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Super Monday Night Combat will close down, citing EU’s new digital privacy law

Six-year-old game runs on multiplayer software that is not GDPR compliant

Uber Entertainment
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Super Monday Night Combat, the 2012 multiplayer online battle arena by Uber Entertainment, is closing down for good next month, saying the cost of complying with the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation is too high to keep going.

GDPR, which was passed in 2016 and takes effect May 25 of this year, is legislation that, broadly speaking, involves persons’ privacy and right to control their private information online. Uber, commenting to Polygon, said Super Monday Night Combat uses an older version of its multiplayer back-end system (called UberNet) that is not GDPR compliant.

Making it compliant would require either rewriting large parts of that system or porting Super Monday Night Combat to Microsoft’s PlayFab platform. In both cases, Uber said, the cost of doing so exceeds the budget allocated to the now six-year-old game. Super Monday Night Combat, according to SteamCharts, has had about two dozen concurrent players at any given time over the past six months.

In a note to players, Uber said that Super Monday Night Combat will remain active through May 23. But when the servers are taken offline, no game mode will be available. Uber said it will offer $10,000 of in-game currency so all players can go on a spending spree before the end. (They have to open a support ticket to claim the make-good.)

Bigger picture, Uber’s decision could portend changes elsewhere as GDPR comes into focus. GDPR compliance was suspected to be behind Valve’s privacy changes within the Steam community, though the creator of the sales-tracking site Steam Spy said this week he does not believe that to be the case.

GDPR arrives, coincidentally, at the same time U.S. companies like Facebook are confronting user privacy concerns. Vox has a more detailed examination of what GDPR does and what American law does not require relative to that. (GDPR is sometimes referred to as a bill of rights for personal data, and requires more explicit consent from users, separate from the usual terms and conditions of use, to process their personal data.) Nonetheless, Europe is a major video games market, so what goes on there affects products on this side of the Atlantic.

Super Monday Night Combat was the descendant of 2010’s Monday Night Combat, Uber’s debut game published as part of Microsoft’s “Summer of Xbox” downloadable lineup that year.

Super Monday Night Combat was a different game with elements more traditional to MOBAs such as Dota (where Monday Night Combat had been more of a tower-defense/third-person shooter game). Both were critically well regarded. Uber Entertainment has since published Planetary Annihilation, a real0time strategy game for Windows PC, Mac and Linux that launched in 2014. That was updated in 2015 with Planetary Annihilation: Titans.

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