Disney shuts down Star Wars: Rivals, mobile game with more microtransactions than gameplay


Disney developed a free-to-play mobile game – then shut Star Wars: Rivals down before its official release date. Microtransactions may be to blame.

The free-to-play mobile experience Star Wars: Rivals will officially shut down on October 11, 2018.

Star Wars announced on its official support site that the game was being “retired” and that it would no longer be available for download as of September 11, 2018.

Those who have already downloaded the game can continue to play until its close-down date. But players can no longer make in-app purchases to enhance the experience.

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Star Wars also clarified that “No refunds or credits will be offered for any virtual goods, game currency or other items purchased by or provided to” players.

Star Wars: Rivals had already launched in several regions outside North America – including Australia and New Zealand. It wasn’t set to release in the United States until December.

No official reason was given for the game’s unexpected shutdown.

However, those who were able to download the game during its soft launch might provide the explanation higher-ups won’t give.

Android Police’s Matthew Sholtz heavily criticized the game for its dull gameplay and questionable in-app purchases. Apparently, players could spend up to $99 on certain items.

This isn’t the first or only Star Wars game to use a free-to-play model to lure in hopeful players and tempt them with excessive monetization attempts.

Though EA wasn’t involved in the development of Rivals, it hovered at the center of a major microtransaction controversy last year preceding the release of a highly-anticipated Star Wars game, Star Wars Battlefront II.

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If other reviewers shared similar criticisms to Sholtz, shutting the game down was probably a good decision on Disney’s part. They don’t need to add any more fuel to the toxic fan firestorm.

And yet … more games following the same microtransaction model might already be in development. We might just have to wait until Jedi: Fallen Order to see if there’s still hope for the future of new Star Wars games.

What do you think? Is Jedi: Fallen Order our only hope? Or will Disney find a way to ruin that, too?