|Digital Release:||Steam, PC
July 28, 2016
|Delisting:||November 29, 2017 (JP)
December 6, 2017 (US, SA, AU, EU)
Initially, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex First Assault Online’s delisting was announced only for Japan. In a post on the game’s Japanese site on August 9th, Nexon announced the game would be shut down in that territory on November 29th, 2017. Shortly after, on August 21st, Nexon and Neople announced that the Western versions of the game would be shut down on December 6th, 2017. The statement 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 playerbase on SteamDB since the game’s official launch, the number of daily players dropped precipitously and by the Fall there were just over 1,000 players each day on Steam. On July 18th, 2017 Neople released the “The Future is Now; Renewal” update to the game that added new weapons, characters and maps as well as a revised UI and rebalanced character stats. The major change, however, segregated the characters and weapons into classes and suddenly the guns that players had put the most time into were no longer available to the characters they preferred.
Despite the additions and refinements, this class restriction wasn’t met well by the game’s community. Numerous commenters stated that they would be outright quitting the game while even the remaining supporters voiced their concern over the change. Daily player counts continued to drop to record lows after the “Renewal” update, presumably leading to the decision to shut down the game.
About the Game
“Join Section 9 in a first person shooter experience. Become a member of an elite force of cybernetically enhanced combat operatives dedicated to the defense of society, and use your advanced firepower, Tachikoma Tanks and unique cyber skills to bring down cyber terrorists in a connected world.
Experience connected combat by strategically sharing your unique skills with teammates in order to turn the tide of battle in your favor. SkillSync enables smart combat with advanced battlefield tactics evolving the tactical shooter experience to a futuristic stage of warfare.
Exceed the limits of mortality as you augment your connected human shell with cutting edge technology engineered to kill. Customize your operative’s shell according to your playstyle with advanced chipsets that provide efficiencies to their skills, combat prowess and more.”