Just as the Gravity Rush community was in the process of sending out another round of #DontForgetGravityRush tweets this Friday as part of our previous plan, an in-game announcement popped up notifying players that the online services won’t be closing down on January 18th, but rather on July 18th! The timing of the announcement alone shows that, even though there was no official response to the fan campaign, Shuhei Yoshida and SIE Japan Studio were in fact reading the messages that fans were sending them on social media. I’d like to thank everyone who supported the campaign, as it would have been easy to give up by now. Instead, much like Gravity Rush’s protagonist Kat herself, the fans remained optimistic even as the online service closure seemed all but inevitable.
Of course, it’s not a complete victory. Even though we have another 6 months to play the online services now, it still means Gravity Rush 2’s servers are going down only 1.5 year after the game’s release. That’s still a very short period of time, especially considering that this is a first-party game from Sony. And it doesn’t solve the actual problems that the removal of the online services will introduce. Content will still be locked away for new users and we’ll still be losing the in-game leaderboards. But what it did was buy us time. Some have pointed out how the closure of the online services for Demon’s Souls in the US, initially planned to end in 2011, was repeatedly pushed back. It’s only now, after 9 years, that its online services will meet their end. Of course, Gravity Rush 2 is a very different case. But the same logic applies that if people actively use the online services, and if the game can benefit from discounts to sell more copies over time, we can very well repeat what we did now. With the immediately closure averted, it’s now up to us to spread the word about the game and keep the online services alive in the coming months. That’s the best way of trying to keep the game’s online services alive even longer. I do have a few ideas in mind on how to achieve that, but that’s something for a different article.
I’d like to conclude the article by thanking Suhei Yoshida, SIE Japan Studio, all the people at Team Gravity for not ignoring the messages from their fans. And once again thanks to everyone who supported #DontForgetGravityRush. It’s not quite over yet, but this is a victory nonetheless!