The Square Enix Twitter account for Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier today announced that the free-to-play battle royale spin-off to Final Fantasy 7 is shutting down just 14 months after it was first released (as spotted by GamesRadar). On January 11, 2023, the game's servers will go offline at 7am UTC (that's 12am PT/3am ET/or 8am BST depending on where you live).
The game was originally launched back in November 2021 for iOS and Android and served as a prequel to the events of Final Fantasy VII, showing the development of the elite military force SOLDIER. Players could compete alone or in groups of three to battle it out in a VR simulation to be the last person standing. During each play session, you were also able to pick up firearms, materia, and other accessories, as well as defeat monsters, to raise the level of your gear.
Sadly, though, it seems like the game never really took off in quite the way Square Enix expected. In the tweet, the Final Fantasy VII First Soldier team wrote:
“Despite all our efforts to bring you regular updates with fresh and exciting content, we haven’t been able to deliver the experience that we were hoping to, and that you all deserve, so we have made the extremely tough decision to end service for FINAL FANTASY VII THE FIRST SOLDIER.”
It's a sad end for a game that sounds quite promising on the surface. After all, Final Fantasy-meets-battle royale is not the worst idea in the world and it seems like the game did try to innovate in a couple of areas. Nevertheless, it now seems destined to have the same fate as other live service games like Babylon's Fall from the beginning of next year. Until then, Square Enix has said that it will continue updating the game, but the company hasn't shared any specific details regarding the nature of these updates.
What do you make of this news? Are you disappointed to see another game taken offline so shortly after release? Let us know in the comments!