A couple of free-to-play games get their last hurrahs this week.
As CCP Games announced in February, the last day of Dust 514 was yesterday, May 30. In its place, CCP is working on Project Nova, a free-to-play FPS that looks to incorporate some of Dust’s ideas, but for a PC audience. The decision to launch the game on PlayStation 3 probably endowed CCP with some extra funding at the start of the game’s life cycle but it wasn’t enough to keep it going in the long run. The crossover between Eve Online players and PlayStation 3 owners was an order of magnitude smaller than what CCP envisioned when it originally struck the deal.
Then there’s Nosgoth, another “spinoff” title that’s shuttering today, May 31. Fans of the Legacy of Kain mythos were looking forward to another game in the series, and while the vampires-vs.-humans arena battler sated some of that bloodlust, it still came up short in the eyes of many. I played and enjoyed it a fair bit – when I could find a match, that is – but bugs persisted throughout the game’s development, frustrating players all the way up to its final days.
I think the only parallel I can draw between the two games is this: If you could play them – if you owned a PS3 for Dust 514 or could survive the matchmaking process for Nosgoth – you might have had a pretty good time. The entire reason free-to-play games exist is to lower barriers to entry, so putting new ones up right away probably wasn’t the best choice for either game.