Should We Be Worried About Square Enix Live Service Games?

Should We Be Worried About Square Enix Live Service Games?

In recent years, Square Enix has either ended the service or announced the end of service for at least eight prominent live service titles in their catalog. Some of these titles managed to survive for a few years, while others struggled to get through their first anniversary. We’ll take a look at the eight games that have or will be shut down, but with more live service game releases around the corner, perhaps a look at the expectations of Square Enix live service games is in order.

The implications of shutting down live service games are wide-ranging, affecting developers, support companies, licensed IPs, and most importantly, the players themselves. Should it be normal for players to expect games to be shut down after a relatively short period because certain targets were not met, whether the game was profitable or not? That also begs the question of whether or not “free-to-play” really means “free-to-play if we have enough whales.” We also have a separate article for a deeper dive into live service games and their effect on the gaming industry.

For gamers playing Square Enix live service games though, should they be wary about spending money on a battle pass, cosmetics, or other in-game items with no guarantee that the game will be available to them within the next one, two, three, or x number of years? I think that is the case with any live service games from any developer or publisher, but it shouldn’t be. Gamers should feel empowered to spend money to show support within free-to-play games if they want to, but they should not be obligated to when the game is advertised as “free-to-play” but prone to being shut down. At that point, I’d rather pay for a full-priced game not tied to live servers.

Perhaps we’ve reached a point of massive oversaturation when it comes to live service games. After all, how much time do gamers have to commit to live service games when there are so many, in addition to other types of games? Before developers and publishers decide to launch a new live service game, they should consider the many that have shut down and ensure that gamers’ time, commitment, and any money spent are respected.

Here are the eight Square Enix live service titles that have been or will be shut down.

Full Metal Alchemist Mobile

  • Launch: August 2022 (Japan)
  • End of Service: March 2024 (Japan)

A Japan-only title, Full Metal Alchemist Mobile is a turn-based strategy battle game based on the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise, following the story and featuring 3D CG.

SINoALICE

  • Launch: June 2017 (Japan), July 2020 (Global)
  • End of Service: November 2023 (Global), January 2024 (Japan)

SINoALICE is a dark fantasy RPG directed by the famed Yoko Taro. This title is an RPG with a wave-based gameplay loop, featuring familiar names of characters such as Princess Kaguya, Snow White, Gretel, and more.

SINoALICE

Dragon Quest Tact

  • Launch: July 2020 (Japan), January 2021 (Global)
  • End of Service: February 2024 (Global)

Just as it sounds, Dragon Quest Tact is a tactical game based on the Dragon Quest franchise. While the game’s global version is ending, the Japanese version will be kept alive at this point. Dragon Quest Tact has the distinction of being the longest-running live service game on the list.

Engage Kill

  • Launch: March 2023 (Japan)
  • End of Service: March 2024 (Japan)

Engage Kill is the second project of Project Engage and is based on the anime Engage Kiss. This title is a gacha-based RPG with a turn-based battle system.

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia

  • Launch: February 2017 (Japan), January 2018 (Global)
  • End of Service: February 2024 (Japan, Global)

Set in the Dissidia universe of Final Fantasy, Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is a turn-based RPG featuring over 170 of the most iconic characters across the Final Fantasy franchise.

Final Fantasy 7 First Soldier

  • Launch: November 2021 (Global)
  • End of Service: January 2023 (Global)

Based on the highly acclaimed Final Fantasy 7, Final Fantasy 7 First Soldier differs from most of the other games on this list as a battle royale that combines elements of the source material such as materia and moogles.

Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier

Babylon’s Fall

  • Launch: March 2022 (Global)
  • End of Service: February 2023 (Global)

Developed by PlatinumGames, Babylon’s Fall is also unique among this list as a full-fledged console/PC title. While the game was highly anticipated due to its pedigree, its nature as a live service title hindered its success.

Echoes of Mana

  • Launch: April 2022 (Global)
  • End of Service: May 2023 (Global)

Echoes of Mana is an action RPG based on the Mana series. The game features wave-based combat, gacha mechanics, and daily quests.


While the list above is only some of the games with service ended, and in this case specific to Square Enix, the shuttering of live service games is a growing concern. Putting time and money into a game only for it to shut down always leaves a bad taste. While there are some unique elements within the list above, they all appear to suffer from a similar issue: the lack of a proper long-term vision for the game to keep players interested and engaged.

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