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February 15. 2023.
From Apex Legends Mobile to Rumbleverse, here are some games that are being shut down!

We’re barely one-twelfth of the way through 2023 and a surprising number of games are already about to get killed off, as devs have announced their impending deaths.

Apex Legends: Mobile
EA announced earlier this month that Apex Legends Mobile, the free-to-play handheld spin-off that very much resembles its console counterpart, will shut down on May 1. The publisher explained in a blog post that while the game had a “strong start” at the beginning of its lifecycle, Apex Legends Mobile’s content pipeline “[began] to fall short of [the] bar for quality, quantity, and cadence” that the team expected. Anything you purchased in the game won’t be eligible for a refund, according to EA. Thankfully, Apex Legends Mobile’s imminent shuttering won’t have any influence on the main console version of the game.

Babylon’s Fall
Arguably the worst PS5 game, Square Enix’s action RPG Babylon’s Fall is on the verge of breathing its last breath. The publisher announced late last year that the game will cease operation completely at the end of February, with all data being deleted and the servers getting turned off. I’m not sure who was still playing this game, but maybe the sole person keeping it alive at one point might be experiencing some heartbreak. Either way, Babylon has fallen and there is no chance for recovery here.

Batllefield: Mobile
Another EA joint ending in a whimper, the publisher confirmed that just as Apex Legends Mobile is going down in flames, so too is the unreleased Battlefield Mobile. In a separate blog post, EA said that due to the industry’s evolution, the team will “pivot” from the formerly in-development game to focus on Battlefield 2042, with at least one studio, Industrial Toys, closing its doors in the aftermath. At least EA has confirmed that it’s also in “pre-production on our future Battlefield experiences at our studios across the globe.”

Bravely Default: Brilliant Lights
Square Enix’s Bravely Default has had a couple of sequels since the RPG series kicked off in 2012. One of these games, the free-to-play mobile spinoff Brilliant Lights (which only launched in January of last year) isn’t shining so bright, as the publisher confirmed at the end of last year that the game will be discontinued on February 28. Square Enix said in a blog post that Brilliant Lights didn’t “provide services that satisfy our customers,” leading the team to cancel development on the project. There are two silver linings here, though: The first is that any unused in-game currency will be refunded, and the second is Square Enix’s intention to “distribute an offline version” which lets you look back on various characters and their stories. How this “offline version” will play out is unclear, but for now, Brilliant Lights is getting dimmed.

Crime Sight
I don’t blame you for not having heard of this game, as it seems to have flown under the radar after launching on April 14, 2022. However, Konami’s Crimesight, an Among Us-like whodunnit social deduction game, will shut down on May 1 alongside EA’s Apex Legends Mobile. The publisher shared the news on the game’s official Steam store page, citing various unspecified “circumstances” that led to the game’s shuttering. Game bundle sales have already ended, the Standard and Deluxe editions won’t be available after February 27, and the game itself is slated to become unplayable once Crimesight ceases operation.

CrossfireX, the Remedy Entertainment and Smilegate Entertainment co-developed free-to-play FPS that came out almost a year ago to the day, will cease operation on May 18. In a blog post, the team said the game was “ultimately not where it needed to be,” resulting in the unceremonious shuttering. Sales on Xbox, where CrossfireX was exclusively launched, will be halted and purchases made within the last 14 days (as of February 3) may be eligible for a refund. Otherwise, the servers will shut down in May and the game will no longer be up for sale.

Deathverse: Let It Die
This is a bit of a weird one since it’s only temporary, but GungHo Online Entertainment’s free-to-play battle royale hack-and-slasher Deathverse: Let It Die will see its development suspended on July 18. But don’t fret! The publisher shared a blog post on the decision, saying that although the developers couldn’t “resolve the underlying problems” with lag and matchmaking, the team will redevelop the game to ideally “re-release [it] with significant improvements.” As such, any content currently planned for season three will “only be partially released” and the game won’t be playable once services are suspended this July.

Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai: A Hero’s Bonds
Here’s another game you might not have heard of that’s shutting down soon. Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai: A Hero’s Bonds, a free-to-play mobile action RPG, will see its services end on April 26. Citing “the challenges and practicalities of delivering” a satisfying and varied experience, publisher Square Enix shared in a blog post that the sale of in-game items and the automatic renewal of the game’s subscription service have already stopped. Some content, including a treasure hunt and season-exclusive equipment, will still be delivered before development wraps up. But otherwise, A Hero’s Bonds will be no more.

Echo VR
Virtual reality has been going through it lately, and Ready At Down’s Echo VR was caught in the crossfire as Facebook owner Meta has announced that it’s shutting the game down on August 1. Ready At Dawn said in a blog post about the news that the studio is “coming together to focus on” the next project, which wasn’t disclosed as of yet. There are some things you can unlock if you play the game before it shuts down, including previous event rewards and in-shop items, but after August 1 comes around, Echo VR will be done and dusted.

Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier
This one appeared on last year’s dead games of 2022 list. However, since Square Enix has finally laid Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier to rest on January 11, I figured it was worth briefly mentioning this frustrating albeit exhilarating free-to-play mobile-only battle royale game. Maybe, if it ever gets re-released on PC, it will find the audience it so desperately deserved. Only time will time, though. So for now, all I can do here is lay some flowers on the casket and pray we meet again soon.

Google Stadia
Sure, this isn’t a game as much as it is a platform for games, but that alone justifies its inclusion on this list in my eyes, especially since Google Stadia shut down on January 18. Even more of a bummer here, one of the last games landing on the platform, the internally developed test title called Worm Game, is no longer playable. Pour one out, y’all.

Hellfire Tactics
Maybe another game you haven’t heard of, JWaffle Games’ free-to-play card-based auto-battler Hellfire Tactics, which came out in November 2022, will shut down on February 28. The studio shared an update on the game’s official Steam store page, saying that because server costs are expensive and the player base has dropped off, keeping the game up and running has become “unsustainable.” And that’s it. Once February wraps up, Hellfire Tactics will float down the river Styx.

Knockout City
This one’s a huge bummer for me, especially since I really enjoyed what Velan Studios’ Knockout City was going for. However, the developer’s free-to-play team-based multiplayer dodgeball game will have its servers turned off and get pulled from digital store shelves on June 6. The final season is already underway, so you’ve got time to play Knockout City with the rest of the world. But once June 6 comes around, Knockout City will be no more. There are plans for a private server version on PC to stay up for folks to play indefinitely; however, if you missed this train, well, it doesn’t appear to be making any more stops.

Another personal gut-punch, Epic Games Publishing has announced its free-to-play wrestling battle royale Rumbleverse is hanging up its latex on February 28. Developer Iron Galaxy said in a blog post that players who spent any money on the in-game store are “eligible for a refund,” with information on how this works coming sometime soon. In a follow-up post, Iron Galaxy also expressed some interest in bringing the game back, saying we “may not yet have seen the Rumble in its final form.” What that means right now is unclear, but one thing is for certain: Rumbleverse will become totally unplayable when February ends. RIP.

It hasn’t been a great start to the year for battle royale games as yet another one, Proletariat’s free-to-play magic shooter Spellbreak, will shutter in “early 2023.” There isn’t an exact date on when the servers will get turned off, but company CEO Seth Sivak explained in a Reddit post that because the game was “not able to break through and reach a sustainable place,” Spellbreak’s development was no longer viable. On top of the unceremonious shutting down, the entirety of Proletariat was absorbed into Blizzard to support World of Warcraft’s development.

It’s not lost on me that a lot of the entries on this list are free-to-play, games-as-a-service titles. I think that’s indicative of the state of the genre which has been dominated by other tentpole releases such as Apex Legends and Fortnite. There just aren’t enough hours in the day or players in the world to sustain so many live-service games when they’re developed to almost function like secondary jobs, replete with daily login bonuses and enough challenges to complete that you feel as if you’re clocking into a digital workplace after clocking out of your real workplace. It’s only the start of the year, though, so while a handful of games have already died, maybe the end of 2023 won’t look so bloody.

Source from Kotaku.com By Levi Winslow
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