Free-to-play games which are actually good are probably not as new as we think.
Of course, with games like Fortnite and Respawn's new battle royale title Apex Legends now available, free gaming has become a lot more popular. But back when gamers were skeptical over such ventures, Hardsuit Labs made believers out of many people by releasing Blacklight: Retribution.
The fun, free, multiplayer FPS launched in 2012 and there was hardly a sniff of pay-to-win, while microtransactions were at a minimal. Even with amazing gameplay similar to that of Call of Duty, gamers were able to enjoy as much as they could take without having to worry about a catch.
Unfortunately, though, Hardsuit Labs, the publisher who kept the game running long after developers Zombie Studios closed in 2015, has announced that servers will shut down next month. But, as a parting gift, fans are being allowed all items available from the store for free until the official closing on March 11.
The announcement was made via a Reddit post, in which the decision was explained.
"Thank you for so much for your loyal support, and love over the years," it reads. "From the initial PC Closed Beta in November 2011 to today, it has been a great 7+ years. The joy that we got out of Blacklight: Retribution is a testament to you the fans; your loyalty, dedication, support, and ultimate willingness to try our fun, quirky FPS.
"Why is this happening? The reality is Hardsuit Labs has been engaged for some time now in some very interesting projects that require the full focus of the development teams and leadership. The studio capacity and resources are and have been entirely engaged with these projects and will be for the foreseeable future. As such, we officially will no longer be patching, updating, or doing technical support for Blacklight Retribution. Account migration will officially shut down as of today, as will the official support site.
"Starting today, all items in the PC store will be made free, and we hope that you continue to enjoy the game and items up until the PC servers are shut down on March 11th, 2019. The PS4 version of Blacklight Retribution will continue to operate as-is since there are no game servers being hosted for it."
As mentioned in the post, this will only apply to PC. The PS4 version will remain operable, possibly forever, as it's based on peer-to-peer connections.
The store was completely unlocked on Friday but PC account migration has been shut down. The game, plus all PC support, will no longer be available by March 11.
This development shouldn't come as that huge of a disappointment as the game has averaged less than 200 users for the past six months. However, it does prompt some sadness when a title so thoroughly enjoyed by the masses gets killed.
Fortunately, there's still a month left to go and the game can still be had from Steam, while users can go wild with all the guns and skins they want as the shop will be at their mercy.