Star Trek: Bridge Crew, Ubisoft’s co-op space battle sim, has been removed from Steam and the Oculus Store in ostensible preparation for the game’s complete shutdown.

Bridge Crew was an early success for Ubisoft when it first launched on Oculus Rift, SteamVR and PSVR back in 2017, offering some innovative group gameplay that put you and three others aboard the bridge of a Constitution-class starship for coop battle maneuvers against the Klingon Empire.

On Friday, Ubisoft began pulling the plug on Bridge Crew, delisting the game from Steam and the Oculus Store for both Quest and Rift. Delisted Games maintains this was likely due to an expired licensing agreement between Ubisoft and Star Trek IP-holder ViacomCBS.

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The studio is still selling Bridge Crew for both PC and PSVR direct from Ubisoft, as well as via the PlayStation Store for PSVR for a discounted price of $10. That sale goes until February 17th, and we expect it will be gone from the PlayStation Store thereafter.

If you’re just now considering Star Trek: Bridge Crew, there’s really no telling when Ubisoft will pull the plug on multiplayer servers, as the company is staying mum for now. In the meanwhile we’d paste a giant ‘BUYER BEWARE’, and that’s even after giving it a resounding [9/10] in our review back when the game first launched.

Despite making it available for non-VR players, releasing the Next Generation DLC in 2018, and eventually bringing the whole experience to the Quest platform, Ubisoft has been mostly hands-off with Star Trek: Bridge Crew beyond its initial hype phase back in 2017.

This latchkey attitude with updates undoubtedly played into the game’s demise, but the argument can be made that it might have been too soon in VR’s lifecycle for such a specific style of multiplayer game. Sure, the game can be played solo, or with a partial cadre complimented with AI substitutes, but it ultimately excelled when played with a full crew. And yet, Bridge Crew never seemed to garner the sort of vibrant userbase it needed to ensure instant access to its drop-in style, procedurally-generated game sessions.

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According to third-party Steam user activity, it only managed a max of 846 users at launch on Steam, going down to a mere 111 two months later. When the game launched on Quest in 2019 (including cross-play), it only managed to attract 533 Steam users concurrently. That’s of course not accounting for PSVR or Oculus numbers, but it’s a telling sign that Bridge Crew was not the VR success Ubisoft was hoping for.

There was some other writing on the wall at the time. Only a few months after launch, Ubisoft announced it was pulling its IBM Watson-driven voice commands, which allowed users to go hands-free when playing with an AI crew. In response to community outrage Ubisoft extended support through 2018, but later phased out voice commands in all versions of the game.

There’s not much else to say about Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Ubisoft has released and subsequently abandoned more built-for-VR games than any other traditional ‘AAA’ developer out there, treating them more like one-off probes into uncharted space. Although similarly devoid of intelligent life, all of its VR multiplayer games are still on sale: Eagle Flight, Werewolves Within, Space Junkies, making Bridge Crew the first—and most successful—of the bunch to get the axe.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Pablo C

    Will single player still work though?

    • User_Name_24601

      I’m wondering about this myself. I guess I’ll have to finish playing through it ASAP.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Why wouldn’t it? Otherwise I’ll have to look out for some pirated patch..

      • Pablo C

        yeah, you can always trust the pirates, unlike the guys that took our money and run (3 years later but still).

        • User_Name_24601

          Not defending the pirates that do that sort of thing. But there’s several sites on the net where hackers/pirates patch abandonware games to run once the servers have been deactivated. It’s a nice service for the fan community and they don’t charge anything for them.

          • Aridane Álamo Morera

            I’m a developer myself, I can pay for the software I need and never use pirated software, but I’m so feed up with ubisoft bugs and shitty customer support that I would not buy a game from them again. 3 games I bought, 3 piles of bugs with no support.
            So yeah, I would be happy to at least be able to play this one that I paid for using a hacked patch…

      • Sven Viking

        iirc you log in before reaching the main menu and the voice command system is cloud-based so it wouldn’t be that surprising, but it’s something that could be tested right now just by switching off WiFi before loading the game.

