It’s been over a year since medieval sandbox MMO Life Is Feudal went free-to-play. Things apparently haven’t gone too well since then, as developer Bitbox announced late last week that the servers for the game would be shutting down early next year.
The developer letter gives an unusual and upsetting reason for the game’s closure:
A couple of days ago we received an official letter from a certain company that basically says that they will stop paying us our share from LiF: MMO. There is nothing much we can do in a legal way since we do not have the required funds to pay for the costly legislation in the US. Especially in a situation where our own hard-earned money will be most probably used against us.
After refusing a recent deal from that company in 2018, things “went south,” putting the developer “under great business, legal, and financial pressure.”
Thus, the servers will shut down on Jan. 18, 2021. Prior to that time, Bitbox will release an update that is not a “fully complete patch, but it should provide some fresh experience for you in the last days.” Related titles Life Is Feudal: Your Own and Life Is Feudal: Forest Village will continue to be playable, though Bitbox said it was “hard to predict” if there would be additional updates to Your Own.
I never played Life Is Feudal, so I can’t speak to what issues it had or what kind of deals Bitbox made or didn’t make that led to this news. For that, I relied on YouTuber Resonant, who apparently does have that experience and described both the game itself and the path that led to this announcement, starting at about the five-minute mark. He called the game “brilliant” but said that “the developers just weren’t the people for it.” He said that the developers didn’t listen to fans or produce the kinds of updates that would keep it popular with the fan base at large. Those could be his personal opinions but would hardly be the first time a game was shut down due to those kinds of issues.