Live Service Games that Died Before Their Time

So-called live-service games, often known for their Battle Passes and microtransaction-based free-to-play models, have become increasingly popular in recent years. While some managed to show that the Games-as-a-Service model can be successful when implemented with a player-centric focus, many others have fallen flat as support for them ends well ahead of schedule.

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There are many reasons a live service game could fail, from overly aggressive monetization to not very good games. Ultimately, the result is usually the same: many of those behind the product were left with balls in their faces and a fairly conspicuous chunk of change missing from their bank accounts. For the most part, these failed live service games promised a lot, but fell massively under-delivered before support for them was prematurely ended.


1 Chocobo GP

Chocobo GP Nintendo Switch Free to Play Release Date

what does Chocobo GP so frustrating is that the game itself isn’t that bad mechanically. To be clear, it’s no Mario Kart, but once all the ugly monetization is removed, it’s actually a halfway decent kart racer. Unfortunately, this monetization mentioned above was pretty hard to ignore, with many of the most popular final fantasy Characters locked away behind a ridiculously large paywall.

The game was released in March 2022 to widespread criticism, with both players and critics bemoaning its monetization model and paid season pass. Square Enix has attempted to allay player concerns by handing out free in-game currency, although this has done little to make the game feel less like a free mobile title. Just nine months later, support for was announced Chocobo GP was nearing an immediate end, and no further major updates were planned for the title.

2 Babylon’s fall

Babylon's fall

To say that 2022 wasn’t a great year for Square Enix when it came to live service gaming might be a bit of an understatement. In addition to the untimely death of Chocobo GP​​​​​​, the Japanese company saw another of its products fail miserably, with Babylon’s fall It somehow manages to underperform even more than the chocobo-style kart racer. Developed by PlatinumGames, the title was released in March 2022 but didn’t survive a single year.

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not how Chocobo GP, Babylon’s fall had very few redeeming qualities, leading to some pretty abysmal rating scores. The combat wasn’t terrible, but almost everything else about the game could best be described as boring. Players seemingly agreed with this assessment, with the number of concurrent players on Steam dropping to just one within a few months of the game’s release. Four months later, Square Enix officially announced that the servers would be shutting down in February 2023.

3 Marvel’s Avengers

Marvel's Avengers Ms. Marvel

Another failed live service game published by Square Enix, Marvel’s Avengers at least survived its first birthday before finally pulling the plug. In fact, the announcement that support for the game would end came 868 days after the game’s release in September 2020, making it one of the Japanese giant’s most successful live service games. Of course, Square Enix had nothing to do with it at the time, having sold Crystal Dynamics to Embracer Group in May of the previous year.

in his heart Marvel’s Avengers wasn’t a bad game. However, it was a pretty awful live service game with nowhere near enough content to keep players coming back. The game quickly became repetitive for new players, causing player counts to plummet within just a month or two of the game’s release. By the time the next-gen ports finally arrived, the game was as good as dead, although it would be another ten months before Crystal Dynamics finally confirmed its fate.

4 anthem

Anthem Javelin Group

The only thing more disappointing than an objectively terrible game is one that’s packed with great ideas and potential but let down by its poor execution. anthem definitely falls into the latter category, as BioWare’s multiplayer shooter ultimately leaves many of its players frustrated by its failure to translate all of those promises into a cohesive and enjoyable experience.

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Even more frustrating was the fact that BioWare is one of the most powerful development studios in the games industry and is responsible for some of the best role-playing games of all time. For whatever reason, the studio just couldn’t find the right formula for it anthemresulting in post-launch support for the game ending in February 2021, just a year after the developers committed to reinventing the title’s core gameplay.

5 split gate

Splitgate first-person view of the player facing the center of the map

The live service graveyard is littered with the bodies of terrible games, but many great ones are buried there too. Most of them died of old age before peacefully mingling in the pages of gaming history, but there are one or two whose support ended prematurely, typically for reasons beyond their control. This was ultimately the case with split gate: a fantastic game that ultimately fell victim to its own success.

The Portal-inspired multiplayer FPS game was so popular that developer 1047 Games actually had to delay the game’s departure from Early Access by a few months to allow the servers to be upgraded to keep up with the high demand. Unfortunately, turning an originally planned indie project into an AAA title proved difficult for the developers, leading them to announce that they would shift most of their focus to a new project in September 2022.

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