In an announcement at the end of last week Sony Online Entertainment stated that its Free to Play FPS title Bullet Run would be shut down. Along with an FAQ to players SOE stated that they and Acony Games had mutually decided to end all development upon the game and close all services to players on March the 8th 2013. The game developer stated outright that “players will no longer be able to access the game, their characters, or in-game items.” All websites and forums associated with the title will be removed after the aforementioned date and, to make it absolutely clear, it will cease to exist.
The game has had an incredibly short lifespan having only been released several months prior in mid-2012. Having only been given the opportunity to play it for such a short period of time many players are concerned about the cash invested into the title. While it has been announced that those with Platinum Memberships will be refunded for their remaining time, and that Station Cash will be left in accounts after the game is shut down, there will be no basic refunds on items. It has also been made clear that SOE Game Cards will no longer be redeemable for Platinum Membership in Bullet Run and any further concerns are to be directed to Customer Service.
The developer has at the same time thanked the community for its support for the title and that, despite their limited use, new items will be able to be purchased up to the game’s shut down deadline. Make of that what you will.
Reasons for the game’s failure have been speculated across a number of articles and on many forums but one frequently mentioned mechanic is the maintenance of weapons. An aspect which limited natural progression in the game through weapons repair costs in an effort to encourage players to purchase upgrades with micro-transactions to make headway. A criticism of the title by some players on launch was that they were only earning enough battle points, the in-game cash, to break even and cover their costs. This lead to the traditional accusations of a Pay to Win mentality within the game’s marketplace, which was supported by with other business decisions.
A Grand Finale is planned for the title on the final day, much like the similarly ill-fated Tabula Rasa, and openly advertises to players to go out guns blazing.