into a marionette and the opportunity to roll as a machine race called (we kid you not) Deus Ex Machina. Check out a trailer below for a sample of Emil Chronicle Online’s flavor.