When games reach their end-of-life (EOL) stage, this can have varying consequences for us players. Some games are simply not available to buy anymore, others have their content cut, and some are no longer playable at all.
Let us face the painful facts: games are just products. And products have lifecycles. At its end-of-life (EOL) stage, a product does not get any more updates, and also other services are usually terminated, indicating that the product is being discontinued. Project Cars and Project Cars 2, GT Sport and The Crew are prominent examples of EOL racing games. However, “end of life” means something very different for each game.
Project Cars and Project Cars 2 Became Just Unavailable
When games are “digitally delisted”, they are not sold anymore as digital copies (keys). So happened to Project Cars and Project Cars 2 in 2022. Both games were removed due to expiring car and track licenses. Project Cars 2 was the first to get delisted, vanishing from sale on September 21. The original Project Cars followed on October 3rd.
However, delisting did not render these games useless or unplayable. On the contrary, both EOL games are still playable, with all the game features supported, including even online multiplayer. Though digitally not purchasable anymore, you can still buy both Project Cars titles (as well as other delisted racing games) as physical copies. Here is a list of all delisted games on Steam.
Useless: GT Sport
At the end of September 2023, Sony announced that the servers for GT Sport would be shut down on January 31st, 2024. This in itself is a common process, as companies do not and cannot pay for server capacity forever.
The holdup however lies within the pay-to-play nature of the game. GT Sport just like most racing games and most games in general nowadays have an effective need for online play. In the case of GT Sport, after the server shutdown, you may still be able to start the game. Yet it will not let you progress through the title anymore, which eventually renders GT Sport functionally dead.
True, Gran Turismo 7 is out and features much of everything GT Sport offered, which renders the latter practically obsolete content-wise. But that is not the point. Because what happened to GT Sport will also happen to GT7 in a couple of years. Why? Because core gameplay features such as saving progression or buying cars have become “online features”. And once they are gone, your game becomes more or less useless. But it gets even worse.
Unplayable: The Crew
The Crew (2014) is widely regarded as a leeway into the current era of open-world racing games with a crazy big map and a unique concept that was a joy to play. However, here the situation is even more dramatic, or final. Servers will shut down on 31st March 2024, making the game practically unplayable after that since it is online-only.
Digital archiving is a term used to describe the preservation of gaming culture. You cannot buy new Super Nintendo games in most stores because they are not produced anymore. Probably a good thing since they will never be sold at the same volume as a brand new Need for Speed for example. But you do not want to see them vanish from the collective mind either. That is why some keep their copies around and second-hand markets exist.
You can buy a used console and get the games from platforms like eBay. Provided, physical copies exist and the game can be played offline. Something which does not apply to The Crew. Due to its online-only nature, the open-world racer will hence effectively vanish from the game earth.
For a deeper analysis and more EOL game examples, our very own Marvin has put together a video dedicated to “These Racing Games Will NEVER Be Played Again!”. Also, make sure to check our News section for the latest news on your favourite sim.
Do you know other racing games that have become unavailable, useless or unplayable? Tell us on X (Twitter) at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!