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Posted

Microsoft to pull the plug on Galactic Reign for Windows 8/RT and Windows Phone

by John Callaham

In March, Microsoft announced, with some amount of fanfare, the release of Galactic Reign. Developed by Slant Six Games, the turn-based space strategy game was launched for Windows 8/RT and Windows Phone platforms, with cross-platform multiplayer.

Microsoft hyped up the fact that Galactic Reign used cloud-based servers to generate its movie-like combat sequences. However, it appears that dependence on the cloud was its Achilles heel.

Microsoft announced on its Xbox forums that Galactic Reign will be removed from the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store after August 15th. The game will not be available for re-download after that date as well, so if you buy the game now, you will need to keep it stored on your PC hard drive or your phone's on-board storage to keep playing.

However, that play time will be limited. Microsoft has also announced the game servers will shut down after December 31st.

Microsoft didn't offer a reason behind the decision in its brief message board post, saying only that it was "proud of the game." The post added, "Galactic Reign was a great cloud-based video rendering game exploration that we are going to bring to a close." It seems clear that the game simply did not have enough of an audience to keep the cloud-based servers going.

Source: Xbox Forums via WPCentral.com

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Posted

This is even worse than EA. The game is less than a year old, and it sucks it's being killed off already, I really enjoy playing it.

 

They really should offer a refund. I bought a game, not an "exploration" of cloud technology.

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Posted

"I'm so sick of people talking about Microsoft turning off servers! It just won't happen! Azure ftw!!1!" - silly short-sighted Neowin members ;)

 

In all seriousness, it's not a surprise. Slant Six has had failure after failure for the last 4 years and without them around to actively support it any more it's inevitable they'd close it. IIRC Sony have announced all Slant Six games and their servers are turning off between now and 2014 too.

 

Can't wait for those next-gen cloud games!

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Posted

This is the reason the "cloud-based" gaming of the upcoming consoles is a bad idea for consumers. Obsolescence can now be forced by the flip of a switch. 

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Posted

"I'm so sick of people talking about Microsoft turning off servers! It just won't happen! Azure ftw!!1!" - silly short-sighted Neowin members ;)

Can't wait for those next-gen cloud games!

Too bad the games work just fine without the cloud stuff...The type of cloud computing the xbone does isn't REQUIRED. If it's available then the game will look better, if not then it just won't look its best.

This game, on the other hand, is completely cloud based afaik. It's like WoW, when Blizzard shuts those servers off then the game also goes bye bye.

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Too bad the games work just fine without the cloud stuff...The type of cloud computing the xbone does isn't REQUIRED. If it's available then the game will look better, if not then it just won't look its best.

This game, on the other hand, is completely cloud based afaik. It's like WoW, when Blizzard shuts those servers off then the game also goes bye bye.

 

Neither result is a good thing?

 

Also, I didn't say games would stop working. However, in some cases I imagine they will if they are heavily MP focused.

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Posted

Also, I didn't say games would stop working. However, in some cases I imagine they will if they are heavily MP focused.

MP focused games will always stop working when the servers are turned off, it's been that way since like 1995. Some games used to give you the option to directly connect via IP, but it's hard to find that nowadays.

When EA shuts off BF3 servers, there goes to MP. If Valve shuts off the CS 1.6 servers, there goes CS 1.6.

Every game has been like that for over a decade now. And it's no different with the Xbone, just that if your game takes advantage of the cloud processing and the servers are turned off then the game just won't look that good. You can still play it just fine.

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Posted

MP focused games will always stop working when the servers are turned off, it's been that way since like 1995. Some games used to give you the option to directly connect via IP, but it's hard to find that nowadays.

When EA shuts off BF3 servers, there goes to MP. If Valve shuts off the CS 1.6 servers, there goes CS 1.6.

Every game has been like that for over a decade now. And it's no different with the Xbone, just that if your game takes advantage of the cloud processing and the servers are turned off then the game just won't look that good. You can still play it just fine.

 

Well maybe that needs to change seeing as home internet connections are far more capable than they were in 1995.

 

But my point still stands, if a silly RT game couldn't escape it then it's very possible for an X1/PS4 game could end up the same.

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Posted

Well maybe that needs to change seeing as home internet connections are far more capable than they were in 1995.

 

But my point still stands, if a silly RT game couldn't escape it then it's very possible for an X1/PS4 game could end up the same.

Yeah they really need to bring back direct connections.

And yeah some games may end up getting axed but it's all down to costs. If a game does well, then the studio supports it (for the most part, there are some studios that really don't care)...but if a game does poorly then the management will go why are we still spending money on this game? Axe it.

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Posted

MP focused games will always stop working when the servers are turned off, it's been that way since like 1995. Some games used to give you the option to directly connect via IP, but it's hard to find that nowadays.

