Blacklight: Retribution shutting down on PC March 11th

Developer Hardsuit Labs announced on February 8th that support and PC servers for Blacklight: Retribution, their long-running free-to-play shooter, will be coming to an end on March 11th. The announcement coincided with the removal of all in-game purchases on PC, unlocking all store content for players to use until the servers are shut down.

Account migration on PC also ended alongside support through future updates or patches. The PlayStation 4 version “will continue to operate as-is”, carrying on the legacy of the game and the Blacklight series which dates back to 2010. The full announcement follows:

Agents,

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with Blacklight: Retribution.

Thank you for so much for your loyal support, and love over the years. From the initial PC Closed Beta in November 2011 to today, it has been a great 7+ years. The joy that we got out of Blacklight: Retribution is a testament to you the fans; your loyalty, dedication, support, and ultimate willingness to try our fun, quirky FPS.

Why is this happening? The reality is Hardsuit Labs has been engaged for some time now in some very interesting projects that require the full focus of the development teams and leadership. The studio capacity and resources are and have been entirely engaged with these projects and will be for the foreseeable future. As such, we officially will no longer be patching, updating, or doing technical support for Blacklight Retribution. Account migration will officially shut down as of today, as will the official support site.

Starting today, all items in the PC store will be made free, and we hope that you continue to enjoy the game and items up until the PC servers are shut down on March 11th, 2019. The PS4 version of Blacklight Retribution will continue to operate as-is since there are no game servers being hosted for it.

We welcome your feedback, comments, questions, and memories on our social media @PlayBlacklight or @HardsuitLabs, our Reddit community here and the BLR Discord channel.

As a studio, Blacklight: Retribution will always have a special place in our hearts. One that is largely due to our amazing community, so thank you to all the Blacklight: Retribution fans out there.

Until March 11th you can continue to sign up and play the game on Steam or start over with a new profile on PlayStation 4. I’ve got the date added to the Watch List calendar and a page in the works to go up in March. Thanks to FallenRyan for submitting Eurogamer’s article to the site.


It won’t bring back the game’s library of 450+ streaming songs but Activision is offering some potential compensation for those burned by the shutdown of Guitar Hero Live’s GHTV mode last December. A news post by Polygon suggests the refund program is in response to Robert Fishel’s lawsuit against Activision for removing so much content shortly after he’d purchased the game. While Fishel voluntarily dismissed his claim on January 22nd, it may have tugged just enough on Activision’s heartstrings for them to offer up this refund program. The details (and requirements) follow:

Activision is offering a voluntary refund program for customers who bought the Guitar Hero Live gaming system on or after December 1, 2017, in the United States. Customers may qualify for a refund if:

  • They purchased Guitar Hero Live in the United States during the period starting December 1, 2017 and ending on January 1, 2019
  • They submit a completed Claim Form by the deadline of May 1, 2019
  • Their purchase of Guitar Hero Live since December 2017 can be confirmed by Activision

If you meet the above criteria you’ll next need to provide a copy of your original receipt or credit card statement highlighting the purchase, as well as your personal details and online ID or gamertag from the platform where you played the game. Activision isn’t messing around on verifying qualified purchases! If all goes well with your claim, look for a prepaid Visa gift card matching your original purchase price to arrive in the mail some time by late July.

Let us know if you pursue a refund or what you think about Activision’s refund response.


Star Control: Origins returned to Steam and GOG.com

Star Control: Origins is back on sale on Steam and GOG.com after being removed on December 31st. The delisting was due to a DMCA take-down filed by franchise creators, Fred Ford and Paul Reiche, and was the latest action in a years-long feud between Stardock, who purchased some of the Star Control IP from Atari in 2013. Stardock celebrated the news with another detailed blog post on January 28th.

“Thanks to the timely review of the situation by our partners at GOG and Valve, and taking the exceptional step in placing our game back for sale, despite ongoing litigation, we have been able to avoid having to lay off employees assigned to the project.”

It sounds like this isn’t the end of the legal battle between Stardock, Ford, and Reiche, but for the time being the game is off the Extinct list and on sale with its DLC, season pass, and soundtrack in tow. Stardock also mentioned that work on the console versions of Star Control: Origins is once again under way.


Metro Exodus pre-delisted from Steam in favor of Epic until 2020

Epic Games is the reason behind yet another delisting update, but for Metro Exodus it’s made for a strange pre-delisting before the game is even released. While the anticipated sequel has been up for pre-order on Steam since August of 2018, the game will soon be removed from sale ahead of its February 15th release and exclusively sold on PC through the Epic Games Store until 2020. The Steam store page for Metro Exodus has been updated with the following notice:

Later today, sales of Metro Exodus will be discontinued on Steam due to a publisher decision to make the game exclusive to another PC store.

The developer and publisher have assured us that all prior sales of the game on Steam will be fulfilled on Steam, and Steam owners will be able to access the game and any future updates or DLC through Steam.

We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We apologize to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15th release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know.

A Community Forum post has also been added by Deep Silver offering an FAQ on what Steam owners can expect. In short, anyone who has pre-purchased the game on Steam will still receive Metro Exodus on February 15th as well as any updates and DLC released in the future. The post concludes by ensuring players that Metro Exodus will eventually return to Steam after Epic’s exclusivity expires one year from now, on February 14th, 2020.

Why make the deal so close to release and ruffle the Steam playerbase? According to Deep Silver CEO Klemens Kundratitz, the profit split that Epic is offering to publishers who use the Unreal engine was worth the risk. “Epic’s generous revenue terms are a game changer that will allow publishers to invest more into content creation, or pass on savings to the players. By teaming up with Epic we will be able to invest more into the future of Metro and our ongoing partnership with series developer 4A Games, to the benefit of our Metro fans.”

For the time being I’m just going to add the game to the Watch List calendar. Thanks to @TheChrisGlass for pointing this one out to us.


Google announces timeline to abandon 32-bit Android Apps & Games

Just like Apple did in 2017, Google has announced their own plans for transitioning Android development from 32 to 64-bit. You can read more on their developer blog post but the important date for us is August 1st, 2021. That’s the date that the Google Play store will stop serving apps and games that don’t offer an up-to-date edition to 64-bit devices. There’s an exemption that will protect Wear OS and Android TV apps, and one big caveat that might make the delistings a little less painful.

According to their post, the 64-bit requirement doesn’t apply to “APKs or app bundles that are not distributed to devices running Android 9 Pie or later”. So if you’ve got an Android phone that hit its end-of-life a few years back, you might want to charge it up and download some of your favorite old games for safekeeping. It sounds like, as long as the apps weren’t updated to support some of the latest versions of Android, they’ll still be available on those older devices.

However, for the majority of Android users — those with never 64-bit devices  — the Google Play store may soon be lacking some of their favorite old games. Android has been a platform for games and apps since 2008 and there are no doubt tens of thousands of developers who are no longer around or capable of bringing their old offerings up to date. For that Android majority, come August 2021 these apps will essentially be nonexistent.

I’ve added the date to the Watch List calendar.