All the big games that shut down in 2023

knockout city
(Image credit: Velan Studios)

Several games had to call 2023 their final year as they shut down for good. Some games survived a few years, while others didn't even make it to one. It's already hard enough to release a game and now many are expected to be sustainable for several years. But online games don't last forever, and now it feels like they only last a few years.

There's no way to know exactly what went wrong for many of the games that had to be cut short this year, but it's clear that it's extremely tough to claim a space in what is a very contentious genre. Creative forks of the most popular trends, like extraction shooters, don't guarantee you a place in live service heaven. It's cutthroat out there and unfortunately smart ideas aren't always enough.

Here are the big games that had to shut down this year in order of their final announcements:


Spellbreak - Shut down January 10, 2023 

(Image credit: Proletariat)

In 2020, Spellbreak had around five million players throwing magic at each other in its battle royale arena. It was a genuine surprise in a sea of mostly FPS games chasing the battle royale trend. But two years later, its developer Proletariat announced it had been bought by Blizzard and would shut the game down. Spellbreak continued on for a few months and finally sealed its doors in January. Soon after, the developers released a "community" version of the game on so you can host your own servers. 


Rumbleverse - Shut down February 28, 2023 

(Image credit: Iron Galaxy)

 A wrestling battle royale is a fun concept, but it wasn't fun enough for Rumbleverse to take off like its developer wanted it to. Iron Galaxy said player numbers weren't high enough since its 2022 release and that it would shut down after only six months. Rumbleverse had a goofy art style and a mix of wrestling moves and fighting game mechanics, the kind of stuff absent from the battle royales that are still around today. According to Russell Adderson's Rumbleverse impressions, it had a lot of systems to nudge players into constantly brawling with each other. It's too bad it didn't catch on. 

Babylon's Fall

Babylon's Fall - Shut down February 27, 2023 

Four people in armour stand atop a desert landscape. The far left one faces away from camera in black armour, a barbarian with their face covered by a mask stands next to them. A female with medium-length brown hair and white shimmering armour duel wields guns, one held up and one pointing out to her right. Below her outstretched gun an archer crouches, their face obscured by an elaborate headdress.

(Image credit: Platinum Games)

Action game studio Platinum Games gave Babylon's Fall six months before it announced it would take it down. Unlike some of Platinum's most successful games, Babylon's Fall was a fantasy action game where you could join other players to fight waves of enemies. It didn't quite work, as Anne-Marie Coyle wrote in our Babylon's Fall review. Monotonous quests and a bland aesthetic kept it from reaching the heights of the developer's other games, like Bayonneta and Nier: Automata. Before the end of its stay, Babylon's Fall had one concurrent player on Steam: journalist Dashiell Wood, who was disappointed to see it go in just under a year.


Blaseball - Shut down June 2, 2023 

(Image credit: The Game Band)

I'll admit, I still don't fully understand the scope of what Blaseball was, but I certainly was aware of the phenomenon that took over the lives of my peers in 2020. It was a browser-based sports gambling sim with fake teams and real horror. The developer Game Band took Blaseball from a weird experiment into a massively popular strategy game that was also a satire of modern sports fandom. People closely followed each season like it was Game of Thrones for a very specific type of nerd, and then explained the wildly intricate stories Blaseball and its players created. It was fascinating to hear about, but the twists and lore and surprises started to fizzle out earlier this year, and then Game Band posted a short announcement that it would end Blaseball immediately. RIP Blaseball. 

Knockout City

Knockout City - Shut down June 6, 2023 

(Image credit: Future)

Knockout City only made it two years before its developer, Velan Studios, decided to shut it down. Despite pulling in over 12 million players, the team-based dodgeball game wasn't sustainable for the small studio. It spent four years working on the game and released it under EA's Originals publishing label, and then in 2022, it left EA and went free-to-play. At the time of its shutdown, Velan Studios said it would use what it learned from Knockout City on its next game, which we now know is Hot Wheels Rift Rally, an AR racing game with RC cars.

Only Up!

Only Up! - Shut down September 8, 2023 

(Image credit: SCKRgames/Aboulicious)

Only Up! surged on Twitch earlier this year for its absurd premise: climb on random floating objects until you reach outer space. Solo developer SCKR Games received accusations of asset ripping, copyright infringement, and claims that they were promoting NFTs. There are reports of at least one of those assets being removed, but SCKR Games largely kept silent until the final message. SCKR Games said they needed "peace of mind and healing," and that they would remove the game from Steam as they work on a new project tentatively titled "Kith." And that's the last we heard from them. 

Call of Duty: Warzone

Call of Duty: Warzone/Warzone Caldera - Shut down September 21, 2023 

(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Warzone didn't stick around long enough for every teen who spent hours in Activision's hugely successful battle royale spin-off to grow up and miss the good ol' days of hanging out with the squad on Caldera. After three years and a rebranding, Activision decided it would much rather have everyone logging into Warzone 2. All the cosmetics players bought went with it, despite Activision promising it would continue to support the game to some degree. If the death of Warzone says anything about the state of live service games, it's that it doesn't matter how big they are or how much time and money you spend in them, they can all disappear at any time.

The Cycle: Frontier

The Cycle: Frontier - Shut down September 27, 2023 

(Image credit: YAGER)

A healthy player count of around 2,000 on Steam didn't cut it for The Cycle: Frontier, a PvPvE extraction shooter that made it a little over a year. At the time of announcing it would shut the game down, developer Yager said the game was successful to start but was plagued with cheaters, which soured many players on it. PC Gamer's Morgan Park wasn't a fan of the game's focus on looting rather than shooting, but was impressed by how distinctly alien it looked. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of people had their own issues with it and not enough people stuck around for Yager to continue development on it.

Gundam Evolution

Gundam Evolution - Shut down November 29, 2023 

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

As an Overwatch survivor, this one is particularly sad. Gundam Evolution was one of the few games I played that had a similar energy as 2016 Overwatch. The team-based mech FPS had tanks and support and objectives to capture. The hardest part was getting used to playing as a mech instead of a bunch of different characters, which may have impacted its declining player count in the last year. In the brief, final update, Bandai Namco promised a few more updates and thanked the players for sticking around as long as they did. 


Battlefield: Bad Company 1 and 2, and Battlefield 1943 - Shut down December 8, 2023 

(Image credit: EA)

EA announced in March that it would shut down three Battlefield games at once, including Battlefield: Bad Company 1, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 1943. Only Bad Company 2 came to PC and was PC Gamer UK's 2010 shooter of the year. Many praised the game for its campaign, which is still playable, but plenty of people spent loads of time in its multiplayer modes battling in squads. It's a shame there's no way to go back and see what Battlefield looked like 13 years ago now.  

The Day Before

The Day Before - Shut down planned for January 22

(Image credit: Fntastic)

Where do you even start with The Day Before? Somehow we were all duped into thinking this survival MMO with impressive trailers and almost nothing else was going to be the next big thing and it lasted—checks notes—four days. PC Gamer's Morgan Park explained the entire saga, but the TLDR is this: Developer Fntastic promised a massive survival game, didn't elaborate on that for months, reappeared with an eight month delay, showed up in November to launch a massive-ly broken game, and peaced out four days later. You can't buy the game anymore, but it's technically still playable… for now

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.