Battleborn Shutdown Announced After Years in Maintenance Mode

In 2017 2K Games announced that Battleborn would be going into maintenance mode for the foreseeable future but as we all know that means the game’s days are numbered. Well, it looks like its time is up. 2K took to Twitter to announce the Battleborn shutdown is finally coming.

You might expect that because it’s coming up to the end of the year that the shutdown would be soon, but in fact it isn’t happening until January 2021! It’s really amazing that they’ve given so much warning for the fans of the game. This isn’t usually how these stories go.

Starting on February 24, 2020 you will no longer be able to purchase virtual currency which is also incredibly generous as far as time is concerned! The game has now been removed from digital storefronts though, so if you don’t already have the game, you’re out of luck I’m afraid.

If you’re wondering what went wrong after it had such a successful beta, the answer to that quite simply is that it came out at the same time as Overwatch. The two games are quite similar and playing for the same audience. Unfortunately for Battleborn, Overwatch won out. Still, for the dedicated playerbase the knowledge that they still have so long to go until shutdown is a blessing. Most fans of online games that get shut down don’t have that. So thank you 2K! You’re one of the good guys.

 

Source: Twitter

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Dungeons and Dragons Online’s Permadeath Server Coming to an End

Dungeons and Dragons Online’s permadeath server is about to have a permadeath of its own. The server is ending on November 15th. The server, which launched in August was never intended to last forever and was always meant to be a time-limited experiment.

After they close the Hardcore League server they will gather data to determine who the winners were, announce their names, and prepare them for inclusion in the Hall of Heroes. Once that is complete the server will be re-opened for several weeks to allow players to prepare their characters for transfer to regular servers.

While in the official FAQ about the shutdown of the server Standing Stone Games says they have nothing official to say about the return of the Hardcore League, some hopeful fans have pointed out that they have referred to it as the “first Hardcore League” which suggests that there may be more in the future. The server will be back on in early December though no dates have been given yet. They also haven’t yet announced what time the server will shutdown on November 15th. That information is expected to be released as the date approaches.

It is interesting to see developers do these kinds of experiments with their games. Who knows what else we might see happen in DDO in the future as a result of this experiment.

 

Source: DDO Official Site

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Durango Wild Lands is Shutting Down After 5 Months

Nexon’s Durango Wild Lands is shutting down just 5 months after it released. The mobile survival game was in beta testing for years before it finally launched in May. It isn’t the end of the game yet though and Nexon actually has one more update for the game before the end. Here is what they have planned from their announcement on Facebook.

Final Chapter of Durango: Wild Lands

The finale for Durango’s main storyline is in preparation. It will be available for pioneers through quests. The end is connected to the beginning, as K and X are the main characters for it. It will also include many answers to questions that arose as you explored the world of Durango.

Combat Island & Instruments

Combat Island is a PvP content in which pioneers gather in a small island for a fight to the finish. In a sense, the structure is a bit similar to the previous Warp Rush. The play experience, however, is something quite different. With the loots that you receive from the Combat Island battles, you can craft rare weapons that you can boast to other pioneers.

Instruments will also be introduced in the next update. In contrast to the action-packed combat of Combat Island, the new instrument system will bring a tone of peace. You can select a piece and play it, or utilize the editing function in order to create your own. Craft and play the new instruments so that you can spread tranquility in a world of exploration and survival that is Durango.

Faster & Better Experience in Durango

In order to experience the many contents in Durango: Wild Lands, one needed to invest time and effort. Now, considering that we’re near the end, we are preparing an update that will bring in a way to enjoy the various contents in a short amount of time. But at the same time, we will try our best not to diminish the gameplay of the past.

Keeping the Private Islands

We are currently trying to find a way for pioneers to keep their private islands even after the service for Durango: Wild Lands ends. This will allow you to see your private island after the termination and also show it to others.

