Pac-Man 99, the highly popular online battle royale game exclusively available through Nintendo Switch Online subscription, will soon bid farewell to its enthusiastic player base. Developed by Arika and Bandai Namco in collaboration with Nintendo, Pac-Man 99 has entertained gamers with its unique take on the classic Pac-Man formula. However, all good things must come to an end, as Nintendo has officially announced the game’s shutdown on 8th October 2023. Let’s delve into the details of this closure and what it means for players.
The End of an Era
From the aforementioned date, the online service for Pac-Man 99 will cease to exist, leading to its delisting from the Nintendo eShop. As a result, new purchases of the game will no longer be possible. Despite this unfortunate development, existing owners of the game can take solace in the fact that they will retain access to Pac-Man 99. However, it’s important to note that online modes, which formed the core of the game’s experience, will be removed. This means that players will only be able to engage in CPU Battle, Blind Time Attack, and Score Attack modes.
In the official announcement, Nintendo conveyed the news with a touch of melancholy. “PAC-MAN 99, which is currently available as a benefit for Nintendo Switch Online members, will soon be discontinued,” the statement read. Furthermore, it mentioned that distribution of the main game and sales for each DLC would also come to an end.
The Delisting Process
The delisting process for Pac-Man 99 will commence in August, with the removal of paid custom themes. Following that, in September, the Deluxe Pack and Mode Unlock features will be taken down. However, Nintendo has provided some reassurances to players regarding their purchased content:
PAC-MAN 99 themes that were previously bought can still be enjoyed in offline mode.
Content that has been purchased can be re-downloaded even after the discontinuation of sales.
Players are advised to be cautious and avoid making duplicate purchases of the PAC-MAN 99 Deluxe Pack, as it already includes all the paid downloadable content.
A Trend of Delistings
The removal of Pac-Man 99 follows a disheartening trend of major video game companies delisting games that were once prominently featured. Although it is impossible to keep every single game ever made available to players, this shelving process has become more prevalent in recent times, and the timelines have grown shorter.
A notable example is Super Mario Bros. 35, another Nintendo eShop exclusive, which was only accessible between October 2020 and April 2021. In comparison, Pac-Man 99 had a longer run of two years, having launched in April 2021.
The Reason Behind the Swift Delisting
Nintendo has not officially disclosed the exact reason behind the rapid delisting of Pac-Man 99. However, it is reasonable to speculate that the costs associated with server maintenance and upkeep no longer align with the game’s current level of consumer interest or investment. As a live service title, the possibility of Pac-Man 99 shutting down was always present, but the speed at which this game and its predecessors have been shelved is undeniably surprising.
Cherish the Remaining Time
For fans of Pac-Man 99, there is still some time left to savor the game before it bids its final farewell. Until 8th October 2023, players can enjoy their time gobbling up pellets and avoiding ghosts. However, once that date arrives, Pac-Man 99 will join the ranks of games like Super Mario Bros. 35 in the realm of video game afterlife.