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Defunct Online Video Games

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Guess you've been... relieved of command. (Black Command, Jan. 2018—Sept. 2019)

The rise of Web Games and MMOs has led to a particular form of Abandonware. Such games work by having players' computers constantly communicating with central servers. These servers have to be run by the game studio, which is intensive in both money and labor. They thus depend upon a consistent flow of players and profit to justify keeping them running. As a result, there will inevitably come a time when an online game is no longer supported by its creators. Perhaps the game simply wasn't profitable enough to be worth maintaining, or the creators themselves folded, or (perhaps the best-case scenario) there's a sequel that has made the original obsolete. Whatever the case, the servers go down, the game is no longer sold commercially, and it simply cannot be played anymore.

Sometimes, fans will create new servers to keep playing, or outright remake the game from the ground-up. But most games never see such a revival due to cease-and-desist orders, not enough fanbase to spark interest, a lack of source code or ways to reverse-engineer the server, or other reasons.

For online games that were never released to begin with, see Canceled Video Games. Related to Temporary Online Content, where game content is made available online for a limited amount of time, and can no longer be obtained after that. Also related to Permanently Missable Content; in this case the entire game is permanently missable if you learn of it too late.

It's also worth noting that this trope is a major reason why DRM is controversial in the gamer community: DRM often requires connection to a server to verify the software as an anti-piracy measure. Thus, if the developers stop maintaining their DRM servers, you can be prevented from playing a game you bought perfectly legally. While the more benign variants of this will require it only once upon the initial install, even that can later make an otherwise offline game unplayable if a re-install of any sort is needed. For simplicity, though, this page will stick to games whose major or only component was the online mode.


  • Dynamic Network Authentication System (2003-2016): Copy Protection for PlayStation 2 online multiplayer gamesnote 
  • GameSparks (201?-2022): Games that used this backend service were either shut down or lost online functions.note 
  • GameSpy (1996-2014): Games that used this backend service were either shut down or lost online functions if they didn't receive replacements from either the original developers or their fan community. GameSpy also served as the backend of the...
    • Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection (2005-2014): Every online multiplayer video game for the Nintendo DS and Wii
  • PlayStation Network and PlayStation Store access for the PlayStation Portable (2004-2021) note 
  • SegaNet (2000-2001): Every online multiplayer video game for the Sega Dreamcast in North America
  • Xbox Live 1.0 (2004-2010): Every online multiplayer video game for the original Xboxnote 

Individual Games

    open/close all folders 
    Games that are completely shut down 

    Games whose international English-language servers were shut down but that are still active in their home market 

    Games whose original releases were shut down but that are still active in ports, updated rereleases, relaunches and offline versions 
  • Ascend: Hand of Kul (2013-2016): Relaunched as Ascend: Reborn in December 2022.
  • BEMANI net-requiring games with offline-enabling final patches:
    • DanceEvolution ARCADE (2012-2016)
    • MÚSECA (2015-2018): Alternatively, arcade operators had the option of receiving kits to convert the game to Bishi Bashi Channel.
  • Bless Unleashed (2020-2022): The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game were discontinued in favor of the PC version.
  • Burnout Paradise (2008-2019): The online servers for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows versions of the original game only. The Remastered servers for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows and Nintendo Switch are still online.
  • Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls (2019-2020): The original mobile version (exclusive to Canada) was discontinued. The game was later ported to Apple Arcade as a subscription service game with the monetization elements removed.
  • Club Penguin Island (2017-2018): The game can still be played through offline mode if the player has installed the game prior to closure.
  • Cosmic Break (2008-2020): Relaunched as Cosmic Break: Universal in 2021.
  • crossbeats REV. (2015-2018): A final update patch allows the game to be played offline with all content available without needing a user account
  • Dankira!!! -Boys, be DANCING!- (2019-2020): A day after the online version shut down, the offline version was launched that had additional content such as the conclusion to the main story and new Killer Tricks.
  • Dungeon Fighter Online (2010-2013): Nexon-published version only; game relaunched in 2015 as Dungeon Fighter Online Global, self-published by developer Neople.
  • Dragon Quest X: Square Enix dropped support for the original Wii client (2012-2017) due to inferior technical specifications. Other clients on more powerful hardware remain active.
  • Dynasty Warriors Online (2007-2022): Only PlayStation 4 is still active.
  • Everybody Edits Flash (2010-2020): It still can be played offline in its Everybody Edits Offline version. The game's current planned successor, titled similarly as Everybody Edits!, is also in development.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • FFXIV 1.0 (2010-2012): After 1.0 ended, the game was relaunched as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn in 2013.
    • FFXIV on PlayStation 3 (2013-2017): Support dropped as of the release of the second expansion, in favor of shifting console focus to the PlayStation 4.
  • Grand Chase (2003-2015): Relaunched in 2021 as Grand Chase Classic.
  • Grand Theft Auto Online (2013-2021): Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions only.
  • The following games in the Halo series had their original releases shut down, but their online remains active through ports on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC in the Compilation Rerelease The Master Chief Collection:
  • Knockout City (2021-2023): A PC version for private servers was announced.
  • Metal Gear Online (The Phantom Pain version) on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (2015-2022)
  • Overwatch (2016-2022): Relaunched as the free-to-play Overwatch 2 the day after its shutdown, with all multiplayer components and player progression transferred over.
  • Pocket Card Jockey (2014-2015): The Japanese iOS and Android version was discontinued. The offline 3DS version remains playable and was available to purchase until the eShop's closure in April 2023. An Updated Re-release, Ride On!, was later released for Apple Arcade subscribers in 2023.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2: The PlayStation Vita version (2013-2020) was discontinued due to inferior technical specifications. The original PC version and other console clients remain active.
  • Phantom Dust (2005-2010): Ported to the Xbox One in 2017 as a free-to-play game, with the online functionality restored.
  • RuneScape Classic (2001-2018): Its two updated versions, Old School RuneScape and RuneScape 3, are still running as of 2022.
    • DarkScape (2015-2016)
  • ROSE Online (2005–2019): Will be relaunched by a new official team at an undetermined date.
  • Sid Story (2015-2020): Relaunched in 2021 as Sid Classic.
  • Sword Girls (2011-2017): Relaunched in 2021 as Kana Tales.
  • Team Fortress 2 on PlayStation 3 (2007-2023): As part of The Orange Box Compilation Rerelease port. EA, which handled the port, listed Half-Life 2 for PS3 on shutdown lists, but that game was only ported there through the compilation. Steam and Xbox 360 versions of TF2 remain active.
  • Teen Second Life (2005-2010): Merged with the main Second Life grid in January 2011.
  • The Tomorrow Children (2016-2017): Relaunched as The Tomorrrow Children: Phoenix Edition in 2022.
  • WACCA (2019-2022): Final update allows the game to be played offline.

    Games whose official releases were shut down but that are survived by fan projects 
  • America's Army (2002-2022): The patch notes for the shutdown of the game's official online services flat-out told players to move to private servers.
  • And-Kensaku (2010-2012): Japanese fans of the game have created new servers that still use Google to source content such as the words and phrases used by the game.
  • BattleForge (2009-2013): Survived by the Skylords Reborn project.
  • Blocksworld (2013-2020): The original servers were shut down by Linden Labs in June 2020, whereas a fanmade server called the "Secondary Server" thrives on.
  • City of Heroes (2004-2012): The community launched several free servers around the start of The New '20s, after the 2019 leak of a private server that had been running in secrecy for years.
  • Club Penguin (2005-2017): The game survives in the form of numerous fanmade private servers. However, one of them, Club Penguin Rewritten, was shut down in April 2022.
  • Crash: On the Run! (2021-2023): Custom servers were created by fans after the announcement that the game's official servers would close.
  • Earth & Beyond (2002-2004): Survived by the Earth & Beyond Emulator.
  • Elemental 3 (2016-2018): Taken offline in 2018 due to bugs, and the end of Adobe Flash in 2020 eliminated any hopes of the game being revived in its original form. Some fan recreations, both online and offline, remain active.
  • Free Realms (2009-2014): Survived by the FR Sunrise fan server.
  • Mario Kart Wii (2008-2014): Employing the fanmade Wiimmfi server as a replacement infrastructure for the aforementionned Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Technically, Wiimmfi can be used to play any Wii game online, but as demonstrated by its live game stats page, only Mario Kart Wii's community has truly leveraged it to maintain a healthy player base as of 2022.note 
  • Metal Gear Online: Both maintained by the SaveMGO fan project.
  • Need for Speed: World (2010-2015): Survived by the Soapbox Race World project from 2017 onward.
  • Neocron (2002-2004)
    • Neocron 2 (2004-2010): Publisher Reakktor Media handed the game's server and code over to its community in 2012 so that they may continue to run it as Neocron Evolution.
  • Phantasy Star Online (2000-2008): Has a number of fan servers, with notable ones in 2022 including Ephinea and Schthack.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Online (2007–2013): Has the fan server The Legend of Pirates Online.
  • Puchiguru! Love Live! (2018–2019): The Pokenesos fan server was launched shortly after the game's demise.
  • Resident Evil: Outbreak (2003–2007, North America; 2003-2011, Japan): Survived by the fan server.
  • The Sims Online (2001-2009): Has the Fan Remake FreeSO, launched in 2017 and still ongoing as of 2022.
  • Super Mario Bros. 35 (2020-2021): Its shutdown on March 31, 2021, was planned and announced immediately from its Day 1 launch on October 1, 2020, to fit with the time frame of the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros.. The "Continued Interest" fan server has been developed in response, with the sole caveat that it requires a hacked Nintendo Switch (the game itself can be played on an emulator, but still a hacked Switch is required to dump the necessary files), which Nintendo are fiercely ban-happy against...
  • S4 League (2007-2021): Survived by the Xero fan server.
  • Scarlet Blade (2012-2016): A fan server is maintained by the Vendetta Gaming Network community.
  • Sonic Runners (2015-2016): Survived by the Sonic Runners Revival project.
  • Star Wars: Galaxies (2003–2011): The game survives in the form of several fanmade private servers.
  • TERA (2011–2022): Numerous fan servers exist; as of 2022, the most popular one is Menma's TERA.
  • Toontown Online (2003–2013): Numerous fan servers exist; as of 2022, the most popular ones are Toontown Rewritten and Toontown: Corporate Clash.
  • Virtual Magic Kingdom (2005–2008): Fan recreations including MyVMK and VMK Legacy have been made since.
  • Warhammer Online (2008–2013): Survived by the "Return of Reckoning" fan project launched in 2015, crewed by former WAR devs who continue to patch the game and release new content updates.