It's a Gundam shame: Yet another live service game goes the way of the Dodo after barely a year

Gundam Evolution
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Remember Gundam Evolution, the free-to-play multiplayer shooter from Bandai Namco that launched with fanfare in September last year? Well stop remembering it. It's going away forever on November 29, barely a year after it released, because it can apparently no longer "provide a service that satisfies [its] players". Throw another body on the pile; they're dropping like flies out here.

"We want to express our gratitude to everyone who has played the game and supported us to this point," said executive producer Kazuya Maruyama in a news update on Steam, "At the same time, we would like to sincerely apologize to our fans and players." Maruyama doesn't go into why Gundam Evolution is getting switched off, but a quick glance at its SteamDB page suggests that it's struggled to keep its player count up ever since the heyday of its launch: It's been peaking at around 700 concurrent players this month.

On the bright side, there's still new stuff to come between now and November. "Though Gundam Evolution is coming to an end, updates will continue to roll out with Season 6 (adding a new unit and two maps) on August 23 (PDT) and the final season (adding a new unit and a map) on October 25 (PDT)," wrote Murayama, adding that the devs "will do our best to ensure that our players can enjoy Gundam Evolution to the fullest till the very end".

The full end-of-life roadmap for the game will be revealed in the "Mission Briefing Final" stream that's set to air tomorrow at 6 pm PDT / 9 pm ET / 2 am BST, but the devs have already provided an outline of what to expect. The game will stop selling you Evo Coins—its in-game currency—on July 26, and won't be providing refunds on any of you've bought before that time. You'll be able to use any you have until the game's final shutdown, though, so I guess there's that.

Aside from that, Gundam Evolution will still be getting its season 6 and season 7 updates on August 23 and October 25, respectively. That second one is 36 days before the game's shutdown date, so you'll want to get in there quickly if you have any desire to see the new unit and map it's promising to add in.

It's a shame to see Gundam Evolution go out with a whimper like this. It might not have set the world on fire, but it was a surprisingly solid shooter that—once upon a time—Noah Smith said had the right fundamentals to "prove to be a persistent needle in Overwatch 2’s side." I suppose it never executed on them well enough.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.