10 dead live-service games we want to revive
Light a candle for games that can no longer be with us.
One of the worst parts of playing video games these days is that many of the games that we choose to play every day are at risk of possibly shutting down because of their many moving parts, be it the size of the team it takes to maintain, or the level of money it needs to bring in. Just because a game requires an always-online connection doesn’t mean it will always be here. A live-service game’s double-edged sword is that it can disappear just as quickly as it arrives. Today we will look at ten games we wish we could just check in on one last time.
Did you enjoy the video game SPORE but wish you could make those creatures fight with weapons? Darkspore was an odd game meant to reuse assets from SPORE to make an action-focused game and have SPORE be more of a grand adventure. It’s deeply disappointing that Maxis will never make another SPORE, but also deeply frustrating that there’s a whole side to the universe we can’t explore.
It’s easy to forget, but there was a time when the entire industry saw the success of League of Legends and sprung into action to capitalize. Dawngate makes this list not because it was interesting but because of Electronic Arts’ ruthlessness in killing the project, going from open beta in May 2014 to announcing its shutdown in November of that same year.
Deathverse Let It Die
Sadly, this game is in the category of “you can still play it, but not for long,” as the announcement came in January that the game would “suspend service” in July. While there’s hope that it can be brought back in some way, we have to call this weapon-based battle royale dead.
Marvel Heroes was a Diablo-like action game that leveraged the size of the Marvel Universe to create its unique hook: you were farming for other heroes. When the game launched in 2013, getting heroes was hard for a free-to-play player. The team at Gazillion worked hard over the years to make the game better, even adding in sidekicks to function as combat pets to make difficult battles more manageable. In 2017, a long-awaited console port was finally released but would only stay online for four months as Disney pulled support for the project.
The good news is you can still play Rumbleverse for the rest of February, but the fact that it’s going away is a said one. Rumbleverse was a melee-focused battle royale game that saw you fight across sky scapers and even an island to become the last one standing. The melee combat turned the game into a fighting game and helped break down many of the barriers that players who are only casually playing.
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Star Wars Force Arena
Star Wars Force Arena was a mixture of many mobile games; it combined the dual-lane strategy and tactics of a Clash Royale with hero character mechanics from the MOBA genre. The ability to synergize card decks with hero powers meant that each match was interesting. Its run from January 2017 to March 2019 is very respectable, but given that Star Wars is such a massive IP, it’s not surprising it was shut down when the game was no longer a top earner.
Tekken Revolution is a game that only existed as a product of its time. The game, released in 2013, before the PlayStation 4 and before Tekken 7, incorporated small bits of RPG leveling as you earned XP to level up stats that remained persistent as you played the game. While the game’s free-to-play nature wasn’t perfect, it did remove the cost barrier from a fighting game. Bandi Namco has continued to use this model for the Dead or Alive series, removing the persistent progression and allowing you to buy only the characters you want to use.
The Matrix Online
This one is the definition of ahead of its time. The Matrix Online was meant to be an ongoing branch of the Matrix universe. And since its closure in 2009, the internet has undergone massive shifts. In a world where The Matrix Online was allowed to continue, it’s possible that Matrix sequels may have come sooner.
The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot
Ubisoft’s The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot had something that no other game on this list has: it had a second life. Launched initially as a Diablo-like with a Mario Maker twist, players would try to build a dungeon that was tough enough to protect their loot, but they would then upgrade their own heroes to steal other loot and then use those rewards to make their base even more robust. The game would run in beta for most of 2014, see a full release in 2015, and be shut down in October 2016. The mobile version would come to life in 2019 and become a one-handed mobile game you could quickly enjoy, and it would run until September 2022. The game was never a huge success, but the community really supported it.
In a time before WoW Classic existed, there was Wildstar. It’s a “paint by numbers” MMO with an impressive art style and a well-designed world. The main hook was that dedicated players would be able to pay for or eventually earn a premium subscription. Wildstar was never the best MMO on the market, but that doesn’t mean it had to die.