Mobile game giant King has announced that it is shutting service for its microtransaction-fuelled title Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! Originally launched in March of 2021 on iOS and Android platforms, Crash and pals will make their final dash in February 2023, when the servers are shut off permanently.
“Crash fans, it’s with a heavy heart that we inform you on February 16, 2023 we will terminate service for Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!” wrote King in a message on Facebook. “It has meant so much to bring your favourite Crash characters to life and we’ve sincerely loved making this game. Thank you for spending your time with us and we hope you will join us in one of our many other games.”
The in-game store is closed, effective immediately, and players are encouraged to use up any of the “Purple Crystals”, (On the Run‘s in-game currency), before the closing date. The news has come as something of a surprise to some in the runner’s community, as there had been whispers that On the Run! might actually have been preparing for a full relaunch in the new year. The game had previously been delisted from stores, with the developer saying that the removal was due to a “bug”.
Dedicated fans of the title have also expressed dismay that a game they have spent money on over the past 23 months will suddenly be rendered completely unusable. Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the risk that comes with frequent spending within modern service titles. Many, many mobile titles have pulled down the blinds on the player communities, regardless of whether the fans are financially invested, and refunds are rarely forthcoming, if ever.
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! is not the first game to call it quits in the early going, and it absolutely will not be the last.