We've all had it happen to us. A game we've enjoyed is being taken offline, servers shut down. Perhaps it's just the online portion of a game and we're still able to enjoy the singleplayer, but these days with a lot of online games and free-to-play offerings servers shutting down means you'll never get to experience that game ever again. It's all to do with cost, of course. Popular games that earn their creators a lot of money will likely sustain themselves for years and years, and most likely you'll grow tired before the servers shut. But every now and then there's that game that for some reason didn't take off, but that you quite enjoy.
I've been playing a highly addictive spirit battler on PS Vita called Destiny of Spirits where you summon, collect and battle with various spirits that you upgrade and trade. It's fairly simple, yet surprisingly deep and as it uses the built-in GPS there are system that lets you hunt spirits as you travel and different continents and regions offers different spirits. It's a great time sink and the friction that's there is kind of a relief as it hinders you from spending too much time on it. Given the limited install base of PS Vita it hasn't been easy achieving a sustainable player base, and the game also doesn't incentivise purchases enough. You can buy premium coins that can be used in various ways, but ultimately I think most players have spent little or no real money in the game.
It feels a bit disappointing that Sony are pulling the plug just over a year after launch (June 30 is the last day), especially given how well the PlayStation division is doing as of late, but ultimately PS Vita isn't a great platform for free-to-play as you need a bigger install base. I'd love to see Destiny of Spirits or something similar on smartphone though - fingers crossed that will happen, but for now I'm trying to conquer the final areas on the Destiny of Spirits battlefield before our time with the game is up.
There are many ways to look upon video games. Is it perhaps throwaway entertainment that is simply good fun for the time being or is it something more substantial that deserves to be preserved for the ages. Perhaps it's both. And perhaps we shouldn't be too upset that some games simply run their course and disappear. Nevertheless it's a little disheartening when it happens to a game you've spent some serious time on.