Some services, products, or companies celebrate their anniversaries with a party. But not Square Enix‘s Dive In. The game streaming service will marking its first and only anniversary by shutting down. This was practically the message that the popular game publisher sent when it announced that Dive In will cease operations on the 13th of September. Given it has barely been a year in the market, however, there will probably be few tears shed and Square Enix itself might be more interested in moving on to a different cloud venture.
It was September last year when Square Enix decided to take on Sony on the game streaming front with Dive In. It presented a business model that was, in practice, more like arcade games of old. The amount of time you are allowed spend on a game depends on how much money you put it. In short, it was a meter-based system unlike a full game rental you’d expect in today’s streaming services.
Whether it was because of that or because Square Enix didn’t have enough of a game catalog to offer, Dive In didn’t actually catch on. Barely a year later, Square Enix is pulling the plug on the service, hinting at its unprofitable nature. Of course, it comes with an apology and promise of refunds for those who purchased an annual subscription, believing that they will have 365 days to enjoy its benefits.
Square Enix isn’t completely knocking off the game streaming idea, at least not directly. While it will not be offering such services itself for the time being, it is still placing part of its attention to the cloud but in a separate capacity and a separate form. That form is Shinra, a subsidiary that is now headed by former Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada. Unlike a platform like PlayStation Now, Shinra’s goal is to have game developers actually build their virtual worlds on their cloud platform. It is an interesting proposition but one that has yet to bear fruit.
For now, however, any dream of playing later Final Fantasy titles on your mobile device via streaming has just died.
SOURCE: Square Enix