The latest casualties are:
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)
- Resident Evil Outbreak: Files #1 & #2 (PS2) [as seen on NeoGAF; note: DO NOT visit later pages in that thread, they've been hacked to take over your browser with some nasty stuff; you've been warned]
- Phantasy Star Online Episodes I & II (Xbox)
Which makes me wonder how much thought goes into these shutdowns. In particular, companies talk of cultivating online communities of fans and the economic advantages of having such groups identifying with a game and the company behind the game. Taking these ideas at face value, it must take some serious financial advantage to disrupt those communities.
Which means the communities are tiny. Of course, I knew that. Back when I tried to play Twisted Metal Black: Online in 2003, few people playing online. And when I played Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast recently, there wasn't even a single other player to be found online. I suspect the same is essentially true about MGS3 and Resident Evil Outbreak, in that the true number of people who will care is small enough to ignore.
Which leads me to wish that more games were like Daytona USA: CCE for the Sega Saturn and Netlink: player-to-player online modes. I believe that Ruffin and I could still play that game right now (as we once did, long distance across state lines) as it only depends on a Saturn, a game disc, a Netlink, and a phone line. I suppose with cell phones overtaking land lines, it might soon be difficult to do even that much. Ah well, I'm committed to being perpetually in the minority.
Last time I checked (which was a few days ago), MGS3: Subsistence's online garnishes about 400 players on average. A bit low for an online game, but then again I'm not expecting millions of players like on Counter-Strike.
I guess they were expecting more than that...
During the month after release, MGS3:Subsistence's servers were pretty lively. I didn't really stick around for more than a month or two, however, and clearly I'm not the only one.
Thank goodness for peer-to-peer gaming. I guess there's a piece of advice to developers -- if you think or hope your online game is going to have any sort of longevity, please make it peer-to-peer. Off to fire up some Quake III Arena...
This makes me worry about NWN2. In a recent thread someone was saying it only had roughly 300 people on at any given moment. Not sure how accurate that is, but that means I need to messing with the multi-player sooner rather than later. I need to check if it has peer-to-peer gaming options.
Have any games on Live, other than those from EA (which use EA's proprietary extensions and server) had shutdowns?
Jeremy: Maybe not, but PSOE1&2 will be one very soon. That's why I listed it.