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It was first reported in February that Square Enix would shut down Echoes of Mana on May 15. Many people did not take it seriously considering the fact that the classic RPG game was less than a year old, having been launched in April 2022.

Echoes of Mana

“Since Echoes of Mana’s launch on April 27, 2022, we have strived to provide an incredible and enjoyable gaming experience for our players every day that could exceed the day before,” the company wrote. “However, we have come to the conclusion that it would be difficult to continue maintaining the app experience, and to therefore end the app service.”

Square Enix made the announcement using Echoes of Mana’s official social media channels. The message was also posted on Square Enix Bridge, the developer’s official account system. Although the announcement was made in February, the servers remained up until May 15 when they were turned off.

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In most cases, when services for mobile games are discontinued, players that have already downloaded the game could still continue to play. However, in the case of Echoes of Mana, it appears the game will no longer be accessible, even for offline play. Players can only relive the memories of the game or settle for other games in the series that are still available.

Echoes of Mana is a spin-off from the Mana series. The last major installment of the series was in 2014 with Rise of Mana. The shutting down of Echoes of Mana is coming barely a month after Square Enix shut down Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier.

What kind of game was Echoes of Mana?

Echoes of Mana

Echoes of Mana was a free-to-play game that was available on Android. Players were tasked with saving the Mana Tree which will see them go through an epic journey and meet familiar faces they have encountered in previous Mana titles across the wonderful lands. The ultimate goal was finding the Mana Sword.

The first installment of the series was in 1991 and it started as a Final Fantasy Adventure and a side story to the flagship Final Fantasy franchise. That was followed by Secret of Mana in 1993 and the Trials of Mana in 1995 before arguably one of the biggest releases in the series Legend of Mana in 1999.

The Legend of Mana was released across multiple platforms including PlayStation, PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices. The installment was praised because it introduced new gameplay elements to the series.

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Players were allowed to pick their protagonists and create their unique adventures using puzzle pieces that can be placed on the robust game map. The goal was to complete three narratives which all converge at the Mana tree.

Although fans were disappointed in the abrupt shutting down of the game, they were delighted that Echoes of Mana’s storyline came to a satisfying conclusion—which players often don’t get with other games that were suddenly shut down.

The growing trend of developers killing off games

Echoes of Mana joins a growing list of games that were suddenly killed by developers. Earlier this year, Rovio killed Angry Birds too for the annoying reason that the game was making it difficult for players to discover their other portfolio.

This year alone, the light of a good number of fan favorites has been blown out by the developers. This includes EA’s cancellation of the Battlefield Mobile title and the sunsetting of Apex Legends Mobile. For Echoes of Mana, what could be a serious source of concern to players is the short lifespan and the abruptness of its termination.

However, Echoes of Mana is not the only game from Square Enix that will be discontinued this year. The developer also announced a discontinuation of service for Bravely Default: Brilliant Lights in 2023, barely after a year of its launch.

Square Enix’s financial report in February showed that the company was dedicated to chasing blockchain gaming as likely a new revenue source. The abrupt nature in which Square Enix is killing off their games has the potential of damaging player confidence in future releases.

Echoes of Mana

It is disappointing when fans invest their time and money in a game and the plug is suddenly pulled. Players may be skeptical about getting attached to future releases from Square Enix for fear that they may be discontinued in just a year after launch.

This can create a dangerous cycle for Square Enix where they will create a game and struggle to find an audience for it and end up shutting down the game because they are not making enough money from it. This unfortunate cycle will eventually lead to more games embracing abrupt ends.

However, as the mobile games market continues to spiral upward, developers would want to position themselves with the best games portfolio that will guarantee maximum financial gains. Therefore, players may need to brace up for more abrupt announcements like the Echoes of Mana.

Did you enjoy playing Echoes of Mana and how did you feel when you learned that the game was being shut down? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment box below.

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