If there is one thing we don’t like about Microsoft it’s when they put an end to good ideas that seemingly didn’t get a fair chance.
Such is the case with Galactic Reign, the distinctive space-battle and strategy game that co-launched on Windows Phone and Windows 8 just a few months ago. The game allowed people to play online against other Xbox users and to continue the game on their phone or tablet, seamlessly. The game’s real unique feature was the custom rendering of space battles, giving users a new way to appreciate war.
Now in their support forums, Microsoft has announced that the game will no longer be available after August 15th, which is in just three days. The game’s online servers which power the system, will be taken offline December 31st.
Color us crushed.
The game, which costs $4.99 on Windows Phone and Windows 8 (though users only needed to purchase it once for cross-platform play), will evidently not be refunded unless you put up a fight with customer service.
Microsoft only gave the tersest non-answer to the question ‘Why?’ by stating:
“We continually explore new games and entertainment concepts. Galactic Reign was a great cloud-based video rendering game exploration that we are going to bring to a close.”
There are either two explanations for the change: the business model just did not work out (and not enough people were playing to justify the costs) or the game itself was a test-bed for newer technology (that you paid to be a part of). While the second answer probably has some truth in it, we suspect that it was simply not cost-efficient to run those servers with so few players.
In fact, as much as we love the game, we found ourselves often forgetting we had ongoing battles with other opponents. The game is turn-based, meaning games could go on for some time, especially if someone didn’t play their turn.
Even worse was Microsoft’s answer to the question will there be any future Galactic Reign games released? The answer is no, meaning this is the end of this unique experience.
We understand Microsoft has a business to run, but we can’t help but be upset at such a cancellation. The game has massive potential and had it gone to iOS and Android along with some actual promotion, could have potentially taken off bringing much needed attention to the mobile Xbox universe. The game has a high 4.5 Star rating in the Store from 366 reviews, but that number of reviews is quite low for an Xbox Live title.
Source: Xbox Forums; Thanks, ActiveNick, for the tip