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Epic Games is taking a bunch of Rock Band and Unreal Tournament games offline

Some will still work offline, but not all

Rock Band 3 Image: Harmonix
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Epic Games announced Wednesday that it’s shutting off “out-of-date online services and servers” for older games. The first three Rock Band games will have online servers shut off on Jan. 24, alongside servers for Unreal Gold, Unreal Tournament 3, and plenty more. Epic Games said it’s looking to “solely support Epic Online Services with its unified friends system, voice chat features, parental controls, and parental verification features.”

The majority of the games included in Wednesday’s list will be available to play offline, Epic Games said — but not all of them. Here’s the list of games that are going offline on Jan. 24, but will still be available without the internet:

  • 1000 Tiny Claws
  • Dance Central 1-3 (Dance Central VR online multiplayer will remain available)
  • Green Day: Rock Band
  • Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess
  • Rock Band 1-3 (Rock Band 4 online multiplayer will remain available)
  • The Beatles: Rock Band
  • Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars
  • Unreal Gold
  • Unreal 2: The Awakening
  • Unreal Tournament 2003
  • Unreal Tournament 2004
  • Unreal Tournament 3
  • Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition

Epic Games is removing these games from its online storefront, so players will no longer be able to purchase them or associated DLC. Alongside those titles, Hatoful Boyfriend and Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star are no longer available for Mac and Linux — but people who already own the game can still play.

Epic Games says it has plans to bring back online features for Unreal Tournament 3, and the game’s Steam page now lists a “completely free” version of the game that “supports crossplay between all PC players, whether they’re logged into their Steam, Epic Games Store or GOG accounts.” Epic promises “No microtransactions and no strings attached,” for the game it’s calling Unreal Tournament X.

On Dec. 30, Epic Games said it’s shutting down 2019’s Battle Breakers, which will no longer be playable. Epic, which published the game, will refund players made via its Epic payment system 180 days prior to Wednesday. On Jan. 24, the alpha version of the planned Unreal Tournament reboot, Rock Band Blitz, the Rock Band Companion app, and SingSpace will see the same fate — shut down and not playable.

Most of these games are quite old, like Unreal Gold, which was released in 1998. But some, like Battle Breakers, are more recent. The shutdown of Unreal franchise games, which remain very popular, alongside the Rock Band games, are the most surprising of the bunch. Both franchises have sold millions of games, but playerbases for some of the older games are likely quite low.

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