games / Columns

The Top 8 Games That Have Been Shut Down: Marvel Avengers Alliance, Disney Infinity, More

October 20, 2020 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Marvel Avengers Alliance

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! Instead of talking about zombie games, that’ll be next week, I wanted to talk about something slightly different, dead games. With the recent announcement that Amazon’s Crucible was shutting down soon I thought it’d be fun to go down memory lane and pick out some of the games I used to like that you either can’t play, buy, or have severely reduced functionality from when they first launched. I was going to talk about “GunZ: The Duel” but you can apparently still play that, though with a player count of about 70 people, it’s not ideal. Still, let’s begin:

#8: Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine

I honestly only have vague memories of playing this game. It was a MMO based on the SMT franchise were it was after some apocalypse and demons were around. You could join one of two factions and take various story or side quests. It still had some of the familiar SMT stuff like capturing/merging demons, but the combat was more like WoW’s real time stuff and not the turn-based stuff SMT became. This thing came out in 2008 in America but given how nascent the SMT fandom was, it didn’t attract too big of an audience.

#7: Darkspore

I’m honestly not even sure if you can still play this anymore, which is a testament to it being “dead”. I know it did have some single-player option but that might have also been tied to online DRM, which is long gone, so you may not even be able to get into that anymore. Darkspore wasn’t a great game but it was kind of interesting. It definitely had a unique look to it, and the idea of upgrading your creature was fine. It’s just all the “Crogenitor” stuff was supremely stupid and the gameplay itself got boring after a while.

#6: Disney Infinity

Infinity (any of them) are games you can still play, if you have the physical games and figures, but the online/social aspect is just gone. While you can still create Toy Box levels of your own, you just can’t share them with other people or download other people’s levels to your game. Bummer. The nice flipside to this though is the PC versions of these games with the “Gold” names. These versions just have all the figures/levels/disc items unlocked from the get-go. So, you don’t have to shell out money to buy a Rocket Raccoon figure or a crystal version of Buzz Lightyear. The online/multiplayer is still gone but if you just want to basically play the single player, you still can at least. Unlike a certain game further below…

#5: Marvel Avengers Alliance

This was pretty much the first, and last, time I got into Facebook gaming. Avengers Alliance was a turn-based RPG on FB where you could recruit various Marvel heroes (and sometimes villains) and do battle against the villains in world. It was typically a 3 vs. 3 RPG where you had a player-created SHIELD agent alongside two Marvel characters. Each character had 4 attacks/moves and it was a fairly typical turn-based RPG. The social aspect was you could rope your friends in for additional energy (required for fights), or you could get items from them. While the game was shut down in 2016 there actually is a small but passionate fan-base that is trying to resurrect the game in a single-player format. If it ever gets to a release version, I’ll give it a download for sure.

#4: Lego Dimensions

Unlike with Disney Infinity, there’s no real easy way to play this game anymore. You can still buy the game itself and Lego gear, but collecting all of the associated crap with it would either be really expensive, or very hit or miss from eBay and other resell sites. Between the two, I tended to favor Dimensions more, solely because it had more characters/franchises that I cared about. I don’t give a tinker’s damn about Monsters University or Pirates of the Caribbean but levels based on Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, and Back to the Future? Well, sign me up! Sadly, there is no “Gold” or complete version of this game on consoles or PC. If they just released it as a $60 game, I’d probably grab it, assuming it had all the crap inside of it.

#3: Hellgate: London

Not only did I buy this game when it came out, I bought the collector’s edition. I even gave some serious thought to buying the “Lifetime Subscription” for the game, which was like $200. I guess everyone’s lives ended in January 2009, because that’s when the servers for this game shutdown. You can actually still buy/play this game, at least the single-player content, but it’s basically a shell of a game. It’d be like playing Borderlands solo, sure you can do it, but do you really want to? Not really.

#2: 1 vs. 100

God, this was such a unique and cool game that Microsoft just killed unceremoniously. This was basically that HQ Trivia game almost a decade before that thing was released and with a far less annoying host. Chris Cashman was great as the host, being both funny and a tad sarcastic to his duties. Even the more automated “Extended Sessions” thing was fun, because answering trivia is always fun. Microsoft basically killed this game because it was fairly ad-supported but no one actually cared about the ads, rendering them moot. But it was still one of the great, early success stories of Xbox Live.

#1: Marvel Heroes

The adage “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” applies here. After Avengers Alliance fell through, I got really involved in Marvel Heroes. Heroes was basically a well-made Diablo clone featuring characters from the Marvel universe. You could pick any one starting character and then could buy additional characters directly, or from random loot boxes. You could play it generally single-player but it did have some more multiplayer hub areas where you could team up with other players to take on bigger bosses or a few raids. This game was shut down in 2017 due to Marvel/Disney terminating the license, and from all accounts, the CEO of Gazillion being a massive scumbag. This is also why I refuse to give that Marvel’s Avengers game a shot, because I pretty much know it’s going to be closed within a year or two. No thanks, Marvel.

For comments, list which shutdown/dead games you liked and why.

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Top 8 Zombie Games