Finite Heroics: Infinite Crisis To Close This Summer

A death sentence for the DC MOBA

Infinite Crisis [official site] – the MOBA based on DC’s comics multiverse – will close on 14 August according to a short blog post on the game’s official site. The development team will be downing tools today, just over two months shy of the game’s last day.

In the interim the game, which was being developed by Turbine, will still be available and playable free of charge with all characters and skins unlocked.

As per the official page:

“After much deliberation, we regret to announce the official shutdown of Infinite Crisis. We will end development efforts today and will close the service on August 14, 2015.”

The post goes on to say:

“This was an extremely difficult decision to make. On behalf of the entire Infinite Crisis team we want to thank all of you for your feedback, support and for joining together to create one of the best communities in gaming.”

Infinite Crisis only left beta at the end of March. I’d installed it the previous year – possibly when it was still in alpha – but it never grabbed me. Part of that was because I simply didn’t care about the various flavours of Batmen but the game itself didn’t hook me. That was ages ago – a lifetime in game dev terms – so I was curious to hear what Brendy had to say when he took on the task of reviewing it.

Alas, his verdict ran as follows:

It is so by the numbers, it could be an abacus. Let’s face it, the world already has Dota 2, League of Legends, Smite and a healthy smattering of others. As far as I can tell, it does not really want for more MOBAS. Or, if it does, it wants one with some refreshing quality that Infinite Crisis, like so many of the licensed phone-ins before it, doesn’t provide.

There were some bright spots it sounds like – thorough tutorials which might be of real use to genre newcomers, for example – but ultimately the verdict was that it didn’t differentiate itself particularly, plus the superheroes brought baggage and expectations which came into conflict with the genre’s typical mechanics.

Several commenters pointed out that their experiences had been more positive but it looks like the game just didn’t gain the traction it needed post-release.

In case you did play the game and are unhappy having paid for characters and skins, the Infinite Crisis team (or at least the person working their Facebook page) is advising players to contact customer support in order to discuss the possibility of a refund.

32 Comments

  1. mtomto says:

    I tried it, but was forced into a seemingless endless tutorial… no way around it, so I quit. How stupid is that?

    • mtomto says:

      *seemingly………… wheres the edit button?

    • Montavious says:

      Pretty much the same reason I quit. Tutorial wasnt bad, just seemed to drag on.

    • Flopper says:

      Not to mention the game looks and feels like shit. I made it through the tutorial but only because I forced myself. I figured if I got to play against real people the gameplay would make the shitty graphics and animations ok…

      Turns out that’s not the case. The game is just bad at everything. UI, graphics, controls, mechanics… It was just truly an awful game. Not just an awful MOBA. An awful video game that should have been canceled far earlier.

  2. smeaa mario says:

    I guess it’s closing time for DC games. Irrelevant to the PC platform but they have also just announced that they are shutting down their Android title “Batman&Flash: Hero Run”, which was initially fun but was later expectedly tainted with ridiculous in-app purchases anyway.

  3. Tukuturi says:

    Infinite Crisis is probably the worst MOBA on the market in terms of mechanics and in terms of visuals. That’s not to say that it looks ugly, but it lacks visual clarity, which is pretty important for a MOBA. It was also a weird choice to do alternate universe versions of the same few characters as new characters rather than skins. Aside from missing out on the potential to tap into DCs vast B-list stable of heroes and villains, it adds to the visual confusion of the game. Is that Nighmare Batman or Gaslight Batman or Regular Batman or Nuclear Batman?

    Aside from the (poorly interpreted) theme, I can’t come up with a single reason to play this game over any other MOBA on the market. It’s the right decision to close it.

    • Xzi says:

      It feels like MOBAs are kind of a one-off thing anyway. Anyone who wants to play one is already playing one and is unlikely to switch due to the time investment that is required for mastery or even competency. That’s why smarter developers are looking to jump ahead of the curve and implement MOBA-like elements in to other genres/game types. Gigantic, Overwatch, Battleborn. If you risk nothing, expect little to no reward…innovation is what captures large audiences in gaming these days.

      • montorsi says:

        No, this was just a bad game. Make a new MOBA that gives people a reason to play, and they’ll play it. Infinite Crisis offered nothing. I can’t speak to its release state but my time alpha/beta testing convinced me they have no idea what it is people like about League of Legends.

