Might & Magic Showdown shutting down

Might & Magic Showdown [official site], Ubisoft’s faux-tabletop wargame where players can paint their own miniature warmen, will shut down without even leaving early access. Fraser Brown said it was a lovely painting tool handcuffed to a rubbo game, so this isn’t much of a surprise. Ubisoft have already pulled the game from sale and will shut down the servers on July 31st, making the game unplayable. They do at least plan to offer full refunds to everyone who wants one, though do be warned that you’ve only got until the 31st to get your £16 back.

Showdown hit early access in January 2017 and will never properly launch. Ubisoft’s announcement didn’t say why they’re shutting it down, but I’d guess it’s because the game is not good so too few people were buying it. Ubi said:

“We wish to convey our sincerest gratitude to you, our dedicated players, who have helped us navigate the management of an Early Access campaign – because of you, we have learned a great deal about how best to serve you and we hope to carry these learnings forward into future Ubisoft projects.”

Meanwhile, Fraser Brown said:

“Might & Magic Showdown is a bit of a cypher. It’s attached to a franchise that is has nothing to do with and is inspired by games with mechanics that it entirely rejects. It’s not clear what Ubisoft are really going for here, and right now if feels like a mess of ideas that aren’t really sticking. Yet still I play. I haven’t enjoyed a single battle, but I’m having the time of my life painting my minis.”

I’m not sure what Ubisoft are going for with Might & Magic in general. They bought the fantasy world in 2003 and ever since have treated it like the big, exciting, unique fantasy name it definitely is not. Every time they make a fantasy game without its own strong identity, they rope it into Might & Magic. Ubisoft act is if the mid-tier brand is so wonderful it could elevate any game to glory, but it’s increasingly a warning sign.

Aside from a few rare gooduns like man-kicking Dark Messiah and Clash of Heroes, Might & Magic is full of guff. The main RPG series is lost (though our Alec quite liked M&M X: Legacy), the spin-off strategy series Heroes of Might & Magic has been mediocre for years (and was bested by King’s Bounty before that series also nosedived), and the free-to-play games are duffers.

It is a shame. Might & Magic, along with The Settlers and Anno, is one of the few traditional ’90s PC Gaming lines Ubisoft have left. But M&M is only a brand name, and doesn’t mean anything if good games aren’t coming of it.

Ubisoft actually announced the shutdown of Might & Magic: Showdown one week ago, though I didn’t notice — and many didn’t — until DSOGaming pointed it out. Seems people weren’t paying much attention to this one. That’s part of the problem, yeah?

12 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Even if the game was a bit crap, I’m always sad to see something fail. People put a lot of work and love into it, I expect, and then it all comes to nothing.

    Also, the painting mode looked neat.

  2. Eraysor says:

    Speaks volumes that this article is the first time I ever heard of this game.

    Clash of Heroes was a great game, thank you for reminding me of its existence!

  3. Someoldguy says:

    It’s disappointing that they couldn’t rescue the game. I thought that iteratively improving the product was the whole point of EA. They’re hardly likely to get sales when it hasn’t been significantly improved and the advertising budget is approximately zero. Had it popped up on RPS again describing the game play as better I would have been tempted.

    • Aetylus says:

      It is. But in this post from back in the day they say literally say “We take your feedback very seriously and so would like to take a moment to explain why we have chosen not to place this within our priorities.” link to steamcommunity.com

  4. playzintraffic says:

    This is the worst kind of death for a franchise like M&M. Heroes defined my teenage years.

    Ubi’s not the only bad actor in the industry, but I’ve never seen a company with quite such a penchant for just releasing half-assed games simply to drive revenue. They lavish attention on the handful of franchises that make them the most money – AC etc. – and then everything else is just an IP to milk money off of. They treat their franchises like McDonald’s does its own. At least EA *TRIES* to do their games justice.

  5. Misaniovent says:

    What Ubisoft has done to this franchise is painful to someone who grew up on it. V and VI were decent entries, hampered by a lack of support from Ubi. I haven’t even tried this game or VII, but I loved Duel of Champions and Ubisoft drove it into the ground.

    • RuySan says:

      Might and magic X was surprisingly good, despite ubi and despite some low production values. Too bad we might never see might and magic XI

  6. RedViv says:

    Oh Ubisoft, you just won’t give up on that free and easy F2P money will you, but should have stopped this long while.

  7. Captain Narol says:

    The customisation part of the game was very well done and the figurines very beautiful, it’s a shame.

    If only they had opted for a classical turn-based tactical gameplay instead of this automated real-time crap, that game could have attracted a lot of tabletop wargamers (notably the many fans of Warhammer Fantasy Battles) and found an audience.

  8. MrEvilGuy says:

    Might answer Magic X was supremely good. There really isn’t anything around comparable. A blobber set in a world not to scale. A beauty of a game.

  9. Gothnak says:

    Should see if i can ‘borrow’ that engine with the unit painting etc and make a good game out of it. I thought it looked lovely, but the mechanics of the game were awful.

  10. ResonanceCascade says:

    If they’re going to continue with spinoffs which have little-to-nothing to do with M&M, they should at least do us a solid and make another Dark Messiah game.