Durango Wild Lands Review Zebraceratops

Heartbreaking to see that they still have content in development while knowing that the game is coming to an end. About the shutdown they said:

After Durango: Wild Lands was released, our pioneers have turned the wild lands into a new world. Vacant islands became flourishing cities, and lands of nothing became homes, farms, and shelters to many pioneers.

To put it bluntly, we have decided to end the service of Durango: Wild Lands. It seems we have reached our final destination in the wild lands that we have explored together. We would like to apologize and show our gratitude through this note.

We would sincerely like to thank you, our pioneers, for being part of the Durango world. We, as developers and operators of the game, were able to do our jobs largely due to your support. While the in-game characters were warped to Durango despite their intentions, you our pioneers chose to be part of our family. We deeply empathize with you not being able to continue your expeditions in Durango.

Life in Durango will continue on until its termination. We will continue its development so that memories from the wild lands will last for a prolonged period.

 

In-app purchases are no longer available for the game and the game will close on December 18th. They don’t have a release date yet for that new content, so if you’re interested in that be sure you’re following them on social media.

 

Source: Facebook via MMOCulture

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Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics, the Smite Tactical Card Game is Shutting Down

Its been a while since we’ve heard any news from Hi-Rez and now that we have it’s only bad news. The Smite Tactical Card Game Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics is shutting down on January 1st 2020. This was announced via Twitter and fan reaction was sad, but not surprised. The game has undergone a number of changes throughout its development and many of the fans who enjoyed the game lost their love for it over time.

As a thank you for fan’s time spent, and to make the rest of the time the game is live more enjoyable Hi-Rez is giving everyone 100,000 runes.

Hand of the Gods launched February 20, 2018 which means that sadly the game won’t make it 2 years being live. It first appeared as an Early Access title in 2017.

 

There was also news about Smite, good news though. Persephone, Goddess of the Underworld has been added to the Smite pantheon. She’s the first God to be added to the game since April. From the sound of it she’s a pretty complex character. She’s a mage with powerful long-distance attacks, the ability to summon plants, and she can plant seeds that can revive her if enough are collected. As always to help you get an idea of how Persephone plays Hi-Rez has released a God Reveal video. It’s nearly 5 minutes long and has a lot of information to take in.

 

This Persephone is nothing like the one from Punderworld. She’s a dark and vicious fighter. So really, she fits right in with the Smite pantheon.

 

Source: Twitter, Press Release

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Nexon Shutting Down 2 Western Subsidiaries

We found out last week that Nexon would be going through some restructuring and now there are more details. The update to that story today is Nexon shutting down two of its western subsidiaries. Both Nexon M and Nexon’s Division Partners Office will be closing at the end of August. While some of them have been moved to other Nexon units there will still be many left without jobs.

Mabinogi

The Nexon’s Division Partners Office was responsible for QA, community management, marketing, publishing, and providing live operations in the West. It isn’t clear yet how these vital components of the company’s business will be operated going forward. They specifically provided these services for Mabinogi, Rocket Arena, and an unannounced title.

Nexon M, Nexon’s Mobile division in the west created games like Durango: Wild Lands, AXE: Alliance vs Empire, Marvel Battle Lines, and a few other titles. This particular division of Nexon has only been around for 5 years, but as part of the company’s restructuring, it is getting the axe. What will happen to the games they’ve developed and any that they had in progress remains to be seen.

Based on the talk around Nexon it would be safe to assume that this is only the beginning of their restructuring and that more news will be coming out about it soon.

If you’d like to stay up to date on the latest news from the online games industry be sure to check out the MMOGames Weekly Business Report which comes out every Friday. Here we will continue to stay up to date on the latest Nexon news, look at quarterly financial reports as they’re released, and any other business news that arises during the week.

 

Source: MMOCulture

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Weekly Business Report: Nexon’s Internal Restructuring, Ninja’s Leaving Twitch, and More

MMOGames Business Weekly Report is back to take a look at mobile gamer preferences for free to play games in China, the latest news from Nexon, Ninja leaving Twitch, and a few other topics relevant to the business side of making online games.

