What you need to know
- Ubisoft's The Crew is being shutdown in 2024 when the servers will be turned off.
- The game has been delisted from stores, but players who own the game have until March 31, 2024 to play it. Then it's gone for good.
- The lack of an offline mode for The Crew means that people who bought the game will no longer be able to play it at all.
Ubisoft's latest open world racer, The Crew Motorfest, hasn't been here for long, but for long time fans of the series there's disappointing news regarding one of its predecessors.
Announced today, The Crew is being delisted from all stores ahead of a total shutdown on March 31, 2024.
The delisting of racing games is common, as license agreements for the vehicles within have a finite duration. It's happened to older Forza games, for example, but at least with Forza, you can still play the old games if you own them.
In the case of The Crew, this isn't possible. It's an always online game, and when the servers get turned off, the door is closed. The Crew is no more.
What this means is that something you've spent your hard-earned money on will no longer exist, even if you have a physical copy. It's just gone. Finito. Sony has recently been receiving its own flak for the removal of digital content that its customers have bought, and while on a smaller scale, Ubisoft is doing the same. This wasn't a free to play game, it was a big budget AAA release.
The scourge of online only games
I get annoyed enough when The Division 2 goes down for maintenance and there's absolutely no part of the game I can play until the servers come back. That's a small thing in comparison to just taking away access to a whole game people have paid for.
It's an increasing frustration where server outages, and in this case a full shutdown, stop gamers enjoying the games they want to play. Naturally, if it's an entirely multiplayer experience, it's different, but a game like The Crew should absolutely have an offline player mode. It's an open world racing game, all the content has already been added. Why can't someone play through the campaign again or just drive around having a good time?
It would be nice if Ubisoft had said it would drop a patch for the game to give it an offline mode before they turn the servers off, but that's probably wishful thinking. It just highlights once again the lack of ownership we have over much of our content in the present day. Games with offline play are the best kind of games.
I enjoyed The Crew and its expansion Wild Run. The story was a bit lame, but I thought it was a better crack at a Need for Speed-type title than most Need for Speed games have been. I guess I've got a few months to load it back up one final time, for old time's sakes. Then I guess I'll have to throw the disc away, and that makes me sad.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine