505 Go’s Alien: Blackout, a spin-off from Creative Assembly’s well-received Alien: Isolation, is set to shutter by the end of October 2023.
Alien: Blackout will be available for purchase until October 31, after which point owners can still play the game, but it will be removed from iOS and Android storefronts.
The game, a mobile horror title, was developed as a sequel and spin-off to Creative Assembly’s first-person horror title, Alien: Isolation. In Alien: Blackout, players follow the story of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley, the long-suffering star of the original Alien movie and it's many spin-offs. Developed by D3 Go! - who were acquired by 505 Games in 2022 to form 505 Go - the title saw modest critical success and was praised for its atmosphere and gameplay.
However, it seems that regardless of how it was received, the game isn’t staying in 505 Go’s catalogue. It’s possible that this shift and decision to sunset Alien: Blackout is due to the increased focus on F2P since the acquisition, meaning that the premium Alien title is no longer a good fit for future plans post D3 Go! acquisition.
At the time of the acquisition, head of F2P at then-505 Games Clive Roberts commented, “We continue our dedication to growing the F2P business unit and bringing to gamers the best there is to offer - from original games, to powerhouse licences, and beyond.” While it’s hard to think of another powerhouse licence as large as the Alien franchise, it seems probable that the title simply didn’t fit their existing F2P portfolio moving forward.
The meaning of loss
Alien: Blackout was somewhat of a controversial game, with many fans seemingly dissatisfied that the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Alien: Isolation was a simple spin-off, on an entirely different platform no less. However, even so after initial scepticism the game has come into its own and it's removal has surprised fans given that it doesn't feature a live service element and so has no running or update costs - usually the reason why games are closed.
It is possible however that licensing terms may be at an end and combined with the increased pivot to F2P it’s simply not worth any further responsibility for the title.
Meanwhile, earlier this year Square Enix took the axe to numerous titles, some of which had only been available for a year or less. With other mobile titles like the cult-hit Go series being removed also.