After more than a decade of battle, 2003's science-fiction massively multiplayer shooter PlanetSide is no more. Yesterday afternoon, PlanetSide's servers were taken offline, the guns fell silent, soldiers put down their guns to have a dance party, and apocalyptic meteors fell from the sky.Motherboard contributor Steven Messner, who's currently writing a feature on PlanetSide's history, recorded the legendary shooter's final moments.Sadly, the heat-death of PlanetSide's universe is not much of a surprise. The game was mostly abandoned after 2012's PlanetSide 2 launched. PlanetSide became a free-to-play game in 2014, but even the servers needed to run an old game played by few people costs the company money. "PlanetSide 1 has a very important history with Daybreak Games and a special place in the hearts of those who work on its successor," PlanetSide's publisher wrote in the shutdown announcement in June. "While we have run the game for free since 2014, due to evolving business needs and technical requirements it has become necessary to conclude this service."
PlanetSide joins a long list of beloved games brought low by "evolving business needs." Sure, making money is important—businesses gotta business—but it's still profoundly sad to watch classic games disappear when the public moves on to newer things. What would the world be like if a movie studio concluded a film's theatrical release by burning all the copies? Games, especially online games, need an equivalent of the Criterion Collection.
After thirteen years of constant battle and many millions of lives lost, the conflict between three dead-locked factions ended in a draw and then blinked out of existence. Space war. Huh. What is it good for?