^Stay tuned for The Thursday Nite Rant, where is week we're asking: why are all the games dying?
It seems like the live service bubble has burst, with a huge swathe of online games including shooters, brawlers, and RPGs announcing their cancellation in recent weeks. Some of them representing huge franchises in the space, too: Battlefield Mobile is being sunsetted, along with Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier.
Why is it so hard for live service games to find an audience, even if they’re already attached to a big, beloved property? Well, part of the reason is surely just that the audience has a limited amount of time. Most people don’t have enough free hours in the day to sustain more than one hobby, and so, live service games tend to live or die on how much they can monopolise your life. For a lot of people, Fortnite is their only game. For others, it’s World of Warcraft.
But there are other factors: sometimes games build enough of a community to keep ticking over, but the shareholder demand for constant growth doesn’t have any truck with the idea that a project might just get big enough and no bigger. In a word, the problem is capitalism (lol).
At the time of recording we knew of the following games being shut down (or in Deathverse’s case, going on temporary hiatus):
- Apex Legends Mobile
- Babylon's Fall
- Battlefield Mobile
- Bravely Default: Brilliant Lights
- Crossfire X
- Deathverse: Let it Die
- Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai: A Hero’s Bonds
- ECHO VR
- Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier
- Hellfire Tactics
- Knockout City
- Love Life! School Idol Festival
How many of them were you even aware of? And how many would you even have time to make meaningful progression in? A question that a lot of publishers need to ask themselves is whether or not the pursuit of endless growth is sustainable, because the answer is clearly “no”, and until that’s accepted, their expectations are never going to be realistic.
Not everything can be Fortnite, and that’s not a bad thing!