Square Enix has announced it’s ending support for co-op multiplayer RPG Babylon’s Fall, with the beleaguered game set to permanently shut down only a year after release.
Babylon’s Fall struggled to attract an audience when it launched in March earlier this year, and dropped below a measly 10 players on Steam only weeks after release. In a blog post (opens in new tab), Square Enix announced it will stop digital and physical sales of the title from today (September 13), and will terminate the game on February 28, 2023.
After that point, Babylon’s Fall will no longer be available to play, even if you previously purchased the game. All gameplay data will be deleted, and all in-game currency and purchases will be made inaccessible.
Doomed from the start
Square Enix also said it has canceled several large-scale updates it had in the pipeline, but will continue to release a schedule of new content and a final season before the game goes permanently offline. Even these, Square Enix clarified, are “subject to change without prior notice”.
“In terms of the plan moving forward, Season 2 will run until Tuesday, 29 November 2022 as scheduled, and the Final Season will begin with the maintenance scheduled on the same day,” said Square Enix. “This Final Season is the period during which you can earn the ranking rewards of Season 2.
“As a way of expressing our gratitude to all our players, we plan to implement as many events and other initiatives as we can, leading up to the end of the service.”
Square Enix had said in a statement back in March that it had “no plans to reduce the scale of development of Babylon’s Fall”, after the game’s initial sales and playerbase failed to take off. It had already started work on Season 3 – which now looks to be the game’s final seasonal update – but wanted to “provide new content for the game and make improvements” to attract new players.
Co-developed with PlatinumGames, Babylon’s Fall was Square Enix’s latest experiment in the live service field. The game launched with a full suite of microtransactions, an in-game currency, and a schedule of seasonal updates, as the developers prepared to support the game for years to come. All that planning and development now look rather premature.
Its termination is also a big blow to those, admittedly few, players who have enjoyed the game up to this point. It’ll be especially aggravating to those who dished out $59.99 / £59.99 / AU$99.95 to buy Babylon’s Fall at its full retail price, but won’t be able to play any portion of the game come February next year.
Its closure likely comes as little surprise, however. Live service games rely on large, dedicated communities for their longevity, as loyal fans return for seasonal content updates to support the game for years to come. Without a well of players behind the game, the business model underpinning Babylon’s Fall looked to have collapsed only weeks after launch. Square Enix hasn’t been able to pull off even the modest turnaround that Battlefield 2042 has enjoyed after its first season.