Soul Calibur: Lost Swords, the free-to-play fighter on PlayStation 3 from Bandai Namco Entertainment, will be ending its service on Nov. 30.
Even though the game is single-player only, Lost Swords will no longer be playable once the service permanently closes. The game will also stop its selling microtransaction items like Continue Tickets and AP Potions on Sept. 30. Players can no longer buy anything in-game after Oct. 27.
Bandai Namco even made a farewell trailer with emotional music announcing the game’s closure. In the video it’s revealed that Lost Swords was downloaded 2,034,422 times worldwide.
Lost Swords launched on April 22, 2014 in North America for free as a download-only on the PlayStation Network. It doesn’t have any multiplayer modes, unlike the rest of the games in the series. The game is based on the Soul Calibur V (2012) fighting engine and roster. Lost Swords included microtransactions like the AP (Action Points) System that can be bought to remove the time limit restriction between plays. Every three minutes AP is restored by one point and can be fully recharged by leveling up.
The main form of gameplay in Lost Swords is the Quest mode where players complete missions to earn items and experience. Quest mode can only be played by using a varied amount of Action Points. Each level has a different tier of fighters to face. Gaining experience and leveling up the player’s account increases the max AP. Continue Tickets let you play where you left off and keep your earned treasure chest items if you lose a level during Quest. Lost Swords continually received updates with new Quest events, daily missions and item bonuses throughout its lifespan.
The game’s microtransaction prices have lowered since the game’s launch. Currently a single AP Potion costs $0.99, with an 11-pack combo costing $7.99. One Continue Ticket costs $1.99 and an 11-pack is sold for $9.99. Increasing a fighter’s equipment room by 10 slots is $3.99. Premium chests that contain randomized equipment, weapons and forging items costs $2.49 for one, $12.99 for six of them and $21.99 for a 12-pack.
Bandai Namco took the free-to-play model to some extremes with Lost Swords. Four of the game’s extra characters could only be unlocked through buying expensive premium content that when combined, costs more than the price of a PS3 system.
At one point Seong Mi-na, one of the extra characters, unlocked for a whopping $90 after buying a set of 12 Premium Chests three different times. Seong Mi-na is a long-time Soul Calibur fighter who goes back to the first game in the series, Soul Edge (1995).
Lost Swords only has three starting characters, with more than a dozen added by completing missions and earning unlock keys. The game starts off with the player’s chosen character literally in their underwear, with clothes and equipment unlocked by beating Quests and special events. Lost Swords features a loot-like system where defeated fighters drop treasure chests containing a variety of items, with the better goods locked behind premium chests that cost real money. Some of the fighters’ weapons have elemental attacks that can be improved with the Forge crafting system. New weapons can also be created by crafting collected items together.
Another feature of the game is a tag system where players can switch out their fighter for allies that are actually other people’s characters who played Lost Swords. These allies can be used in battle once a meter is fully charged. Adding them as a permanent ally gives daily Friend Points, which can also unlock better items.
To celebrate Lost Swords, there will be a special ranking quest in the game between Sept. 16-30. Lost Swords does include a Trophy set, with all eight of them no longer obtainable after Nov. 30.
Possibly hinting at a new Soul Calibur game, the announcement trailer ends with the caption, “The warriors may fade, but their souls will ignite again.” Soul Calibur V was the last proper game in the series, which released in January 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Bandai Namco has released other free-to-play games of its franchises like Tekken Revolution (2013) and Ace Combat Infinity (2014). Ridge Racer Driftopia, a F2P racing game, shut down in August 2014 after 11 months of service.
Watch Lost Sword’s closure trailer: