The other day, GungHo Online Entertainment announced that it is shutting down services of Emil Chronicle Online, an MMORPG that first launched in Japan back in 2005. The online game had a history of over a decade in service, which was likely disappointing news for its longtime fans.
The announcement prompted Otapol to do a little research on other games that have recently terminated service, and they were surprised to see that from the start of 2017 through mid-April, over 100 smartphone games had announced its termination of service in Japan.
Here’s a big list of just some of the smartphone games that come from popular IPs or well-known companies [images courtesy Hachima]:
Aria ~Aqua Ritmo~ (BBB)
The Asterisk War Festa Kirameki no Stella (Bandai Namco)
Demons Gate (Donuts)
Kaku-San-Sei Million Arthur (Square Enix)
Shutsugeki! Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku Busoufuuki Iin-kai (SDR)
Deadman’s Cross (Square Enix)
Youtou – Arashi to Fubuki: Sword of Twins
Onimusha Soul (Capcom)
Street Fighter Puzzle Spirits (Capcom)
Makia x Dolls (Career Innovation)
Noutore Quest 2 (Geisha Tokyo Entertainment)
Road to Dragons (Acquire)
JK Vampire ~Unmei no Festa~ (DeNA)
Mainichi Pro Yakyuu (NHN PlayArt)
MonHun: Itsudemo Airuu Life (Capcom)
Street Fighter Battle Combination (Capcom)
Dragon Quest Monsters Wanted! (Square Enix)
Tokyo Ghoul carnaval ∫ color (Bandai Namco)
Bakusou! Furyou Densetsu (Pakureserve)
Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! Love! Game! (NHN PlayArt)
Seven Deadly Sins: Pocket no Naka no Kishi-dan (DeNA)
Pro Yakyuu Dream Nine Superstars (Konami)
Hello Hero (GameOn)
One Piece: Adventure Log (Bandai Namco)
Yowamushi Pedal: Puchitto Racers (FuRyu)
Crazy Tower (GungHo Online Entertainment)
Sangoku Tenka Trigger (GungHo Online Entertainment)
Puzzle & Dragons (China Version) (GungHo Online Entertainment)
Fist of the North Star: SmartShock (DeNA)
Justice Monsters V (Square Enix)
The list includes a variety of smartphone games including some that continued its service for over seven years such as Shirotsuku, some that had its own TV ads airing at a point, and some that might be familiar to many anime and manga fans.
Otapol notes that during their search they came across many articles about video game makers going bankrupt or withdrawing from the business, which is also commonly seen in business magazines and news sites. However, it was noted that they didn’t find any good media that provides a reliable flow of updates on smartphone apps and social games, but after looking up “terminates service” they were able to come across many articles and announcements across the web about the over 100 titles that shut down from the start of this year through mid-April.
During their search of recently terminated smartphone games, Otapol found that many followed a similar advertising trend using keywords such as “luxurious voice actors,” “full-blown,” “simple touch,” and “dramatic.” Many of these titles were also games that barely lasted about half a year since launch.
In conclusion, the study doesn’t mean that the pace of smartphone game production is slowing down, as Otapol mentions that new smartphone games are still popping up “like bamboo shoots after the rain” and that if anything, it shows that it’s a fierce and competitive market, where only a small fraction of the titles become big hits.