It’s time for digital cowpoke to hang up their hats and spurs. Behaviour Interactive announced is preparing to close shop for good. If you’re one of the folks still playing the game, you’ve got until mid-April to keep exploring the park.
The above tweet comes from the official account, where the developers have announced the impending closure of the game. This announcement flew under the radar a bit, so we missed out on the fact that, as of this past week, the game has officially been removed from the App Store and Google Play. For those who have the game already on their phone, you can no longer purchase in-game items with real-world currency. And as of April 16, you will no longer be able to play the game at all.
That means that will have only been available for about a year, which may seem surprising given the popularity of the property and the fact that, by all accounts, it was a solid mobile game.
But while it is never expressly stated in the closure comments sent out via Twitter, the writing was on the wall for folks who have been following the troubled post-launch for this particular game. It was actually the focus of a pretty big lawsuit last summer, with Bethesda calling out the developer and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for allegedly stealing its code.
To be clear, none of those entities have offered confirmation that is being shut down due to the lawsuit, but it certainly seems like a good possibility at this point.
In short, when launched on mobile platforms, folks immediately noticed that the game had a lot in common with Bethesda’s own mobile game, . Not only did the games look very similar, but many of the mechanics were pretty-dang similar between the games. Also, both games were developed by the exact same company.
Bethesda alleged that Behaviour Interactive used code from to build for WBIE. The contract between Bethesda and BI was such that their assets and code could not be used in the creation of other projects. Warner Bros issued a statement arguing this was not the case, and that was pretty much where things were left about seven months ago.
Behind the scenes, though, the lawsuit continued and wrapped up just a couple of weeks ago. Bethesda’s biggest arrow in the quiver was apparently that demonstrated an identical bug from , which would certainly seem to point to the same code being used, if true.
So while we currently do not know if the closure of is indeed tied to the lawsuit, what we do know is that the game is closing down for good in just a couple of months. Here’s hoping you didn’t spend a sack of real-world currency on the game in recent weeks.