The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I lost a game today. It was a good game. Well, I liked it.
But there were plenty of others that didn't. It was an online only game, so
when the plug was pulled, that's it. Game over. The handful of people like me,
who liked the game, unfortunately they will never be able to play it again.
This isn't the first time this has happened to me. There
have been plenty of games over the years that eventually become unplayable, either
because the companies quit supporting them, or players just move on and you can't
even scrape together enough players to meet the minimum required to start a
round. Battlefield 2 was a lot like this for me. One of my favorite shooters of
all time. No single player component to speak of, but some amazing multiplayer
action. I don't know how familiar you are with Battlefield 2 (PC version), but
you could actually "play" the game even if you didn't have the minimum number
of players. It just wasn't a ranked match and it didn't really keep score...but
you could at least play. As sad as it may sound, I can remember playing against
two or three other players while we waited...hoping enough players would join to
start a real round. It usually never happened...and so eventually I moved on to
When you think about it, this is the ultimate fate of nearly
every online or multiplayer only game out there. It's probably not something
you think of when you buy a game. You think about playing it, not that it will eventually
cease to operate. Chances are you'll quit playing the game before that happens,
but that's not always the case. Sometimes the game goes away before you're
ready to say goodbye. Games like World of Warcraft and EVE Online have managed
to survive longer than most might've expected. But there are plenty of other
games that haven't been as lucky. I have so many thoughts about this, so many
Perhaps the most prevalent is the irony between me
abandoning a game because I'm not interested in it and losing a game I do like
because the company is no longer supporting it. When I quit playing a game by
my own choosing, I don't think about the impact, if any, it has on the company
or the players still playing the game. Quite the opposite is true when it's not
by our doing. The response is understandable I suppose. I've seen everything
from anger and hatred, to sorrow and gloom. I understand and sympathize with
players who feel robbed when a game shuts down because of a company decision, but
I also understand the decisions that often lead to this outcome. I look at a
game like Titanfall and I expect it to be around for years to come. But I can
also see me playing it longer after most gamers have hit Gen 10, got bored with
it and moved on. Then what?
It's hard to say whether this issue is getting better or worse.
I mean, from a technology standpoint, it seems like it should be better because
servers are cheaper, more powerful and sustainable. With cloud computing and
similar technologies, you could run an online game forever...if you (you being
the game company) want to spend the money on it. When you look at PC games that
rely on services like Steam, you assume this well greatly improve a game's
longevity. But when you hear of companies who don't meet their sales goals, or
worse, start struggling for money...it seems like an obvious first step to cut. And
when companies shutdown altogether, well that will almost certainly mean death
to an online game. And I'm sure most game companies don't plan on running an online
game forever, so there has to be some threshold to decide when to pull the
plug. Is it how much it costs? Is it how many people are playing the game
still? Is it how long the game has been running? Is it a combination of all
these factors? I don't know for sure, but I do know as much as I hate to say
it, no game is going to last forever...no matter how much you or I want it to. It
sucks. I'll be the first to admit it. But it's inevitable.
While I mourn the loss of a great game, I'm thankful I knew
it at all. And to my friends and fellow warriors, you know who you are...
Goodnight sweet prince. Salute.