There was a time, back in the day, where you’d just buy a finished game and played it. No day-one updates or extra patches — it was simple. These games couldn’t “die” because they simply…existed. But as MMOs and live-service games (or “games as a service”) began to proliferate, requiring online servers and constant support from developers to keep things up and running, so too has the number of games that’ve hit in the graveyard. Please, bow your heads as were solemnly mark this year’s casualties.
There were quite a few, too, from racing sims like Dirt Rally and Project Cars to battle royales like Hyper Scape and massively-multiplayer online role-playing games such as Tera. Not every game on this list is “dead” in the traditional sense, with some still having minor functionality that makes them somewhat playable, but all are no longer receiving developmental resources or updates, effectively making them dead games.
With that, here are 14 games that died in 2022:
Dirt 4 and Dirt Rally
Pour one out for racing sim fans, as this year saw a number of speedy games careen off the track. Developer Codemasters’ Dirt 4 and Dirt Rally were two such games. Publisher EA delisted them from digital store shelves around October and November, meaning you can no longer buy them anymore. Online servers for both games appear online for folks who already own them, so they’re technically on life support rather than having flatlined, but with car and track licenses expiring, it’s likely only a matter of time.
Fast & Furious Crossroads
Another racing game has been bumped off the road, as developer Slightly Mad Studios’ Fast & Furious Crossroads was delisted from digital stores in April 2022. According to the game’s Steam page, which notes that the racer is no longer buyable, the online features will “remain active” for an unspecified amount of time and any DLC purchased before the game was pulled from store shelves will remain accessible for the time being. So, similar to the two preceding Dirt games, Fast & Furious Crossroads is hanging on by the thinnest of threads, just a little over two years after its August 2020 launch.
Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier
This one hurts me. Developer Ateam’s free-to-play, mobile-only battle royale Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier will shut down on January 11, 2023. It wasn’t even a year old, but publisher Square Enix said it couldn’t “deliver the experience that we were hoping to and that you all deserve,” prompting the company to pull the plug. While this one won’t get taken out back until early next year, the fact that the death knell was rung just a few months before 2022 ended felt like cause enough to add it, and I’m bummed about it.
Yet another racing game, this time one that has gone down in flames. Developer Turn 10 Studios yeeted the free-to-play mobile and PC racer Forza Street from digital stores on April 11, with in-app purchases no longer being accepted as of January 10. The team confirmed in a FAQ on Forza Street’s website that Turn 10 is “focused on building new experiences,” with the developer currently working on the upcoming Forza Motorsport, which is slated to drop in Spring 2023.
Fuser, the rhythmic DJ game from Guitar Hero and Rock Band creators Harmonix, was removed from digital stores on December 19. So, if you were hoping to pick this game up and practice blending together club bangers in the comfort of your living room, I’m sorry to say those days are now gone. The developers refrained from pulling the servers offline as was originally intended, meaning it’s playable online for the time being for those who’d already bought it. But with an “updated timeline” coming in early 2023, it won’t be long until Fuser will go offline and only have two accessible modes: Campaign and Quick Play.
I don’t blame you for not knowing what developer Rampage Games’ Genesis is, considering it didn’t have a whole lot of marketing behind it. However, the PC and PS4 multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) brawler did have enough of a player base for me to find matches whenever I booted the game up. Unfortunately, the team yanked the game from digital store shelves and took its servers offline on April 10, leaving Genesis completely unplayable. On top of this, all account data and character information was erased once the servers were shuttered. This is a dead game.
Ubisoft Montréal’s foray into the battle royale genre with its sci-fi shooter Hyper Scape didn’t go quite as planned, despite how fun the game was when it came out. The developers pulled the game from digital shelves and closed its servers on April 28, meaning it’s not even playable for people who managed to download it beforehand. Hammering the final nail in the coffin, Ubisoft also announced that the game’s official website is “no longer available,” signalling an unceremonious death for Hyper Scape.
This one made Kotaku’s dead games of 2021 list, too, but with developer Spike Chunsoft officially removing the game from sale on February 7 and sunsetting the online servers on August 24, it felt fitting to include Jump Force once again considering it’s now truly dead and gone. RIP to this mega-mashup anime fighter.
This one might seem odd to mention, since Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch is kinda-sorta playable (vicariously) through Overwatch 2. However, with the sequel supplanting the OG on October 4, there’s no way to play Overwatch as it was when it launched. Sure, all of the characters carry over, as do some maps, but there’s the rub: Not everything from the original hero shooter appears in this new game. Maybe that’s to be expected — out with the old, in with the new — but it’s still a bummer all the same.
Project Cars and Project Cars 2
I wasn’t joking when I said at the top that “a number of speedy games” were booted from the raceway, with developer Slightly Mad Studios’ Project Cars and Project Cars 2 being the next (and final?) victims. The team announced in August that “due to expiring car and track licenses,” Project Cars 2 would be removed from sale on September 21 and Project Cars would meet a similar fate on October 3. Both games “remain fully playable,” with all features (including multiplayer) remaining intact for the time being. However, with Slightly Mad Studios “[halting] the development of [its] next Project Cars game,” it may not be long until these two racers become totally unplayable.
You might not have played developer Improbable Worlds’ Scavengers much, especially considering it never left Early Access after hitting the market in May 2021. But sadly, the free-to-play PvE battle royale shooter was taken offline on December 16. In a November announcement citing a “decline in the playerbase” over the last few months, Improbable Worlds said it came to the decision that development on the project had grown too “unsustainable to continue,” causing it to pull the plug with little fanfare.
The massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Tera, developed by Krafton Inc. subsidiary Bluehole Studio, is done and dusted. After nearly a decade of operation, the game’s English publisher Gameforge announced that, because it was “no longer able to offer you the exciting and satisfying content you deserve,” the game would be shut down, and indeed, the servers were taken offline as of June 30.
It’s always a shame to see games get taken offline, no matter the reason. While some of these are still playable in one way or another, a vast majority of them aren’t. It’s for this reason that game preservation is so important. Without knowing our history, without keeping track of where we came from, we can’t ever know where we’re going.