In the ever-complex tapestry of the gaming world, 2023 revealed itself as a year marked by both triumphs and trials. Amongst the highs and lows, the year carried a bittersweet melody, resonating with the closure of several cherished gaming worlds and the soaring success of titles like Baldur’s Gate 3. As gaming enthusiasts, we get to navigate the ever-expanding universe of virtual realms several of which are now lost to time. The reasons behind these closures varied, from dwindling player bases to unforeseen developmental challenges. The release of Baldur’s Gate III stood as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling, immersive gameplay, and the nostalgic allure of a cherished series reborn in an era where we are rapidly losing media left and right.
Now I’m not gonna go through every single game that shut down just the ones that caught my eye or made the news. If there is a game I missed stay tuned for the other parts and let me know in the comments what you thought of the article overall.
In January we saw the closure of the Spellbreak a fantasy-themed battle royale. Proletariat has been acquired by Blizzard Entertainment to be put to work on World of Warcraft. Spellbreak was a free-to-play third-person shooter for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, released on September 3, 2020. It was shut down on January 10, 2023.
The shooter Nine to Five was a free-to-play “3v3v3” fps developed and published by Redhill Games for PCs, Stadia, and GeForce Now. It featured three teams, each one with three players, competing to complete objectives. The game’s development started in 2019 and on October 19, 2022, just five months after the release of the game, Redhill announced the end of development of Nine to Five, and the game servers were active until January 18, 2023. The game was then pulled from sale the next day. All the bundles with weapons and customization options will be made free for players who owned the game.
Google Stadia was Google’s dive into cloud gaming that shut down on January 18, 2023. This is not 100% of a surprise especially if you know how Google starts and then shutters its services either long after they should have gone or way too soon. However from the people that I know who used the service were actually impressed or enjoyed what they saw but the main concern did end up happening. Google didn’t make a ton of that “gamer money” allegedly and shut down the service that had barely ground. While Stadia will shut down on January 18, 2023, many employees on the Stadia team will be reassigned to other roles within Google.
In February we unfortunately saw Rumbleverse shutter. Rumbleverse was 40 40-person brawler that shut down on February 28th. 2023. Although no reason was explicitly stated at the time of this many speculate it was due to low player counts. That unfortunately will be the cause of all of the games we will cover here. With many daily type games let us remember that low player counts and shutdown like this are not a marker for the quality or passion of the game. There is only so much attention span we have in today’s world and it’s very hard to compete with games people have been playing for years and years.
A bunch of old Madden, FIFA, and other EA titles were shut down this year. I also know Battlefield Bad Company 2, Mirror Edge. The older Medal of Honor games and a few other EA titles were up for shutdowns as well.
I think this one may be the most famous game on this list. Not only was it truly live for about 1 year but it is also a notable failure in the loved Platinum Games. On Wikipedia, the game received negative reviews from day 1. Babylon Falls reached a concurrent player count of less than 1,200 just after release day on Steam and declined sharply afterward. Six months later, Square Enix, the publishers announced that they would be ceasing support and shut down the game on February 27, 2023.
Hellfire Tactics was a competitive multiplayer auto battler. There were 8 player matches while drafting from over 90 different units all with their own unique effects on the game. I’m not even remotely familiar with auto battlers but it is always sad to see something people loved at 1 point.
In March we saw the official closure of the Wii U and 3DS Eshops close after a long run.
Now we’re not even halfway through the year so stay tuned for more games that met their end in 2023 and let me know what you think about the games I listed.
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