    • clbrown

      Unless Ubi and Valve do what Samsung and Farcebook with to the GearVR community… literally turning off their hardware, and “voiding out” every purchase (leaving unusable hardware)… which was unforgiveable and frankly ILLEGAL, mind you… it ought to.

      Of course, once ONE company has gotten away with removing purchased content, you know that everyone else will follow suit shortly. Hell, Valve is “turning off” access to Steam for anyone still running Win7 (not merely not allowing future games to be run, or so on… but literally “turning off” access to anyone still on that platform, which in some cases is the ONLY way to get certain games still sold on Steam to run!)

      So… while I would never encourage anyone to “take to the high seas,” if you DO have a legal license to run this software, I’d encourage you to “take a snapshot” of the current state of your installation (save it to a writeable DVD or the like?) which, in the future, you’ll be able to use… ummm… supposedly “iffy” (but far less “iffy” than having a company you bought a product from take that product away from you!) means to get that to work.

      It’s not all that hard, really… when Valve turned off access to WinXP, and I still have a machine that runs that (to keep a few things that, again, ONLY run on XP still functioning!), I simply “found a way” to run those Steam programs without… ya know… actually having steam running (as it no longer will, of course).

      So, something to bear in mind.

      Personally, what I’d LOVE to see would be something along the lines of what’s happened with, say, “Myth II – Soulblighter,” where there are fan-updated versions still getting updates and improvements to this day.

      One thing that “Bridge Crew” never really allowed for… unless I missed something pretty major… was the ability to run over a LAN. THAT would be something pretty major, and extremely “value-added.”

      Imagine if you could set up in your living room… put chairs in all the right places, or close to them… and then all go into VR, where you could actually hear the real people in the real room around you, talking to you, and you to them… not “over your headset” but literally through the air in the room… but still, in VR, seeing the bridge of a starship.

      THAT is something that the makers of “Bridge Crew” screwed up by not providing.

      There is something a bit along those lines, apart from “Bridge Crew,” available (or at least it used to be, I haven’t tried it recently). It’s called “Artemis – Starship Bridge Simulator.”

      It’s not designed for VR (but I’d swear I heard that they were going to try implementing that). Instead, it’s designed for real-time, all-in-the-same-room roleplaying.

      It brings what “Bridge Crew” failed to bring… and I was really hoping that “Bridge Crew” would eventually become more than it was, and take on that “real world get-together play” role that Artemis seems to be the only real alternative for these days.

      Check Artemis out. It’s plenty of fun… not “technically” Star Trek, but close enough, I think.

  • SimTim

    A tragedy. It was an excellent game and experience. It should also be used as a template for future game and experience opportunities.

  • Kelley Legault

    Ohhh come on! The only game out there that the entire family (3 gen) can play- at the same time, across platforms. Figures.

    • jimmy

      if you didn’t played it in 3 years you would never play it

      • Kelley Legault

        Sorry, what exactly do you mean? Clearly- I have played it… As have all of my family members, and everyone else I know with a quest/quest 2/psvr.
        Also, sometimes, it takes time for word to get around for the less-that-mega-hits.
        It’s a great Sim-could it be better? Of course!
        Everything… Literally, everything, is a work-in-progress :)

      • Peelster1

        I just started playing it this month after buying it in 2017. I had other games I was more invested in until now and finally was able to get my friends on board. I do wish I played it when voice commands were a thing though.

    • Simon Barratt

      Hi Kelley, please check out Spaceteam VR – it can be played cross-platform (PC + Quest VR) as well as with mobile devices. We also have a PSVR and 2D version coming soon!

      • Kelley Legault

        Hey! Sorry I missed your post earlier… Definitely going to check this is out – thank you!

  • Ragbone

    lmao wtf

    • Ragbone

      They are saying they didnt have many users, lol it didnt work for ages, it wasnt possible to connect.

      • Aaron

        Yep – I tried many times and gave up – I’m amazed that a company like Ubisoft would release such a poor product that obviously had not been tested enough, and when people started complaining it wasn’t working they should have actually done something about it.

        • Ragbone

          I tried it again tonight, got an error trying to get in then a different one. Then i managed to get in but no people, i think due to the error but not sure. It was left a mess lol.

