Back in July 2013, Bandai Namco announced Ace Combat Infinity, a free-to-play online game for PS3 set to tread the still fairly unexplored ground of games-as-a-service on consoles.
Still set in the real world after the Assault Horizon debacle, the game brought back many of the fictional elements that fans of the franchised used to love, like giant airships and doomsday weapons. It was perhaps the first signal that developers wanted to go back to the world of Strangereal, which then solidified in the yet unreleased Ace Combat 7.
The game launched in May 2014, and according to Producer Kazutoki Kono, it was considered a success. Yet, all good things must come to an end, and as announced back in December, servers were finally shut down yesterday.
Developers took to Twitter in order to express their gratitude for the fans’ support, and their thoughts on the past four years, across several messages.
Among the messages, we hear uplifting and melancholic lines:
“As long as there are people wishing to fly in the sky, the pilots gathered in Ace Combat Infinity will find a formation somewhere. We wish to end the service while hoping that that day will come.”
“Thanks to what we were able to realize with Ace Combat Infinity, and what our players through us, through awareness, reflection, and joy, the team learned many important things.”
“It’s the end. Thanks and gratitude to everyone are overflowing. I have nothing to say. In the long period from the start to the end of development, as we experienced the sky, there were many encounters and partings among the team. There are friends who are trying hard somewhere else right now.”
“Thanks to the staff working on the closure today. I’m grateful. Thanks to everyone who has been flying to this day. You have my gratitude. That is all. Ace Combat Infinity, dismissed! Thank you very mych! [Kono]”
As the Ace Combat Infinity servers close, I’m certainly looking forward to flying again in Ace Combat 7. This time around, it’ll be the beloved skies of Strangereal to welcome us all. So this isn’t a “goodbye” but simply a “see you again!”