Image: Natural selection 2
So many online games have been shut down so far in 2023 that we already had to do a recap, and it’s only February. That means many more will suffer similar fates over the next 10 months, and the next two to suffer their demise are Natural Selection 2 and Spellbreak.
The developers of Natural Selection 2, which has been running for 10 years, announced earlier today that they would cease “active development” of the game, but not shut it down entirely. Instead, while they turn to other projects, they keep the lights on (emphasis mine):
10 years after its official release and over 117 updates later, active development of Natural Selection 2 has come to an end.
Our team and this community have provided passion and support for this game for many years. Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with so many of you, whether it’s at a trade show, live tournament, discord or playing on a server. We thank you for your support and dedication to NS2 and know that this game would not have been the same without you. Now it’s time to look to the future and move forward with other projects in the company.
While we’re not actively working on NS2, we will continue to host matched play servers to allow community members to play games on-demand with other players or bots.
While this isn’t a farewell, we still want to say a heartfelt thank you to you, our community, and everyone who has worked with us on Natural Selection 2 over the years.
much love and appreciation,
The UWE NS2 team
While it’s always sad for fans when a game ends like this, many of them just want to be able to still play the thing, so it’s nice to see that the Unknown Worlds developers are leaving some servers left for people to use.
As for Spellbreak, we knew it was coming to an end back in June 2022, but it finally came today when the game was removed from the Steam list. That’s the bad news, though; The good news is that the game will live on, as the developers “created a standalone version where players can host their own servers, play with their friends, and explore the game space at their own pace.”
That’s great! That’s even better than leaving some servers open because as John Carmack said last week, this is the absolute best scenario for when official support for an online game ends. By throwing the game to the wind and freeing it from the constraints of storefronts and online platforms, fans can play it for as long as there are fans, and even when there are none, the game can be preserved for generations to come.