 

Automaton Games Shuts Down

Mavericks: Proving Grounds

Automaton Games, the folks who were behind the unreleased 1,000 man Battle Royale Mavericks: Proving Grounds, has shut down and in the process the game has died. In the announcement on their website, they cited a lack of funding as the reason for their sudden closure. Thankfully Improbable, the makers of SpatialOS, have said they will be trying to find places for Automaton employees in their company. Mavericks: Proving Grounds is actually the second SpatialOS game to meet its end in recent months leaving some to speculate that SpatialOS falling out with Unity earlier this year may have played a role. If that’s true, this might only be the beginning of SpatialOS related sunsets. MMOGames staff will be watching and will continue to bring updates in our weekly business report.

 

Source: MMOGames

 

Chinese Consumer Preferences

According to recently released research, over half of Chinese consumers prefer free to play or ad monetized games over premium titles. In fact, the research found that 61% of people prefer non-premium games. 85% reported they spend money on mobile games with 3% spending more than $50 (¥330) a month. In contrast, the average spending is just $5.80 a month. Those interviewed between the ages of 26 and 30 had the highest average spending at $10 a month.

The research also showed there is a high level of brand loyalty. 92% of respondents said they stick with a game for more than a week and 87% say they’ve played fewer than 5 different games in the previous month.

One challenge that developers face is how well divided the market’s stores are. In China, 30% of the market is using the App Store, 29% are using Tencent’s MyApp, and 26% use the Huawei app store. In the West we really only have Google Play or the App Store for mobile games.

It would be really interesting to see this same research completed in a few different Western countries to see how our views differ. I would personally much prefer to pay for a game or even pay a subscription for a game over being nickel and dimed to death by an in-game shop.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Nexon Internal Merger Incoming

The last few months have been a wild ride for Nexon. First, their founder and CEO was putting the family’s stake in the business up for sale, worth between 9 to 11 billion dollars. After months of speculation that everyone from Disney to EA were interested in buying, it seems Kim Jung-ju may have simply decided not to sell. Of course, I’m sure a decision like that wasn’t made lightly. Following the release of this rumor, Nexon’s stock dropped resulting in a loss of up to 5%. Now we know that Nexon is reorganizing and merging their two core business units. No jobs are going to be lost in this internal restructuring, but the company is looking at getting rid of projects with low commercial value. They also hope that the restructuring will improve the company’s operating profits and increase its stock value. News of this restructuring started out as a rumor but was quickly confirmed by Nexon. It is set to take place sometime in August.

 

Source: MMOCulture

 

Ninja Leaves Twitch for Mixer

Ninja Fortnite

Ninja has announced that he will no longer be streaming on Twitch and is instead switching over to Microsoft’s Mixer platform. The specifics on this particular deal haven’t been released but last year he was making $500,000 a month streaming Fortnite on Twitch and a paid promotion deal with EA for Apex Legends got him $1 million, so it is safe to assume he got a pretty sweet deal. This marks a major shift for Twitch which has been seeing its growth slow over the last year.

Mixer has always been playing third fiddle to Twitch and Youtube but has also seen consistent growth. Last quarter it saw 119 million hours watched, an increase of 37% year on year. Ninja’s move to Mixer might be exactly the sort of push the platform needs to catch up to its two bigger competitors. However, Fortnite’s popularity, especially in streaming, has been on the decline. It is also possible that many of Ninja’s fans wont follow him to this different platform because they prefer Twitch. We can see an example of this in the industry already looking at people who refuse to play a game that hasn’t been released on Steam. Only time will tell how this transition actually goes.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

 

Zynga Eyes China

At one point in time just a few years ago Zynga was dominating the games industry. They were all we ever talked about it seemed like. Of course the days of Facebook games are long gone now, but that doesn’t mean Zynga is gone or that they’ve even slowed down. Zynga has been transitioning to a mobile game developer and having great success with it. They recently released Empires and Puzzles in Japan and Korea, the beginning of their strategy for expansion into the Asian market. Now they’re eyeing China.