        • Xzi says:

          Exactly, and what good reason can you possibly give for people to play a game almost exactly like the one they play now? If you stray too far from the MOBA formula, you might as well not be making a MOBA at all. If you stay within the confines of the MOBA formula, you’re going to fail because there are already several alternatives which people have spent millions of hours playing and which took years to reach the state of polish/balance they’re in now. A new MOBA cannot possibly hope to compete unless the developer already has a huge backing from their fan base (AKA Blizzard).

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          I don’t think a MOBA can just be good though. Look at Dawngate, it was a good MOBA, had good praise from people such as TotalBiscuit etc etc, certainly way better than Infinite Crisis, yet not enough people played it to stop EA from pulling the plug.

          You need to give a reason to make people switch from LoL and Dota, a game not doing anything particularly new is not going to retain players, they will play it, even if they enjoy it, they go back to the game where they have ranking, 1000s of wins, has a massive twitch and youtube presence and a professional scene to watch etc etc. This is the big problem facing any new MOBA. People are invested in LoL and Dota for much more than just the gameplay.

      • Reefpirate says:

        Why do people keep referring to Overwatch as a MOBA-like? I seriously can’t see anything in the game that is MOBA-like beyond the features that existed in several other genres before DotA was even a thing.

        • Xzi says:

          It has 4 abilities per character plus an ultimate ability. It’s objective-based. Blizzard releases character “spotlights” almost exactly the same way as other developers do with LoL/Smite champions. It definitely takes cues from TF2 as well, but there will almost certainly be a lot more characters to choose from, with new ones released regularly. Essentially following a lot of the same structure that MOBAs have already established.

    • wyrm4701 says:

      missing out on the potential to tap into DCs vast B-list stable of heroes and villains

      That’s the big mistake, right there. Well, after making a factory-standard MOBA, of course. The target market is going to get bored of 4 Batmans, Robot Wonder Woman and Zatanna right quick, especially if they’re overpriced. They’d have stood a much better chance with an expansive roster – starting free and/or dirt cheap, with later expansions at higher prices, once a player base was established. Start with the Justice League, charge for the Legion of Super Heroes.

      Also, y’know, offering something other than the standard MOBA game was a huge flaw. Some type of singleplayer within their engine would have gone a long way to piquing interest.

      • Jalan says:

        Hours before reading the shutdown announcement, I got Mecha Wonder Woman to level 20 (an accomplishment that now feels a lot more like a waste of time than it does anything else but I guess I can compare it to any RPG I’ve played and leveled multiple characters to their max). I obviously can’t speak for everyone else, but I didn’t mind mechanized versions/etc. so much.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        I’m not sure but I feel there is a disconnect between superheroes and what you do in a MOBA. Superman should be able to fly, instead all he can do is hover around a little bit most of the time. The flash can run at supersonic speeds. In this he jogs along with the same base speed as everyone else.
        It all feels very un-superhero-like. Running around in a lane last hitting robots and stuff. Compare the feeling of running around in Infinite Crisis as Batman, to running around in Arkham City, as Batman. One makes you feel like the real deal, the other makes you feel like you are controlling a generic moba archetype character that happens to look like Batman.

    • malkav11 says:

      That choice was just straight up crazy. I don’t know why anyone would want to play a stable of dozens of reskins of the same character when the setting has literally hundreds of characters they could adapt instead. I mean, can you imagine Marvel Heroes having gone anywhere if instead of 47 unique characters and counting, they instead had 12 reskins of Iron Man, 10 of Spider-Man, 8 of Wolverine, 10 of the Hulk, and, I dunno, 5 each of Captain America and Daredevil?

      (Incidentally, I’d really love to see DC commission Gazillion to do DC Heroes: it’d be Marvel Heroes in most of the fundamentals, but with a DC specific storyline/enemies/playable characters, etc. Not -just- a reskin, though – everyone should feel as comic-appropriate to the DC comics as MH does for the Marvel comics, which would mean significant tweaks. Way better than this MOBA nonsense, and probably more appealing to me than being Genero-Man with X famous character’s moveset in DCUO.)

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      A year (maybe closer to 2?) ago I downloaded both this and Dawngate on the same day. Played one game of this, tried Dawngate and never came back to this. Spent a bunch of time playing Dawngate (still a bit salty about that game, I actually liked it a lot), if that couldn’t survive, this was never going to either. Just an inferior game in every way and the only thing holding it up is the DC license.

