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Fall Update for Battleborn confirmed to be its last

It’s the beginning of the end for Gearbox Software’s beleaguered multiplayer shooter Battleborn. In a forum post made on September 15th, Gearbox staffer MereAtGBX relayed a message from the game’s Creative Director Randy Varnell who confirmed that no further content will be coming to the game after the Fall update. Varnell is quick to add that the servers will remain active for the foreseeable future but with active development wrapped up and a flagging player base (judging loosely by SteamSpy and SteamDB charts), there’s only so much time left before the game is taken offline. Varnell’s full message follows.

Hello Friends –

It’s been a while since I’ve communicated with you directly, so I wanted to take the opportunity to write to you as Battleborn rounds another milestone in its life.

As of this week, there will be no more Battleplans and there is currently no planned content after the Fall Update. Details of any future changes or news will be made on our forums or through social media, so keep your radars on.

Never fear! Battleborn is here to stay. Nothing is changing with Battleborn, and the servers will be up and active for the foreseeable future. We announced the Fall Update for the game at PAX including some new skins, themed around some of your favorite Borderlands characters! That update will also include some updated title art (more full bar titles!) for the more significant challenges in the game, as well as some additional Finisher Boosts and Taunts. Also, there are minor balance changes in that patch.

If you’ve been paying attention to recent news from the Gearbox Panel at PAX West, you’ll have heard that many folks at Gearbox are working on a highly anticipated project. Although I’m sad my time on Battleborn is coming to a close, I’m happy to announce that I will play a significant role on this highly anticipated but unannounced game, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing some from me again in the future regarding Gearbox games.

I’ve been working on Battleborn nearly exclusively since 2012, and in some ways, that work stretches back to 2009 for me. It’s been a long labor of love with many of my good friends at Gearbox, and I’m proud to have shared that journey with you, our community. Your spirit and loyalty have been a constant inspiration to the team at Gearbox.

Also, I want to personally thank you for giving Battleborn a chance, and dipping down into a new universe with us. We make games for you. And many of you have shared with us how much Battleborn has meant to you personally.

It’s always a bittersweet time when transitioning from one project to another, but also offers the opportunity to step back and enjoy the game we created. Keep an eye out for me in game!

For now, Commander Jythri is signing off and taking the first transport back to a wonderful box of surprises.

You are awesome.

For Solus.

virtuatennis4
virtuatennis4Digital Release:Steam
June 24, 2011 (Steam)

PlayStation Vita
December 17, 2011 (JP) [as Power Smash 4]
February 22, 2012 (AU, EU, KO, US) [as World Tour Edition]

Xbox 360
December 4, 2012 (AU, EU, JP, US)
Delisting:April 23, 2015
Developer:Sega
Publisher:Sega
Available On:Retail (Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita)
Links:Playstation.com page
PlayStation Store page
SteamDB page
Virtua Tennis 4 homepage [Archive]
Destructoid news
VideoGamer.com news

Miiverse, Wii U Chat shutting down November 7th Worldwide

Nintendo confirmed today what intrepid dataminers have suspected since July: the Nintendo Miiverse service is shutting down. On November 7th, 2017 at 10:00pm Pacific Time the Miiverse service will be discontinued on Wii U, Nintendo 3DS handhelds, and on the web. The Wii U Chat service which enabled voice and video messaging between consoles is also being shut down alongside the Miiverse.

In their FAQ support page Nintendo explains the decision: “We started the Miiverse service in 2012 along with the launch of the Wii U system because we wanted to provide a space where users could share their feelings about games with each other. Thanks to users’ support throughout the years, we think we were able to achieve that goal. We decided to end the service at this time because,  among other reasons, many users are shifting to social networking services.”

Nintendo will also provide a means for users to download their Miiverse posts after the service ends through the http://miiverse.nintendo.net site. Users won’t be able to save comments and replies but a few weeks after the November 7th deadline, users who register at the Miiverse site will be emailed a unique URL to download their original posts.

A full list of 112 effected titles across the Wii U and 3DS is available here but Nintendo addressed several titles in more detail:

  • Super Mario Maker (Wii U): Users will still be able to share levels, but will no longer be able to comment on them.
  • Splatoon (Wii U): Miiverse posts will no longer display in Inkopolis Plaza or the game’s stage maps.
  • Super Smash Bros. (Wii U, Nintendo 3DS): The Miiverse stage will still be playable, but Miiverse user posts will not display in the background. Players will also be unable to post replays to YouTube/Miiverse, share stages or create tournaments.
  • Mario Kart 8 (Wii U): Players will not be able to upload game-play videos to YouTube since they also post to Miiverse at the same time. The tournament function will also not be available.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U): In Xenoblade Chronicles X, the BLADE report feature will no longer be available.
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (Wii U, Nintendo 3DS): While users will still be able to play Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars and complete all 88 levels in the main game, the Community feature will be discontinued, preventing players from sharing levels and receiving additional Stars. As there will be a limit to the number of Stars that can be obtained, not all objects may be unlocked from the Workshop. Further info.

More details and more answers can be found at the Nintendo Support announcement and FAQ pages. The shutdown date has been added to the Watch List and calendar.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex First Assault Online shuts down December 6th

Just over a month after releasing a controversial redesign, the team at Neople have announced the end of service for their free-to-play online shooter Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex First Assault Online for the Western world. This comes just weeks after publisher Nexon announced the game’s closure in Japan would take place on November 29th. The statement posted on the game’s official forum on August 21st reads:

We’re sorry to inform you that we will be sunsetting Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex First Assault Online in North and South America, Europe, and the Oceania region, with final closure scheduled for December 6.

This was a very tough decision to make. The game has been in development for a long time, supported by developer, publisher, and community effort. Ultimately, we decided that continued development wasn’t going to help the game become what we all hoped it could become.

We will be supporting the game for the next several months during the sunset period, allowing both the development and publishing teams and the community to say goodbyes and enjoy the game.

In the near term, we’ll be removing the in-game store and will stop selling Steam DLC immediately. After several months, the game service will be closed for good on December 6, 2017 at 10am PST.

It’s been a humbling experience to serve such a dedicated and engaged player community. We sincerely thank you for all the feedback and support you’ve given us throughout the years.”

Looking at the game’s playerbase on SteamDB, it’s not hard to see some of the reasoning behind the decision. Since the game’s launch on July 28th, 2016 the number of daily players dropped precipitously and by the Fall it regularly had just over 1,000 players each day. The “renewal” update in July generated a small peak when longtime players returned to find the game in drastically different form.

One of the major changes in the update separated the characters and weapons into classes. Suddenly the guns that players had put the most time into were no longer available to the characters they preferred. Despite the improvements and additions this change apparently didn’t sit well with fans.

The calendar and Watch List have been updated and the game page is now live.