In a call with GamesIndustry.biz Zynga COO Matt Bromberg said, “We are beginning to look at China for Empires & Puzzles as well, and as our portfolio continues to develop we have both Star Wars and the Harry Potter game on our slate for the future. When there are big global pieces of IP like that, which we think will resonate across Asia, we’re hopeful that will also help us expand there. We’re trying to take a measured approach to it, and learn as we go and make sure we have the right match of game and personnel on the ground and marketing strategy. When you get those lined up it can be terrific, but it is a complicated market and we’re still in learning mode.”

A complicated market is putting it lightly. Still, if they are successful in their push into China, they’ll be tapping into a mobile games industry with an estimated 586 million gamers.

 

Source: Games Industry

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Mavericks: Proving Grounds Canceled as Studio Shuts Down

Developer Automaton Games has shut down leaving their Battle Royale title Mavericks: Proving Grounds canceled and employees looking for new jobs. Thankfully, Improbable, the makers of SpatialOS which Maverick: Proving Grounds was using has said that they would be trying to place Automaton employees in their company, according to a statement they made to GamesIndustry.biz. “Automaton’s closure and the ceasing of development on Mavericks is sad news,” said an Improbable spokesman. “Mavericks was a hugely ambitious project, and we were glad to support it with the networking technology that made its large world and innovative approach to multiplayer possible. Unfortunately, Automaton was unable to find further investment to support their ambitious development plans. Automaton Games is a talented team, and we will look to match any former Automaton employees to roles that we are looking to fill at Improbable.”

Mavericks: Proving Grounds

A statement on the official site for the developer reads, “Paul Cooper and Paul Appleton were appointed joint administrators of Automaton Games Limited on 30th July 2019. They are managing the affairs, business and property of the company… Please be advised that due to insufficient funding, the development of the Mavericks: Proving Grounds game has now ceased.”

It really is a shame, of the entire Battle Royale genre Mavericks: Proving Grounds sounded like it had the most potential to be something really unique and interesting. With 1,000 players on the map that really could have revolutionized the genre. A genre that does seem to be losing steam.

We hope that everyone at Automaton Games gets back on their feet quickly.

 

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

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Worlds Adrift is Hosting an End of the World Event as the Game Shuts Down Tomorrow

Worlds Adrift is hosting an end of the world event for the last few hours the game remains online tomorrow. Beginning at 7 Pacific Time one final event will be running in the game which can be watched on Twitch if you can’t make it there in person.

The shutdown of this unique spatialOS MMORPG was announced back at the very end of May. In the FAQ about the shutdown they said this about the shutdown; “Making such an ambitious game was always going to be a challenge and we love the game we’ve built together with our community. However, Worlds Adrift has not captured the imagination of as many people as we needed to make it commercially viable.”

Unfortunately, the game was plagued with terrible griefing problems and the addition of PvE servers came a little too late. According to Steam Charts however, the game never really got an audience. Its all time peak number of players was just 2,031 and that happened back in May 2018. There was a little bit of a boost in October when the PvE servers were introduced, but that boost didn’t last.

On the bright side, this isn’t the end of Bossa. In their FAQ they make it clear that the studio will continue and that they always have 3 games in development. One game that we do know is in the works is Pigeon Simulator which will be on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and yes, it is exactly what you think it is.

 

 

Source: Official Site and Steam Charts

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Dragon’s Dogma Online is Shutting Down

If you were holding out hope that one day Japanese MMORPG Dragon’s Dogma would one day make it to Western shores then we have some disappointing news for you. Capcom has announced that Dragon’s Dogma Online is shutting down later this year. The final day for the game will be December 5th, 2019. The game launched back in August 2015 had a pretty good run and is playable on PS3, PS4, and PC.