      We are seeing these MOBAs, conceived 2 to 3 years ago when companies thought they were going to swoop in and take a sweet slice of that LoL pie. The fact that these games are being abandoned shortly after release (as is the case here), or even before official release (as was the case with Dawngate), shows that they were just blatant cash grabs that these companies jumped on.

      There is nothing inherently broken or terrible about these games, it’s just a case of, cash grab didn’t work, screw wasting resources developing further, pull the plug. We are also seeing very little in the way of marketing and promotion put into these games. EA, who hypes the balls of most of the stuff they do, did virtually zero advertising for Dawngate, like a single trailer and some banner adds. I think they thought it would succeed regardless purely by virtue of being a MOBA, rather than take a chance on developing the game up to release and attempting to promote it then, they just pull the plug.
      To quote Jim Sterling, “Games companies aren’t interested in some money, only ALL of the money”. Blatantly the case with these MOBAs.

    • SmallMediumatLarge says:

      “Infinite Crisis is probably the worst MOBA on the market in terms of mechanics and in terms of visuals.”

      There’s quite a few worse ones out there.

  4. Jalan says:

    I hate multiplayer games and I notice that I’ve put 100+ hours into this game since it became available on Steam. I didn’t spend any real money in it (part of the problem, I’m sure) so I’m not sore about that (though they claim to be fielding refunds to those that did) and even though I’d say I had some marginal fun with it, playing solo in the Coast City vs AI matches as I did, this was expected.

    Strange though that they just recently went through pushing out ranked matchmaking and dropping Solomon Grundy as a character mere weeks ago only to drop the news that it’s the end of the road. I’m guessing their plans might’ve been to keep the game running even without the playerbase they’d wanted it to have but executives outside of Turbine dropped the hammer and forced them to pull the plug ahead of schedule.

  5. EhexT says:

    That this survived while Dawngate was shut down was a crime anyway. Good riddance to a bad MOBA, taken too late when good MOBAs died already.

  6. wyrm4701 says:

    Wow, that was fast enough to be fraudulent. I’d give Time Warner credit for adapting so quickly to lack of market demand if they hadn’t been making money off of an extended alpha/beta period. They were charging for game features eighteen months before the game was ‘finished’, and then was shut it down three months after ‘release’.

    I’d rather discuss the DC Comics IP and their market for video games, through the lens of my long love for both. But I’ve got to know, RPS: is there going to be any followup on this? It’s not an indie developer making bad decisions, an established dev abusing Early Access, or somesuch – it’s Time Warner, a massive media conglomerate. They exercise an enormous amount of control over their markets by both concerted will and lazy inertia. Is this going to set a precedent?

    • Philomelle says:

      There’s already been a precedent. This cancellation seems to be exactly the same as the cancellation of Dawngate.

      Big publisher launches a MOBA. Big publisher doesn’t like the immediate income numbers produced by a MOBA but feels too lazy about looking for solutions. Big publishers ushers the development team into a board meeting without warning and announces that the game is shutting down, pack up the toys and go home etc. etc. while the developers are standing there and going “…uh?”. Refunds are deployed everywhere and the players who do enjoy the game, stand there wondering what the hell is going on.

      At least Turbine survived the ordeal. Waystone Games were ten times more passionate about their project; they didn’t deserve to disband the way they did.

      • wyrm4701 says:

        Let us look up this ‘Dawn-Gate’ of which you speak.

        Uh-huh. Waystone. MOBA. Got it. EA. Yep. ‘Not shaping up’. Yeh-huh. Shut down in open beta, at least.

        I did not know about that, thank you. So it really is becoming a precedent, then, and it’s getting worse.

        • Philomelle says:

          Open alpha, more like. It was listed as open beta, but huge chunks of the game’s systems were placeholders meant to be replaced with the next patch (that was incidentally already prepared and only needed to be tested for bugs).

          The description of how the game got canceled is pretty much exactly as the lead producer described it. The key devs got called into a meeting with a bunch of black suits and told the game is shutting down without any prior warning.

          I think Ubisoft and a couple Japanese companies are the only big fat publishers who didn’t try to take a stab at the MOBA fad yet, so hopefully we’re out of the woodworks with it.

