We previously reported that Sony would be ending support for the Resistance trilogy on the PS3 sometime this year. While the original March 28 shut off day came and went with no change in the servers, Insomniac Games recently confirmed via Twitter that the official end date for online play on these titles will be April 8. In their tweet, they invited fans of the games to jump online and play with some Insomniac employees to make some final memories. I look forward to the day when I can tell my children I once played Resistance with the guy who was responsible for shading the game, at which point my eldest son will look up at me with awe in his eyes and say, “Who is that and what game are you talking about? I’ve never heard about it because Sony made it obsolete 20 years ago.” My eldest son will be very versed in when old games shut down their online support, you see.
A curious fellow sent out a tweet asking if the shutdown would affect the Vita title Resistance: Burning Skies as well. Insomniac, being experts on the subject, sent out a very well thought out and eloquent response which was “not sure“. This isn’t a joke, by the way. A customer asked them if a game would still have online support (or if it already ended) and their response was just “not sure”. To be fair, Burning Skies was developed by another company entirely so they don’t have firsthand knowledge of that game’s online support. But they could’ve either emailed someone to ask or not responded to the tweet at all or pointed out that isn’t their game so that question would be better directed elsewhere. Just tweeting out “hey, like, totally dunno man” throws uncertainty on Burning Skies when Sony has given no indication that online support would be ending for that game already.
What is most concerning, however, is that Resistance 3 is only two and a half years old and we are losing a major component to the game just because Sony is moving on. We saw a similar announcement from Nintendo earlier this year that confirmed they were ending online support to the majority of its Wii and DS titles in an effort to drive the focus onto its newest generation of consoles. And, unfortunately, these sorts of announcements are likely to occur with more frequency as we move further into the newest generation of consoles. It is just an accepted business practice that online servers will not last forever for any game, which is perfectly reasonable from a business standpoint. When the player base dwindles or resources are needed to be allocated other places, it just doesn’t make sense to keep on supporting a game that isn’t drawing them any new income.
And yet, I can’t help but feel a little cheated. I purchased Resistance 3 just over a year ago with the promise of an excellent multiplayer component, and while it certainly delivered, I had anticipated being able to play it for at least a little while longer. Some food has longer expiration dates than some recently released games, and with certain games embracing an entirely online experience (Titanfall comes to mind), this sort of thing becomes increasingly worrisome. I can still play any of my PlayStation or PlayStation 2 games today and get the same experience I did when they were originally released. I cannot say the same thing for a lot of games in my PS3 collection, and they were released far more recently. I understand why servers shut down and why online components of games just won’t be available for long, but the shelf life on some of these releases is remarkably fleeting. We no longer own the entire game when we purchase it. We own it for as long as the company feels like letting us play it, which in some cases is not much longer than a couple of years. Games without significant single player campaigns or local multiplayer options can be rendered nothing more than novelty paperweights on a moments notice. This is the new generation of gaming, and I love it and hate it more than I can easily articulate.