Shutdowns, Shutdowns, Shutdowns: Gaming Pulls in on Several Fronts

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Shutdowns, Shutdowns, Shutdowns: Gaming Pulls in on Several Fronts

As is the case in any industry, sometimes new products show up, and sometimes old products die off. Recently, the dieoff side of the coin seems a bit stronger than normal, as two major new efforts were announced shut down by their owners.

First, BioWare announced that it was shutting down the forums around some of its biggest properties, including those for the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series. Though noting that it wasn't an "easy decision" to shut down the forums, BioWare effectively took official notice that Facebook and Twitter exist. Plus, apparently, fans also enjoy connecting on Tumblr and Reddit, so BioWare seems to have figured that developers and fans can talk better on platforms that BioWare isn't directly paying the bandwidth costs to operate. If it sounds like a copout, don't worry, you're not alone on that front. Interestingly, the forum for one BioWare property will remain active: the one for Star Wars: The Old Republic. That one's on a different website altogether, and one that seems to have several different boards around the game.

Worse, however, was the news out of the House of Mouse, Disney. Disney Infinity's servers will be starting a slow burn, and the whole concept will be shut down on at least some fronts by the end of September. While the console versions will carry on, just without multiplayer and community content, several versions--Android, Apple TV, iOS, and PC--will be shut down completely by some reports.

While the loss of forums isn't exactly a major loss--indeed, there is no shortage of social media options in play--the hit to players of Disney Infinity is a huge blow. Granted, Disney's chances of stepping back into the toy-based gaming concept are slim at best--that whole market seems to be drying up anyway, with the exception of Skylanders, which seems to be holding together--but this is a real blow to the player base. It might be the kind of thing that taints some gamers' perception and keeps them away from the Disney camp altogether in the future. It may not be that bad, granted, but it could happen on at least some level.

In the end, what this shows more than anything is that the gaming market is a constantly changing space. There's a lot going on here, and sometimes, it means things formerly enjoyed are lost forever. That's not good news, but it's more of a fact of life than anything. More developments will likely hit soon enough and give us plenty to look forward to, so we can let this coast on by without too much unpleasantness.

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