What Happens When Your Online Game Goes Offline? Card Game Maker Has An Idea.

By Siliconera Staff . November 8, 2013 . 11:30am

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Online games have always had one major point of contention among fans—what happens when the servers the games run on are taken offline and players left without access to their content and accomplishments?


Card game developer Bushiroad are trying to circumvent this issue with their new smartphone game Five Qross, the company stated at the Anime Festival Asia in Singapore this week. While Bushiroad say they’re committed to supporting Five Qross over a long term, they’re also integrating actual physical cards with the digital game.


Five Qross players can either earn characters in-game or purchase physical booster packs which will come with randomized characters. These boosters will focus around different animations, such as the first expansion’s Infinite Stratos. They’ll have the card’s stats and illustrations on the cover, with a QR code and serial number on the back. You can use the game’s QR scanner to zap or manually input a code and voila, the character is now tied to your account and will appear in your inventory.

Within the sealed booster packs, if you chance upon a rare card, that rare card will be further sealed within its own plastic. Further, a white piece of paper just thick enough to withstand transparency is on the back, blocking the QR code and serial numbers. This could lead to a great re-sellers market, but also reassures players they’ve got something mint on their hands.


Additionally, Bushiroad say that some cards will only be available physically, and not digitally, adding further value to the physical card sets. You can check out somebody cracking open a box of boosters and finding some of the rare cards in the video below.


Five Qross is an asynchronous game, so players can have fights against others while on-the-go without having to worry about finding a suitable opponent who’s also online. It features a party of nine characters set up on your 3×3 board that will go up against foes in their own similarly set-up board of characters.


This region-free game—Bushiroad said to email them if players don’t find this the case to help them overcome the issue—is also cross-operable among various platforms, so players can log on with the same account on their PCs or phones on the go. Also, while the game isn’t currently in English, they have stated the intent to craft the menus and other interfaces for an English audience to understand as well.


Five Qross is out now for PC, iOS and Android. Scan the barcode below for a special character!


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  • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

    …… Huh?

    • InfectedAI

      Yeah, I don’t really see how this resolves the issue.

      • 324234

        I guess that in the event that the online game shuts down, you’ll still own the physical cards that you paid for and can still play it.

        • PuzzleShot

          Yeah, I think the reasoning is that since you’re paying for physical cards as opposed to digital cards, you don’t lose out completely once the game is no longer supported.

        • Lumi

          And having a guaranteed rare card is better than what you have on standard online only card games. You can go though hundreds without the rng God smiling on you

  • Chaos_Knight

    Char~ :3

  • Raltrios

    So buying heavier packs = profiting.

  • ronin4life

    I can download this right now if I wanted to?

  • TheExile285

    Saw Charl in the thumbnail and clicked on it immediately lol

  • Andar

    It’s not just mobile/browser games that suffer when the plug for online is pulled, of course. I still feel particularly stung by the relatively short lifespan of White Knight Chronicles II’s online component, not so much because of the shutdown of its online portion (it had to happen eventually), but because of there being nothing to compensate for it. All of the data for quests and such is still stored within the game itself; a rebalance patch could have been implemented to shift the entire game, including its online parts, into a more streamlined single-player experience with a great wealth of sidequests. Instead, we’re left with maybe half a game that is functionally tedious and/or improbably difficult to play.

    I know such a patch to rebalance the online content isn’t a simple task, though. What bugs me is this: did no one consider it in the early stages of planning for the online content? When online features are considered for a game, and indeed, made an integral part of it, does no one care to think about what will happen when those features are shut down? This is also what bothers me about the proliferation of features such as streetpass for the 3DS, i.e. if Nintendo’s next handheld discontinues the feature, a lot of games are going to lose major features.

    As far as mobile/browser games specifically go, having real, physical cards as a component of an online card game isn’t a bad approach, especially in the case of a card game with cards based on characters from popular series. Fans will always want the physical cards to collect, which means if you lose interest in the game, either before or after the shutdown of its online component, you can recoup some of the money you put into it.

    • Hound

      I’m worried about PSN, XBLA, and WiiStore suffering the
      same issues. If 10 years from now my PS3/XBOX360’s harddrive is worthless, wouldn’t I lose absolutely every game I ever I bought online if I didn’t back them up on a second harddrive? We can’t exactly rely on PS3/360 titles staying available for as long as we’re willing to re-download them, and if you have PS+, I have no idea if you’ll be able to access them in the future (since they currently rely on your PS+ membership being recently active to play the instant game collection.)

      Although, this is exactly the trouble with all games that focus on an online component and feature some form of monetary benefit (more so, since the companies you’ll rely on are often far less reliable than Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo.) It’s been an issue since the rise of the MMO.

      Games that rely on an in-game population also suffer from this. Once popularity declines or the MMO gets far more bots than people, there’s far less benefit to playing just to compete/partner with the couple hundred actual people that still exist in that gaming world. As a result, unless the game content greatly exceed the online component (which rarely happens,) you’re stuck hundreds of dollars in with nothing to show for it and servers that will eventually be taken off-line permanently.

      The unfortunate issue is that a company only stands to benefit from server shut-down once a game’s online benefits no longer greatly outweigh server and maintenance costs. You lose everything you paid for and can no longer access the content you own, and have to move onto something new.

      • Andar

        Absolutely. I have to wonder how long , for example, the PSN will support DLC for the PS3. Throughout the life of the PS4? Longer? Not even? This is also true of games which are purchased digitally, as you mentioned.

        I foresee a major clash in the relative near future of video games and digital/downloadable content. Game developers and publishers are constantly trying to invent and push ‘the next big thing’, but this often comes at the expense of that last big thing. The core groups of people who plays video games, however, is still a relatively young one. As games gradually go from something you purchase own forever (I still have a healthy library of PS2 games), to something you only temporarily own, really (either by intent of the sellers, or by unfortunate result of the distribution methods), customers are going to start becoming more and more upset.

        If you own a collection of books, barring their physical destruction, you will always have that collection of books. If you have a collection of VHS movies, it may be commercially obsolete, but as long as you have a VCR, there’s nothing to stop you form watching them, or even buying ‘new’ ones. Video games are heading in an unfortunate and dangerous direction where the things you physically own can become both commercially and FUNCTIONALLY obsolete, eventually reaching a point where even if you physically own a game disc and the platform to play it on, you will not be able to play that game, at all.

      • Red Veron

        By then I’ll do what I currently do with games I bought on Famicom and Genesis back in the day: emulate them. By then I believe older consoles will be hacked open and backups will be available on the internet. Those games will have no more value to their makers and since I did pay for them when they came out, I won’t feel bad playing them again.

  • I challenge you all to a children’s card game! =P


  • Xerain

    I’ve often wondered if it’s possible to weigh a seal pack of booster cards (With a super accurate probably only found in a lab grade scale) to determine if there is a holofoil card inside or not. I imagine they don’t weight THAT much more, you’re probably just weighing the difference in ink, which is kind of ridiculous.

    However… in this case the rare cards have something physically attached to them…

  • StrykerDragoon

    now if only they did that for CFV (Cardfight!! Vanguard) Smh. still haven’t made an online simulator for it yet banning every game that promotes the game

  • Aristides

    I like this, I wish these guys would expand to the west :P

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