        • Sven Viking

          It used to work — likely there was something like a new server issue they never bothered to investigate.

  • Paul Bellino

    I am a Star Trek fan, and they could have done so much more with it. Goodbye and good riddance.

    • Efrain Olemedo

      It’s this sort of attitude which ensures all future Star Trek games will be mobile quality.

      When you complain they didn’t do enough, while they invested millions into a leading IP for an unproven tech, while mainly outlets praise it – the issue is your expectations.

      • Aridane Álamo Morera

        The issue is game bugs that prevented many players and MOST groups of friends to play it.
        If you want to play alone and mp and you are lucky it works for you then fine, what’s the purpose of this if 2 of 3 friends I play vr with can’t play it due to microphone issues?
        The game could have been great, if it was maintaned I can asure it would have sold A LOT more, since don’t buy it and refunded are the most common things I hear about this game on VR forums, both because of this bug.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      I’m also a Star Trek fan, and I really liked the single player game. So for me it’s certainly not ‘good riddance’.

    • Aeroflux

      I believe I understand where this is coming from. The last thing any Star Trek fan wants is for a publisher/developer to take over the license and prevent other iterations from existing, then reduce support of the game to almost nothing.

      We don’t have a shortage of Star Trek fans. We do have a shortage of Star Trek VR games. This game had some flashes of presence in the Star Trek universe. However, there were so many horrible design decisions made with it. Lean too far and you get a black screen. Exploration is a major part of Star Trek, and these fools put players in a cage.

      Content was limited to one DLC release and the Quest ended game stability. Anyone who has played the game for a while knows this issue intimately. From what I’ve heard, the license was no longer theirs to develop with at some point.

      I am forced to agree that a game that cannot move forward, yet impair other games from being developed is a good thing to be rid of. The best thing about this game was the community.

  • Aaron

    I tried with different friends about five times and the multiplayer game seemed to be a broken product that should never have been released in the state it was – I never successfully got to play the game with other people.

  • I owned it, but never actually played it.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    I never played the multiplayer part, and these days you should be able to get it fairly cheap, I bought it a long time ago already with all the DLC for 15 euro’s total.
    I think it’s really worth anything below that for the single player version only.
    Only thing I always missed was being able to actually walk around the bridge/ship.

  • jimmy

    it always hilarious when a dead game get taken down and half the community find a new passion on how good it was

  • Gravedigger67

    I own the game I’ve had t since 2018 it’s a great game sadly I’ve always had issues finding people to play with

  • F.

  • david vincent

    That’s sad, just when Quest 2 is booming and my IRL friends are finally getting into VR ☹️

  • Never heard of it before.

  • MosBen

    I quite enjoyed playing around with it on my own, but I never had any friends to play it with, and as a rule I don’t play with randos online. It’s super annoying that we’re in this world where multiplayer is only available on official company servers. Oh, for the days of Gamespy.

  • That’s awful. In spite of all the bugs, I still love this game and hop in from time to time.

  • Marcin Adamski

    This is how aaa companies treat their own products. Compare that to h3vr or b&s with devs that love their creations

  • Aridane Álamo Morera

    I bought it, could not play more than 2 games due to microphone bugs. It forces you to validate that you have a micro with the builtin microphone testing wich doesn’t work on MANY systems. So you could not validate and play mp or play over discord or we, no answers from bugisoft whatsoever.
    Lots and lots of complains for that same reason on VR forums, don’t buy it.

  • Jake

    Actually making the game playable on quest 2 since it was broken for most people, and fixing the game breaking bugs and crashes, probably would have helped the game do a little better. Every time we ever tried to play, the people on quest would inevitably crash (almost 100% of the time), or their character in game would stop functioning for everyone but the person playing him.

  • max3d2

    Great game, really fun for Star Trek enthusiasts. Sad to see developers drop a game after taking the customers money. A problem that I had with the game is the lack of add on missions. They could have had literally a CASH COW! Maybe not as much as WOW or Diablo, but they could have had a huge stream of income. As we all know companies can really make some piss poor decisions. Just ask Bud-Light and Target. LOL