In a blog post, Epic has announced it is shutting down the servers and online services for many of its older titles beginning today. The reason is the company wants to, in its own words, “move to solely support Epic Online Services with its unified friends system, voice chat features, parental controls, and parental verification features.”
Epic states that by January 24, the following titles no longer be playable online (albeit with some caveats, which are noted). Epic has also started removing these titles from digital storefronts and will disable DLC purchases. Most of these games can still be played offline if you own them. The list of affected games are:
- 1000 Tiny Claws
- Dance Central 1-3 (Dance Central VR online multiplayer will remain available)
- Green Day: Rock Band
- Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess
- Rock Band 1-3 (Rock Band 4 online multiplayer will remain available)
- The Beatles: Rock Band
- Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars
- Unreal Gold
- Unreal II: The Awakening
- Unreal Tournament 2003
- Unreal Tournament 2004
- Unreal Tournament 3 (Epic plans to bring back online features via Epic Online Services in the future.)
- Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition
Games with offline modes will still be playable, of course, but titles that are built solely around multiplayer will effectively be dead. One example is the free-to-play Battle Breakers, which will become totally unplayable on December 30. Epic will refund in-game purchases that were made in Battle Breakers 180 days prior to today.
Additionally, the publisher has already removed the Mac and Linux versions of Hatoful Boyfriend and Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star from stores, as well as the mobile version of DropMix. Owners will still be able to access these titles, though. Unreal Tournament (Alpha), Rock Band Blitz, the Rock Band Companion app and SingSpace will also cease operations on January 24.
Several of these games are over a decade old, so it’s not surprising to see Epic pulling the plug on their online servers, especially if the communities aren’t very active. Still, it stinks to see this happen from a preservationist standpoint. Will you be logging online to play Unreal Tournament 2004 or The Beatles: Rock Band with friends before January 24? Let us know in the comments!