  7. Pantalaimon says:

    I’m a bit surprised at this. Played the game a fair bit during the beta and although it lacked the polish and presentation of other games, the actual gameplay was solid enough. The hero designs were well thought out too. I guess that’s all damning with faint praise though, and this doesn’t seem like a market where you can just make a passable game, you have to bring something truly different and excellent to the table to compete. Can’t argue that it ever managed that, but I’m worried that all these continual MOBA efforts will discourage the devs who actually want to make different games in this genre, because there’s still masses of room for innovation and creativity.

  8. Bluestormzion says:

    This actually makes me sad. I’m not a fan of the bigger named MOBAs, but I liked Crisis because the players were for the most part friendly and not a big crowd of asshole children, and because I always loved the various DC universe alternate worlds and all I can understand why the hardcore MOBA crowd wouldn’t go for it, and why the alternate universe versions of heroes wouldn’t attract non DC fans the way it did to me, but I liked it for what it was.

    Yesterday, my hours at work took a pretty big hit, and today I lose one of the two free to play games that I actually had fun with. Ball sacks, this week blows.

  9. jzn says:

    Those that invested any real time into it know that IC is probably the best MOBA out there. It’s not the easiest game to get into, but that does not detract from its greatness.

    IC is deep and it is hard, and that is exactly how you guys screwed it with your ignorant review.

    Your reviewer got yelled at by Moba players and took it out on the game. He even said in his review that he did not want to be playing a MOBA in the first place. If he had invested any real time he would have seen how different the game is from its competitors.

    Im so pissed

    • Jalan says:

      As someone who doesn’t like MOBA games (or any game where the focus is high on multiplayer), I found Infinite Crisis relatively easy and painless to play. In fact, its tutorial(s) did a better job educating me on MOBA basics than that of Dota 2’s tutorial, and given that so many claim Dota 2’s superiority over any other MOBA to ever exist (past/present/future) I don’t write that just to rustle jimmies.

      But even as a person who likes/liked Infinite Crisis, it wasn’t hard to see something like this coming (that it came sooner than expected is what really stings, I suppose). It wasn’t a negative review (or multi-negative reviews, as it were) that nailed the coffin shut for it but a lack of adequate/proper marketing (prolonged alpha/beta periods, a later than necessary Steam launch, very little media saturation overall and the list goes on) along with bringing nothing to impress those who were already glued to Dota 2/etc. to genuinely consider it anything other than “an inferior competitor” to their much adored game of choice. The presence of a DC universe wrapper didn’t really rope in the legion of fanboys they’d hoped it would either.

      • Dawngreeter says:

        I am looking for a MOBA to pick as the one I’m going to play. IC seemed like something I’d love, because I’m quite fond of Mister Bat Dude and Co. I even liked all the alternate universe versions of various heroes. On paper, I was ready to love it. In practice, it was so heartbreaking… Everyone keeps using the same illustration and I’m going to go there too, because it’s so essential – The Flash occasionally running ever so slightly faster than Batman is such a dissonance that I can’t imagine how anyone could get over that.

        I know. I know. MOBAs function in a certain way. To be honest, I don’t know what I was expecting since there is no possible way The Flash could just blur his way past everyone. And of course Superman couldn’t just fly all over the place. Of course. But you don’t realize just how jarring that is until you start up the game.

        Yes, Infinite Crisis is about parallel universes colliding, but there is no parallel universe in which this game could have worked.

        • jzn says:

          these are all things you get used to after a few games, and find that within the Moba structure, the champions DO retain their correct flavors and personalities. For instance, the flash is potentially the fastest character due to his speed-increasing passive, and superman’s ultimate flies him across the whole map faster than a bullet. Plus, there is a tremendous amount of voice acting from all the actors that you are used to hearing as these characters. Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, so many great performances.

  10. Thirdrail says:

    I actually tried Infinite Crisis. I thought it was equally awful and baffling. If the Flash is just going to jog around at the same speed as everyone else, and Supergirl is going to be restricted to hovering three feet off the ground, what the heck was the point of using Flash and Supergirl in the first place? And then all the alternate versions of characters were really weird too. I thought ok the ONE thing that will surely be cool in this comic book game will be seeing a bunch of familiar characters from comic books, (like when you play/watch any Marvel game ever!) but in at least two thirds of my matches, I was the only person playing a super hero I’d ever seen before! I got way past the tutorial, by the way, and gave the game every chance I could stand to give it.

    In the end I decided that it was just a clunky, generic MOBA, wearing the DC universe like a bad Walmart Halloween costume, and I uninstalled.

  11. Turkey says:

    I didn’t know MOBAs could shut down.