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Japan’s massive mobile hit Monster Strike shutting down English version

Monster Strike “just wasn’t the success that we thought it would be”

Monster Strike on iPhone
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Monster Strike has been big in Japan for years — last year, the game reportedly earned $1.3 billion, according to research firm SuperData — but the mobile game has struggled to find a wide audience overseas. Now, the game’s publisher says it’s shutting down the English-language version of Monster Strike this summer.

“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the English version of Monster Strike just wasn’t the success that we thought it would be,” publisher Xflag said in an announcement on the Monster Strike website. “Sustaining the game at a satisfactory level has become difficult, no matter how much we want to keep it going.”

Monster Strike is scheduled to shut down Aug. 1, 2017. Xflag said it will disable in-game purchases and remove the game from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store on July 2. Xflag said players won’t be able to transfer their game accounts to other versions of Monster Strike, nor will the company offer refunds on in-game purchases.

The game will go out with a bang, however. Xflag said it plans to release a number of new quests and events, as well as offer “plentiful login rewards,” in the months leading up to Monster Strike’s closure.

Monster Strike was first released in Japan in 2013. The freemium mobile game was designed by former Capcom producer Yoshiki Okamoto and includes elements of pool, pinball, Pokémon and role-playing game mechanics. Monster Strike quickly found success at home, with more than 14 million downloads in its first year. Developer Mixi brought the game to North America in 2014.