The final campaign ends in July
The impermanence of mobile games is frightfully apparent whenever titles less than five years old are shut down at random. The latest title gearing up to join the mobile gaming graveyard is Nintendo’s gacha game Dragalia Lost. The RPG initially landed on mobile back in 2018, offering bite-sized action-RPG combat. Well, seeing that the game is now four years old, the player base has dwindled to the point it’s no longer profitable for Nintendo to keep the game running. Cue today’s announcement that Dragalia Lost’s last campaign begins on March 31st, concluding this July, with the game’s end date still up in the air but coming all the same.
Just like that, Dragalia Lost isn’t long for this world. But these things don’t happen in a vacuum, so if you dip into the game’s Play Store reviews, you’ll notice comments that mention povertying gacha rates and a lack of players, the death knell of any live service mobile game. Of course, I could mention how duplicitous this is, changing drop rates for the worse as a game grows older, but it’s a common story on mobile, so it’s hardly surprising to see Nintendo squeezing every last drop of money out of the title before announcing its plans to shut the game down.
Of course, Nintendo has conveniently failed to mention whether or not the game’s monetization is still active, and so I installed the title to check, and I’m not kidding when I say I was assaulted with 20-30 pop-ups spread across several screens, locking me out of any gameplay as well as the in-game store. This perfectly illustrates how far the game has fallen, where alerts and pop-ups are the means of player retention instead of enjoyable gameplay. Of course, I eventually gained access to the store to see that the game’s in-app purchases are all still active. So be careful what you spend from here on out, as there are no guarantees refunds will be available once the last campaign is over this July.
So sure, Draglia lost was getting long in the tooth, clocking in at four years, to the point it was challenging to find co-op players, which makes advancement that much slower in what is already an incredibly grindy gacha game. Still, it’s a bummer to see mobile games lost to time, thanks to their live service roots, which ultimately means we’re going to lose an entire generation of games. Yes, there’s plenty of room to argue most of these games aren’t worth revisiting, thanks to their greedy nature that permeates their entire design, but it’s still a shame so many titles will be lost to time, with Dragalia Lost soon joining the many closed and forgotten mobile games of the past.
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