Sony has announced that it will shut down PlayStation VR shooter StarBlood Arena’s servers in July, rendering the game unplayable just two years after its original release. It’s a story that’s becoming increasingly familiar to PlayStation fans, as the platform holder prematurely guts online title after online title – including the incredibly well-liked DriveClub.
In this case, though, developer WhiteMoon Dreams wants to do something about it. While the title was published by the Japanese giant, meaning that the firm is in charge of maintaining its servers, the studio would like to update the release and independently keep it online. “We're still waiting to hear back from [the manufacturer] if they'll allow us to patch it,” CEO Jay Koottarappallil wrote on Reddit last month.
“Sony called earlier to let me know that they were shutting down servers,” he explained. “The call was something along the lines of ‘This is always a very hard time, but it’s time to shut down the servers.’ There wasn’t a whole lot of detail past that. At the very least, we would have liked to have the option to pay for servers ourselves.”
Koottarappallil did admit that the number of people still playing the game is small, despite it being given away to PlayStation Plus members in January 2018. But we’re not happy about the platform holder’s approach to all this – as if it isn’t bad enough that the games are going offline so quickly, surely it should be allowing willing developers to support their titles independently?