Just Cause Mobile - based on the popular PC and console action game series - has ceased development and been removed from digital storefronts ahead of release.
The title was first announced in 2020 as part of The Game Awards, and has been in early access in a number of regions such as Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. However, the projected launch date of 2022 was delayed indefinitely, with early access closing in February of 2023. Now, it seems that the game has finally been shelved before even hitting global markets.
According to a recently released statement by Just Cause Mobile community lead Ann Lou, ostensibly from the game’s official discord, the title has been removed from digital storefronts and the game’s discord shuttered. The statement was reported on by multiple outlets and a screen capture was taken by Philippines-based site PinoyGaming.
The statement reads, “It is with great sadness that we are announcing the end of development for Just Cause Mobile. As of tomorrow, 3 July 2023, the game will no longer appear on digital stores. It is never easy to put forth an announcement of this nature, especially to our fans who have been awaiting the release. We sincerely appreciate the support you have given us.”
Why? Just ‘cause
Just Cause Mobile is just one in a long line of sudden and abrupt shutdowns with very little notice for players and isn't the first such shutdown from its publisher, Square Enix. Square Enix have also closed down Bravely Default: Brilliant Lights, Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier and Echoes of Mana, the latter after less than a year. This hasn’t been an issue solely limited to the Square Enix but they’ve been one of the most visible in terms of reducing the number of titles they're supporting live.
So what’s going on behind the scenes? Square Enix has seen drops in operating income and net sales, but have stopped short of as layoffs or restructuring. It seems possible that the company is trying to roll back their overall mobile strategy, with a huge number of titles that encompass many smaller niche audiences, a tactic that can be ineffective if you can find favour fewer titles with mass appeal.
Managing a few hits (and being ruthless with the rest) is something that a rival such as Supercell excels at. It may be that Square Enix are seeking to ape the Clash of Clans creators, at least on mobile.
For those following the game the sudden and abrupt nature of the shutdown is likely to cause concern. It certainly raises a number of questions about whether Square Enix is done trimming the fat off its mobile catalogue this year.