If you’re a fan of StarBlood Arena (2017), the online dogfighting arena exclusive to PSVR, you’re in for some bad news. Sony has decided to put an official expiration date on the title: July 25th, 2019.

Sony released word via the StarBlood Arena info page:

Please Note: Multiplayer and all online features for this product will be terminated and will no longer be available on 07/25/19. As you have to be online to play this title, this game will not be playable starting 07/25/19.

The game’s store page has since been taken down, meaning new users won’t be able to purchase the game for its latest price of $15. Considering it only has six months left to live, that’s probably the right move by Sony, the publishers of the game.

Developed by Pasadena-based WhiteMoon Dreams, StarBlood Arena first launched in April 2017 to a fairly mediocre critical reception. Like many online-only VR games, it suffered the same fate as other before and after it—a vicious cycle of low engagement levels leading to poor hourly user counts.

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  • Pablo C

    Was it free? is it legal to do this?

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Yes it’s legal as it’s an online only game (as far as I know), so you know beforehand that one day you might not be able to play it anymore. The did it back in the PS3 days with MAG. Would ofcourse suit them to adjust the game to be singleplayer too, against bots.

      • Phil Smith

        It’s had singleplayer with bots since day 1 of it’s release … but you had to be online even for that.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          In that case I think it’s ridiculous what they do. They should update the game not to need online. They still seem to sell the game.

      • Lucidfeuer

        It’s not actually exactly legal as soon as it has in app-purchases. Whenever you make in app-purchase you have an unlimited right of access to a copy of said bought item, so it’s indeed illegal to remove access to said content. However nothing prevents them from removing them from the store or discontinuing services, which open rights to anyone to up and maintain alternative servers.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          No, that’s what you like it to be. in-app purchases always has a disclaimer that in the future it might not be available anymore. Also there isn’t a right for anyone to main alternative servers once the publisher closes the original ones (at least not in most countries). Biggest problem ofcourse is cloning the service itself, that’s not an easy task without the original servercode.
          (Not that I like the situation ofcourse, IMHO it also should always be available and if closed down, there should be a possibility to continue service by thirdparty).

          • Lucidfeuer

            Well I live in a civilised country at least in terms of basic mercantile laws, and yes this are absolutely how the rights function, disclaimers or EULAs have no legal value FFS. As for cloning the service, yes it can be more or less complicated, but I’ve never seen people not succeed in replacing legacy servers eventually. On PS4/PSVR it’s probably complicated, but then everything eventually gets hacked or reproduced (as with emulation).

  • Arcticu Kitsu

    I guess there’ll be people using this in an “anti-VR” manner using it as an example as to why VR is a minor market, and such. Half-true…. People are playing other VR games. Gamers may be too spread out too thin playing other VR games at this point.

    But hey, sad to see this game go so soon. Looks so promising it should have at least hda a singleplayer mode against bots, or something. Maybe some alternate way to play with friends, or similar.

    • grivad

      It does have a single-player mode against bots.

      Just picked this up recently. Really fun IMO, but immediately noticed pretty much nobody was playing online.

  • Fear Monkey

    I liked the game but didnt love it. I was hoping for a “Forsaken VR” and the arenas were just big open rooms for the most part, not nearly as exciting.

  • Phil Smith

    The game’s store page has since been taken down, meaning new users won’t be able to purchase the game for its latest price of $15 ….
    Depends on what region you are … still available on the AU and UK Stores
    https://store.playstation.com/en-au/product/EP9000-CUSA07705_00-WHITEMOON0000000
    https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP9000-CUSA07705_00-WHITEMOON0000000

  • Thunk

    You would think your PSN subscription would help towards keeping your favourite games servers online, but no. If it had come to PC, the potential of private fan servers could have kept its online community alive, but alas, we’ll never know.

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  • Fourfoldroot

    This kind of thing is why I’m in two minds about buying GT Sport – although that’s a lot higher profile and more sales of course, the inevitable will happen as with all games that require online connection to record progression.

    • Alexisms

      There’s barely a vr component at all so i wouldn’t buy it for that anyway. However if you worried about servers going down you’d never buy any game with an online competitive component. Plus GT is safer than most.