DC MOBA ‘Infinite Crisis’ Closing Down the Multiverse This Summer
Back in 2013, the closed beta for Infinite Crisis began, giving players the first real glimpse of Turbine's DC Comics-themed multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). Hoping to capitalize on the success of similar games like Dota 2 and League of Legends, Infinite Crisis offered its audience something its competitors couldn't: the chance to play as Wonder Woman, the Joker, Green Lantern, and a seemingly bottomless pit of characters from the DC library.
After plugging along in beta form for a few years, Infinite Crisis officially launched in March of this year. With a roster of more than 40 different DC heroes and villains, and plans to keep expanding as time went on, Infinite Crisis was finally ready to stake its claim on the MOBA market. It's unfortunate then that just a few months after release, Turbine has announced Infinite Crisis will shut down forever in August.
The MOBA genre has had more than its fair share of suitors since the likes of Dota 2 and League of Legends captured huge swatches of the gaming public. Dota 2 had more than 10.7 million unique players last month, League of Legends boasts more than 27 million daily players, and both host massive eSports tournaments with millions of dollars on the line. With those kinds of numbers being bandied about by the biggest kids on the block, its no wonder so many other developers and publishers hoped to seize just a tiny bit of the zeitgeist. Both are free-to-play experiences that generate revenue with purchasable in-game items. As much as that business model sucks in the mobile space, it really thrives when it comes to these two games in particular. However, as the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) market has consistently proven, sometimes it's just impossible to compete with the big dogs.
Infinite Crisis (also F2P), for all its faults, was the first MOBA that got me to give the genre a try. There are hundreds of millions of people spectating and playing MOBAs on any given day, but I could never wrap my head around the appeal until someone put Atomic Green Lantern in there as a playable character. I was absolute rubbish at Infinite Crisis, but I still enjoyed having the chance to play as some of the more obscure characters in the DC canon. Sadly, the numbers that LOL and Dota 2 were consistently drawing just never materialized for Infinite Crisis. Nor did they materialize for a number of other similar titles, which is why so many MOBA hopefuls wind up falling to the wayside of the giants in the space.
As such, Turbine officially declared Infinite Crisis would close on Aug. 14, 2015. In a brief statement on the website.
After much deliberation, we regret to announce the official shutdown of Infinite Crisis. We will end development efforts today and will close the service on August 14, 2015.
Between now and August 14th, the game will remain available to play completely free. If you have any questions, contact Customer Service for assistance at http://support.infinitecrisis.com.
This was an extremely difficult decision to make. On behalf of the entire Infinite Crisis team we want to thank all of you for your feedback, support and for joining together to create one of the best communities in gaming.
Just why this decision is coming just a few months after releasing Infinite Crisis in its "final" form will likely remain a mystery for some time. The bigger issue is what will likely become of the staffers at Turbine in the wake of this decision. The AAA gaming space is extremely competitive and the increasing budgets puts an inordinate amount of pressure of devs to deliver a surefire hit. When the return on investment isn't quite up to par, publishers like Warner Bros. have few other options than to cut the weight that might impact the bottom line for shareholders.
At the very least, Infinite Crisis saw the light of day, unlike EA's Dawngate, which was shuttered after barely being birthed. It's probably little solace to those at Turbine who are likely to be impacted by the closure of the game they've been working on for a handful of years.