The Crew is being taken off the streets: Ubisoft announced today that sales of its online racing game have been halted on all storefronts, and it will no longer be playable on any platform after March 31, 2024.
“We understand this may be disappointing for players still enjoying the game, but it has become a necessity due to upcoming server infrastructure and licensing constraints,” Ubisoft said. “Decommissioning a game, and especially our first one, is not something we take lightly.
“Our goal remains to provide the best action driving gameplay experience for players and to deliver on it, we are continuing to provide new content and support for The Crew 2 and the recently launched The Crew Motorfest.”
It is disappointing, and also an indictment of a system in which server-dependent games suddenly become memories once a studio decides to pull the plug. The Crew is a multiplayer-focused game but it offers a singleplayer campaign, which by definition is something you play by yourself. By rights, losing online functionality should have no impact on that aspect of the game, and yet here we are.
And no, not many people are playing The Crew right now—just 31 on Steam at the moment—but it’s about more than just whether or not you can hop into a decade-old racing game and bang around: Game ownership should not be treated like an extended rental.
And yet here we are.
(Image credit: Steam)
“The Crew 1 enabled us to define the pillars of The Crew franchise: a social open world full of activities, an RPG progression system linked to the vehicles and actions players perform, and finally, guaranteeing players activities at any time of day,” Ubisoft said. “Thanks to the experience developed on these pillars, we reached over 40 million players on the franchise last year, something we are incredibly proud of. We would like to personally thank each of our players, without whom we wouldn’t be here today.”
Kind of like how The Crew won’t be in a few months, I suppose.
The Crew servers will go offline on April 1, 2024, at which point the game will be rendered unplayable. Anyone who purchased The Crew “recently” can apply for a refund wherever they bought it. What qualifies as “recent” isn’t defined but is presumably dependent on individual storefront policies.