Life is Feudal: MMO is to shut down in January next year. Developer Bitbox says it's shutting down the project due to reasons that are beyond its control, relating to a third party that has made its financial situation untenable with regards to the game.
Why is Life is Feudal: MMO shutting down?
This news comes via a post on the official Life is Feudal: MMO website. In the post, the team says it has received a letter from a "certain company" saying that it will no longer pay Bitbox's share of proceeds from LiF: MMO. Said company has now proposed "a certain deal", which Bitbox says "possesses certain risks". The team refused the deal, placing it under "great business, legal, and financial pressure", and while Bitbox says this pressure "didn't work", it also means the studio can't keep up costs for servers, GM, and online support for Life is Feudal: MMO. The post is worded very cryptically, presumably, so Bitbox can avoid legal ramifications for naming specifics.
Hi everyone! We have to close LiF: MMO. Here're the details: https://t.co/7C6ZqPcwhG— Life is Feudal (@LifeisFeudal) December 18, 2020
The "certain company" Bitbox is referring to is Xsolla. If you're not aware of Xsolla, it's a company that pledges to "[bridge] the gap between underfunded developers and gaming investors". An Xsolla blog post - which the company has now removed - describes Xsolla as the "publishing partner" on Life is Feudal: MMO, and says the company will help Bitbox with "marketing, user acquisition and PR". Early press releases regarding Life is Feudal: MMO named Xsolla as a publishing partner. Despite this, Xsolla's name is completely absent from the game's official Steam page, with Bitbox handling publishing duties instead. We reached out to Xsolla for comment on this story, but they didn't get back to us.
Can you still play Life is Feudal: MMO?
Regardless of the situation, Bitbox says it will close down the Life is Feudal: MMO servers on January 18th next year. Until then, the servers will continue to work as normal, and Bitbox is planning a patch that will "provide some fresh experience" for you during the game's last days. Premium subscriptions will be canceled, but if you're a player and you don't have a premium subscription, you'll be given one until the game's closing day.
It's worth noting that the closure of Life is Feudal: MMO does not in any way affect other games in the Life is Feudal series. In addition, other projects currently in the works by Bitbox - the Chinese version of Life is Feudal: MMO and work on a new game engine - are still underway and are unaffected by this closure. We reached out to Bitbox to ask them about future plans for the game. Bitbox has confirmed to us that it doesn't have any plans to allow players to open their own custom servers for LiF: MMO, nor will cosmetics or other items be transferrable from MMO to other LiF products. Bitbox told us the reason for this is partly legal and partly technical; allowing users to do so would be "a quite significant technical job", and Bitbox says it isn't sure it will be "legally allowed" to do so in any case.
How do you feel about Life is Feudal: MMO's closure? Let us know in the comments below!