The announcement of the shutdown stated the reason for sunsetting was due to the team being unable to continue providing services that satisfy the players. Plans to launch the game in Taiwan have been scrapped which means that the game will have never made it outside of Japan when it is shut down.

But, there is still some good news for Dragon’s Dogma Online fans. An animated series based on Dragon’s Dogma lore is in the works and Netflix is connected. Plus, it has been promised that while Dragon’s Dogma Online is finished this isn’t the end of Dragon’s Dogma video games completely, fingers crossed that means we’ll have a new Dragon’s Dogma game in the near future.

Dragon’s Dogma Online had a lot of potential for success overseas. The game regularly received updates, focused on playing in a group, and had 11 unique classes to pick from. In fact, back in2016 it looked like Capcom might actually have been gearing up to release the game in the West. Of course, we know that nothing came of that. But at the time game director Kento Kinoshita said, “Once we have established a solid foundation in Japan I’d like to consider bringing this game overseas, where there are a great many online game players,” That seems to suggest that plans changed, or the game was perhaps not as successful in Japan as Capcom would have liked.

 

Source: MMOCulture

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QC Games and the Fall of Breach

Every year we see dozens, if not hundreds, of newer MMO games release into the games industry. With long standing titans such as World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the Guild Wars franchise its hard not to argue that MMO and online-driven games are incredibly marketable if not highly popular. Every year indie studios take on the challenge of putting together their own massively multiplayer game, some with great success such as Friday the 13th: The Game. Most, however, do not ever reach that pinnacle. Breach is one of those stories.

The Rise of Breach

Breach has been developed by QC Games, a newer game studio composed of former developers from Bioware Houston and Electronic Arts. They had previously worked on The Old Republic and Bioware’s cancelled Shadow Realms before leaving the company in late 2014. Designed from the remains of their former project, Breach is its spiritual successor; an isometric multiplayer endeavor much like 2015’s Evolve. Featuring a 4v1 multiplayer endeavor you play as a Mage, a techno-magical defender of the near future battling against demons invading from beyond the Veil. The fifth player in each match took up the role of a Veil Demon, a dungeon-master like entity that could lay traps, summon enemies, and personally possess minions to fight the Mages.

While putting a newer spin on the now tired isometric multiplayer model, Breach did not have a strong launch. Releasing on January 14th of this year, Breach suffered from the start; entering Steam’s controversial Early Access Program, commonly used by developers looking to develop and build their game overtime, it was not free to play at first. Instead those wishing to pick up into Early Access would pay an up-front fee of $25 USD, with the option to play free following after it left Early Access. Despite promises of wanting to market Breach as a Free-to-Play Microtransaction service model, those wishing to join in would need to purchase their ‘Early Access Pass,’ which featured game access, a 30-day experience and currency boost and 2000 QC points, the developer’s premium currency for their in-game store.

Breach

Breach and QC Games hit the ground hard and fast, finishing their closed Alpha prior to widespread release with a peak player count of roughly 1150 players according to metric database Steam Charts. QC Games had been utterly global in it’s pushing of their reborn game at conventions and trade shows. Claiming that there were 10,000 testers worldwide in their Discord Server, Breach was set for success.

To that end it launched in January and received moderate acclaim. QC Games was quick to jump on the hype and release their roadmap to future developments and plans for the game. In terms of public relations and social media power Breach was optimized for continuous, powerful growth. As a game, however, it was not.

From start up Breach featured both an incredibly interesting set-up in its world’s lore, and an unbelievably frustrating tutorial. While the game opened with a series of wonderful storyboarded cinematics the tutorial featured sluggishly wretched pacing, insincere voice acting and left far more questions than answers in the game’s wider aspects. While featuring gameplay interactions very reminiscent of Heroes of the Storm or League of Legends, there is nearly next to no information on how to go beyond combat and into modifying player gear and stats.

