Bandai NAMCO announced on Tuesday that their Switch exclusive, the free-to-play PAC-lle Royale, PAC-MAN 99, will be shutting down on October 8th. Purchased content and some modes will remain playable offline and can be re-downloaded in the future. The announcement with more details follows:
PAC-MAN 99, which is currently available as a benefit for Nintendo Switch Online members, will soon be discontinued.
Distribution of the main game and sales for each DLC will end accordingly.
End date schedule is as follows:
• August 8, 2023 (Tue) 8:00 AM PDT
Discontinued content: Paid custom themes
• September 8, 2023 (Fri) 8:00 AM PDT
Discontinued content: PAC-MAN 99 Deluxe Pack / PAC-MAN 99 Mode Unlock
• October 8, 2023 (Sun) 9:00 PM PDT
Discontinuation of online services for the main game / distribution of the main game and free custom themes
Even after online services are discontinued for the main game, users who own either of the paid DLCs (PAC-MAN 99 Deluxe Pack or PAC-MAN 99 Mode Unlock) can continue to enjoy CPU BATTLE, BLIND TIME ATTACK, and SCORE ATTACK in offline mode.
In addition, please note:Pac-Man 99 Announcement – May 17, 2023
• PAC-MAN 99 themes that were purchased can be used in offline mode.
• Purchased content can be re-downloaded even after discontinuation of sales.
• PAC-MAN 99 Deluxe Pack includes all paid downloadable content, so please be careful not to make duplicate purchases.
No explanation was given but it seems likely that after two years in operation the number of active players has dropped low enough to leave many lobbies only partially filled. It’s also possible that the licensing deal with Nintendo to offer the title alongside the Nintendo Switch Online service is expiring. Until October though, paid-up NSO subscribers can still jump in and play.
Thanks to everyone who submitted the news, I’ve added the dates to the Watch List calendar and we’ll have a page up on the site later.