Every couple of years, the gaming industry generates a set of new ideas that they want to put out. Some of these are concepts like the open-world game that is the default for video games today, and sometimes you get obnoxious 3d gimmick games. But a game concept that emerged about five years ago and was touted as a favorite of companies was the live service model. Live service games were supposed to be the future, but now they’re dying out, and companies are paying the price.
- Live service games seemed to be what most gaming companies wanted to produce, but now most are going offline.
- Gematsu released a list of 9 titles that have been canceled or are being let go.
- This comes from the news that Marvel’s Avengers also goes offline after a turbulent run.
Before discussing why these are going offline, we must talk about what a live service game is. Live service model games emerged about five years ago but sprung into the mainstream about three years ago. This coincided with the fact that many countries declared that loot boxes were gambling and therefore were illegal to be distributed in that way.
As a response, many companies turned to the live service model to make up the difference. The idea is that these games use passes you pay for that drip feed new content.
In theory, this sounds like an ideal arrangement as a player would pay for the game, and if they want, the pass will give them continuous new content to play. The problem became that most titles released this way weren’t complete games. Instead, the developers often held back key content to encourage people to buy the passes. The games weren’t unplayable, but they were fundamental and considered by many to be boring. This has gotten so bad that Gematsu put out a list of titles closing down.
Live service games canned in the past weekish:
– Apex Legends Mobile
– Battlefield Mobile
– Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai: A Hero’s Bonds
– Echo VR
– Knockout City
– Love Live! School Idol Festival (tbf though this one doesn't count)
— Gematsu (@gematsu) February 3, 2023
Ultimately, this is the most significant contributing problem to this kind of game. They were locked behind a paywall, and it left two possibilities. One where the developers stuck to the original plan and made the player buy the battle pass, which most took offense to. The second was that some devs opened all of the options in the game, but this often caused scaling options because this content wasn’t supposed to be available like that.
This is evident in titles like Marvel’s Avenger, where the game got off to a rocky start and could never recover the trust they needed from players. The hard part is that there are already games with this function that work perfectly, GTA Online being the example that first springs to mind. If you are wondering if that game was profitable, it made Rockstar 5 million dollars a day at its height.
Ultimately, losing the live service model is hardly a bad thing. Other games have been released with a complete base game and then gone on to add great extra content.
Because of these games, the future of gaming should be clear, but only time will tell. No matter what happens, it is clear that video games will continue to change and evolve for the better, just as they always have.
That is all that we have on the state of Live service games.
While you are here, why not check out our article on The New Witcher Game Will Have Co-op And PVE.