While particular levels and gameplay modes are blocked off until players have played certain numbers of games, I was both shocked and frustrated to find myself entering a game and stuck playing as a Veil Demon without any direction on what I was doing. The conveyance of Breach, the method in which a game expresses how to play it to you understandably, is so fundamentally lacking its simply rather astounding. While Veil Demons have quite a bit more to do in terms of their play mechanics in comparison to Mages, how to complete objectives or perform higher level aspects was simply never explained to the player. That is unless you bothered to check you hidden quest log to find a plethora of tutorials in additional gameplay modes. Gameplay modes which were not restricted in the slightest, yet playing online with your friends was.

Breach’s “Ultra” Graphic Setting in 1080p

Breach was a game of poorly planned problems in that regard.

From terrible graphics to wretched optimization and dull gameplay, Breach was a game incredibly typical of the Early Access platform on Steam. Most games launching on the platform like Tudo_RIP’s Secrets of the Forest are incredibly, frustratingly basic. From incomplete graphics packages to placeholder models these games are often requiring a steep amount of development and feedback to complete. QC’s darling multiplayer, the game the company had left Bioware to make, was incredibly troubled in this aspect. Early reviews of the game are plagued with issues of imbalances and far higher than normal GPU usages which ruined system performance and denigrated the game further.

In February the peak player count of Breach had plummeted from roughly 1150 prior to its launch, to nearly 300 by month’s end. It’s not hard to see why; Breach was a game that wanted to thrive as an MMO with nothing to grip players. Gameplay was boring, repetitive and there were no game-changing rewards. What was packaged in with its Early Access release simply wasn’t enough for long-term player adoption. Current MMOs such as World of Warcraft have faced similar problems over the last few years and have summarily injected controversial gameplay elements such as their Mission Table system to entice daily playing. Warframe too features returning rewards with a daily slot machine system for those who come back repeatedly. Breach simply did not have such systems in place.

All throughout, however, QC Games was energetic in its development cycle. Updates were incredibly frequent with more than an update per week in its second month. These patches would introduce a plethora of balance adjustments, new classes, new levels and new enemies. It was clear that despite the studio’s small size, Breach was a labor of love. Despite its glaring technical issues, of which there are still many, this was a game that was hitting its goals day after day with steady improvement.

IESnared

That changed, however, with the turn of the seasons and the beginning of March. Player counts briefly spiked upwards from a common curiosity. That curiosity, however, was not for what the game offered.

As early back as February 24th, 2019, Breach’s review scores began to drastically change. Steam users such as walkerb0h began to report that the game featured traffic tracking program IESnare. IESnare is a program that is incredibly shrouded in secrecy and frankly has quite a bit of incorrect information spread about it. Colloquially known as a type of aggressive spyware program, IESnare is a sub-routine program that runs stealthily in the background of your computer. Most often used by gambling websites to increase their odds against players, this program collects a concerning array of data and feeds it back to the originators database.

The data collected from your PC or electronic device can include its screen resolution, device type, operating system, its time zone, java script capabilities, or Adobe Flash capabilities. It can retrieve information on your browser cookies, your browser types, your browser history, how long you spend on certain websites, your IP address and geolocation down to the city. It can also read your router to discover your internet service provider’s information, your computer’s performance information including CPU speed and count, component serial numbers, your device name, your OS build number, your Kernel Information and more.

All of this information is distilled into a ‘fingerprint’ or ‘footprint’ of your system’s unique characteristics. Used often as a method of locating your phone or to see if your data has been stolen, more malevolent Steam Early Access Games have included versions of IESnare and other spyware data in their installation files. The more popular programs, like those accused of being in the game Abstractivism, reportedly utilize your gaming machine to mine cryptocurrency for the developer.

Later reviews of Breach also included reports of the launcher scanning Windows Jump Lists, a feature that allows you to view recent documents in programs pinned to your taskbar, on boot up. Several users complained of being unable to connect to Breach servers if they had IESnare blocked by their browser. Other users complained of the game searching through unrelated file directories during playtime, including those on other solid-state or hard drives unrelated to the game’s installation file.

