Konami has announced its intention to "terminate the service" of the detective PvP game Crimesight (opens in new tab), less than a year after it launched in April 2022. The publisher put this down to "various circumstances", has already ended sales of bundles with sales of the game to end on 27 February, and said Crimesight will go offline on May 1 2023 at 00:00 PDT.
To be clear, this means the game is going to effectively disappear, because this is an online experience with no singleplayer mode. "Online battles will not be available after the service ends," Konami said (opens in new tab), before clarifying that "also, the game itself won’t be able to play."
The news comes after Crimesight, despite mostly positive reviews from players, failed to ever reach an audience big enough to sustain an online game that needs multiple players to work: The all-time highest player count was 572 seven months ago (opens in new tab), while at the time of writing four people are playing it.
Problem being, this isn't a free-to-play experience. Crimesight launched at $20, and in November last year saw a price cut to $10 in an effort to bump up that player count. So those players are feeling a little shortchanged that the game will simply cease to function in a few months and, unless they've played it for less than two hours and can seek a Steam refund, there's no obvious recourse: Konami certainly didn't mention anything in this regard.
The immediate outcome of this is that the game's one bright spot, the positive user reviews, has now been overtaken with negative reviews that are specifically about the closure, with many referencing having paid for the game. The sad thing is, many of them even acknowledge they're upset because they liked it. "A neat game that will be permanently shut down with ZERO offline support after not even a year of support," writes Xograph (opens in new tab). "No advertising or dev communication and almost 0 updates led to a pretty quick demise.".
How long a company should support an online game for is almost like asking how long a piece of string is. Some games just dwindle out, while with others the collapse of the company behind them or the simple economics of not having enough players (as seems to be the case here) means the accountants make the decision. It feels different when it's a product sold with an upfront price being closed after a year though, and from a publisher of this size: Like Konami maybe didn't give the players who put their money down enough in return.