You know, I for one am not a fan of free-to-play cash grabs that take advantage of popular brands. There used to be a time when Disney released paid games on the Play Store that weren't designed to pilfer children's pockets with gambling mechanics, but those days are long gone. This is probably why I take so much pleasure in the recent announcement that Disney is shutting down Star Wars: Rivals before it was even officially released.
It takes a really mediocre game design to tank something with a Star Wars skin, and there is no doubt Star Wars: Rivals fits squarely in that category. My hands-on with the title back in July offers plenty proof of that. This game was a boring corridor shooter that was in no way any fun to play, and it was of course monetized to the hilt with IAPs that reached up to $99 per item.
An official announcement posted on starwars.com stipulates that the game will still function for those that have it installed, at least until the October 11th shutdown date. All in-app purchases are already turned off as of September 11th, and you can no longer download the game from the Play Store. The announcement also makes it clear that refunds on any of your previously purchased IAPs are entirely out of the question. But hey, there is also a nice little message at the end that states, "We appreciate your support and understanding," which should make everything better for those that heavily invested in the game.
It would seem that not enough people fell for this particular cash grab, so now it's back to the drawing board. I wonder how Disney will abuse its Star Wars license in the next free-to-play pile of garbage it pushes out. Will the company be able to top Star Wars: Rivals and its boring corridor shooter gameplay? I have a feeling if anyone can do it, Disney surely can. After all, the new movies and AAA console games are doing really well, aren't they?
- Star Wars