When EA shuts off BF3 servers, there goes to MP. If Valve shuts off the CS 1.6 servers, there goes CS 1.6.

Every game has been like that for over a decade now. And it's no different with the Xbone, just that if your game takes advantage of the cloud processing and the servers are turned off then the game just won't look that good. You can still play it just fine.

I don't know about BF3, but I'm pretty sure people can host their own CS 1.6 servers. There are games like MMOs that can't run without online servers (and even those can be emulated), but the majority of PC shooters should survive the death of official support as long as they're not DRM infested.

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Posted

Isn't this more the developer, slant six, not having the money to pay for the servers anymore?  Why are we pointing fingers at MS?   Was this a first party title or just something MS highlighted because it was new in what it did?  Anyways, this is why I don't care much for MP games or MP in general.  SP FTW!

 

And no, I don't think this is the same as what XB1 games will do in the future.   Optionally offloading parts of the game to Azure if you can is one thing, but this had most of the game up on the cloud from what I remember.  It's apples to oranges actually.

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I don't know about BF3, but I'm pretty sure people can host their own CS 1.6 servers. There are games like MMOs that can't run without online servers (and even those can be emulated), but the majority of PC shooters should survive the death of official support as long as they're not DRM infested.

 

His point though was that any game that is heavily MP/server based, like any MMO or a MP only type RTS/FPS and so on, will stop playing when you take away the servers.   There's just no way around that, and maybe they let you run your own private servers, but that's not the norm anymore.  At some point BF3 will suffer the same fate, maybe by then we'll be talking about BF5 or 6 or who knows what, but it happens to multiplayer heavy games at some point in the future.

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I've been assured by DRM/Online Verification apologists that incidents like this will never happen.

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Posted

What a joke. Its not like the servers were even rapid at processing with random errors often cropping up. So I paid for a game and now they just decide to flip the off switch? Isn't cloud gaming great? I imagine most of the original Xbox one games were designed like this with cloud gaming core to their functionality (forza) and they would just stop functioning altogether once the servers are prematurely retired. Thank god the internet stood against the idea.

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Too bad the games work just fine without the cloud stuff...The type of cloud computing the xbone does isn't REQUIRED. If it's available then the game will look better, if not then it just won't look its best.

This game, on the other hand, is completely cloud based afaik. It's like WoW, when Blizzard shuts those servers off then the game also goes bye bye.

May want to check your facts. Forza (and I imagine many other xbone games) was originally planned as an always on game and now requires a day one patch to enable offline play after Microsofts U-turn.
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His point though was that any game that is heavily MP/server based, like any MMO or a MP only type RTS/FPS and so on, will stop playing when you take away the servers.   There's just no way around that, and maybe they let you run your own private servers, but that's not the norm anymore.  At some point BF3 will suffer the same fate, maybe by then we'll be talking about BF5 or 6 or who knows what, but it happens to multiplayer heavy games at some point in the future.

And like I said, if the game is not a MMO it doesn't have to be this way. All gamers need to do is say no to these DRM schemes and eventually companies will feel the burn in their pockets. I do doubt this will happen though, seeing as the majority of gamers are sheep.

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"I'm so sick of people talking about Microsoft turning off servers! It just won't happen! Azure ftw!!1!" - silly short-sighted Neowin members ;)

 I do have a problem with that way of thinking, just because something runs on Azure doesn't mean they can't shut it down... They don't turn the servers off, they just turn the service off... and you know they will do it when it's not profitable for them

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Isn't this more the developer, slant six, not having the money to pay for the servers anymore?  Why are we pointing fingers at MS?   Was this a first party title or just something MS highlighted because it was new in what it did?  Anyways, this is why I don't care much for MP games or MP in general.  SP FTW!

 

And no, I don't think this is the same as what XB1 games will do in the future.   Optionally offloading parts of the game to Azure if you can is one thing, but this had most of the game up on the cloud from what I remember.  It's apples to oranges actually.

 

They laid off the last of their developers earlier this year and like I said in my first post, even Sony are closing the servers for the PS3 games they developed by 2014.

 

That's not to say Microsoft/Sony shouldn't stand in and support their products. That's just poor customer service.

 

 

 I do have a problem with that way of thinking, just because something runs on Azure doesn't mean they can't shut it down... They don't turn the servers off, they just turn the service off... and you know they will do it when it's not profitable for them

 

Glad I'm not the only one.

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Posted

I agree that they should do more to support their products but is this a MS/Sony first party title?  If not then it falls on the developer to support in the end.

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If they published it then it's their duty as much as the developers to support it. They don't just stamp their name on the box art and call it a day you know.

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