Cast your minds back to 2011 and you might recall EA and Maxis releasing an action RPG called Darkspore. It was pretty much a Diablo clone, but it did attempt the whole “always online even for a single-player game” thing before Blizzard did it with Diablo III. At the time, EA played the “but the game is totally better when you’re always online” card to cover up for the fact that it was basically DRM.
Now, a little over two years after the game’s April 2011 release, Darkspore is unplayable and will likely remain so forever. EA servers are required to play the game in order to store character stats and the like, but an “Error 3” is denying most of the Darkspore playing population access to those servers, which means they can play the game, but nothing is saved server side.
Basically, the game is over for Darkspore players. A post over on the official forums for the game has revealed that EA and Maxis “abandoned” the game a long time ago, which means that the patches required to fix this “Error 3” will likely never be made.
As a result, Valve has removed Darkspore from the Steam Store. You can still find the game but clicking for more details redirects you back to the front page of the Store. You’re in luck though because at time of writing, you can still pick up Darkspore on Origin for a measly R350! Yeah, seriously: game is over two years old and unplayable, but the publisher is still selling it at full price. Classic.
I guess this gets filed under the “examples of games that die because the online requirement side of the deal wasn’t held up by the publisher” label, hey?