These accusations are not unfounded either. QC Games’ partner company, En Masse Entertainment (formerly Bluehole Interactive), were accused of using IESnare as a method to check the validity of user accounts for Tera. This was later confirmed when a Redditor posted the script that ran on Tera’s load-up which linked backed to Iovation Inc., the owner-creator of IESnare. This code attempted to test several internet browser functions (including Adobe Flash) and obfuscated its actions with several lines of meaningless coding which attempted to hide what it was doing.

While no one managed to pull a similar string from Breach during its tenure on Steam, more and more users found that blocking IESnare’s target domains would not allow the game to play. Customers became confused as word continued to spread until QC Games released a frankly unsatisfactory apology. Responding to several user reviews individually instead of making a full public statement, one of the developers of Breach left the following canned response which did confirm included monitoring software used for Breach:

Several YouTube reporters and pundits would discuss the topic including popular personality Sidalpha. His video would neither confirm nor deny the inclusion of IESnare but did agree that there was some form of third-party authentication occurring during gameplay. Citing a high graphics load and communication with Amazon Gaming servers, he condemned the company for, “collecting far more information from your system than [QC Games] have any right to.”

I myself have personally checked through every individual file in my Breach installation package, having been supplied a copy of the game for the purposes of publication. I did not find any trace of IESnare during any of my playtime, nor its launching software ‘mpsnare.’ I was unable to test its reliance on connecting to its necessary communication websites. I did, however, find a version of Easy Anti-Cheat used in game launchers as a method of deterring cheating using non-authorized 3rd party software. This version is found in games such as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands and has no connection to IESnare or its developer Iovation Inc.

QC Games Closes Its Doors

This was the unfortunate nail in the coffin for Breach. Whether or not IESnare was truly included in its package, the program’s history is tarnished with its invasive purpose and problematic applications. Coupled with a lackluster and dispassionate response from an otherwise passionate developer, the unchecked rumors were what ultimately killed Breach. By March its concurrent player count had plummeted to 446 players despite its second major update and continued support. Even on April 1st when the player count had dropped down to 52 users there were still published plans to continue updates. Inevitably, this was not to be.

On April 3rd QC Games announced that both its studio and Breach would be closing down. Most likely forced by its publisher En Masse Entertainment, QC Games had begun to ramp down production by the time of their posting, citing in a follow-up statement that, “[Breach] has not performed as we had hoped… The changes required to make it a successful product would require resources we don’t have.” As of April 4th all in-game microtransactions and DLC were disabled, with premium currency being removed so players could try out anything the game had to offer. Steam purchases were also disabled. As of April 30th 2019, Breach and its servers will be closed forever.

The story of Breach is one of a blind faith in itself. In splitting off from Bioware, convinced that their game could succeed, QC Games took their isometric multiplayer worldwide. This band of developers, excited in the success they knew their product could have, showed the industry what they were made of. Despite its rough-hewn edges and unintuitive design, I cannot deny that Breach had an incredible amount of potential. Sporting its own brief esports event this was a game that had the seedings to develop over time into a fully-fledged property.

This game, however, acted in such a manner, whether through including 3rd party monitoring software or the ineptitude of its developers, that it required an immediate and well cultivated response to concerned fans. Its userbase did not receive one and thus a breach of the developers own making was created. A breach which saw its player count plummet, its future decimated, and the foreclosure of a studio with a promising future.

To date Breach has sold roughly 14,000 units according to SteamSpy, not including alpha testers and those purchasing directly from En Masse Entertainment. Player counts have dropped to no more than two individual users at a time. As of April 30th the game will be shut down forever. There is little to what remains of its legacy, save some YouTube and Twitch footage of its gameplay. Breach was a game of incredible potential, but like Icarus it simply flew too high without realizing it had struck the sun.

Both QC Games and its publisher En Masse Entertainment did not respond for a request to comment prior to publication.

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