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The sadness and uncertainty of a destroyed community: The final days of Final Fantasy 7 The First Soldier

Earlier this week, Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier become shuttered. This left the remaining final gamers mourning the loss of their favorite battle royale, lamenting for the small but enraptured community round it, and grieving the friendships shaped inside it.

The game, first announced at Tokyo Game Show 2021, had an unofficial Reddit now swamped with very last posts, screenshots of characters, and a pinned thank you message to the loads of fans gift there. We reached out to some of them to listen their testimonies, and get some insight into how they spent their last day with Square Enix’s doomed warfare royale.

“I have always been keen on Final Fantasy, 7 protected, but I cannot pretty placed my finger on why I was attracted to this recreation,” writes Richard, an American streamer who jumped into The First Soldier when it launched November 17, 2021. “I hadn’t played a battle royale game earlier than this factor, either. I couldn’t get any of my buddies to play it as they at once neglected it for being any such notably exceptional take for a Final Fantasy.”

Looking lower back, it turned into a difficult promote for many. Not only did the First Soldier drop proper as conflict royale saturation turned into cementing itself into the video game industry, it become one hell of a departure from what Final Fantasy enthusiasts are used to. You may want to even name it ‘cynical’. Even so, the game got itself 4 full seasons of content, which – while combined with attractive gameplay and a coating of that FF7 aesthetic – made a cocktail a few players simply couldn’t get enough of.

And some cherished the experiemntal sport greater than others. For Edenia, from Australia, the title turned into well really worth making an investment money and time into. “I honestly loved the game so much I bought more or less over $1000 AUS worth of cosmetics and credits. I made many pals and loved being a part of the community, form becoming a member of private suits to helping a pal make a video approximately this game. It become fantastic!”

During its short lifestyles, there have been moments of brilliance within the thoughts of the community. Richard spoke to me of a Bahamut event throughout Season 2, in which the summon changed into fantastic-charged and required more than one players teaming as much as convey it down, while all of the even as the standard conflict royale shenanigans have been occurring round them. This proved difficult to do clearly (due to the ones bored with taking down Bahamut now not co-running), so a devoted organization of gamers fashioned groups to take down the boss, securing kills for folks who needed them.

Heidi Van Vuuren, a participant from Zimbabwe, has been presenting to recreate humans’s characters as an act of memorial, with 18 human beings to date taking her up at the provide, hoping for a everlasting souvenir in their avatar in The First Soldier. Van Vuuren shared comparable anecdotes of taking down bosses like Bahumut and Cloud with the assist of a committed crew, riding round on chocobos in personal suits, and accomplishing prime rank in group playlists. But for Van Vuuren, then spotlight was incomes their favourite chocobo from the game’s limited time Easter occasion. As of this week, all of these events – and the rewards for enjoying them – are long gone all the time.

For a network like this, the information that The First Soldier might be shutting down changed into devastating while it dropped in October 2022. In an respectable submit written with the aid of the developers, the motive for its closure turned into short and surgical: “Despite all our efforts to deliver you regular updates with clean and exciting content material, we haven’t been able to supply the experience that we had been hoping to, and that you all deserve, so we’ve got made the extraordinarily difficult decision to stop service.”

“It changed into a blindside to make sure,” states Richard. “We had just had a livestream an afternoon or earlier than, talking about the approaching anniversary occasion. Just be beaten with the news [of the game’s closure] in a tweet. “I had commenced to move the sport maybe a month after it released, so for up to about 10 months I became stay each different day with it. Now it felt empty.”

Edenia felt a loss of motivation to preserve playing as a good deal upon hearing the news, too. “I felt all of the time and investment I positioned into this game turned into wasted.” Looking again thru posts online, this sentiment become shared with many having to choose between placing on till the end, or jumping deliver before it went away for precise.

For those that did stick round up until the give up, they were capable of enjoy one final day of amusing and games earlier than the curtains closed and the game booted them out unceremoniously. Edenia relished their ultimate moments with The First Soldier: “On the final day I took many screenshots of my favourite cosmetics and recorded myself fighting towards different gamers. It wasn’t about being the strongest in the game, it become about going out with a bang. I stored gambling till I could not log in anymore.”

Richard streamed the sport so long as he should, talking to network contributors approximately the fine elements of the sport, even as Heidi (unable to get lots time in due to work) additionally shared reminiscences along with her pals online while she “moped around at work all day, very sad”.

Now, with the servers down and all their progress in The First Soldier long past, the network is pressured to leave it in the back of. However, there’s a push amongst those ultimate to live in contact – and move to every other game wherein they are able to keep the friendships they’ve constructed alive. “Most wanted me to play Apex Mobile, but that isn’t always as amusing as designing your very own person in FF7:TFS,“ says Edenia. “I heard suitable matters about Warzone Mobile, so that would be my next one to play, however of route I don’t suppose any war royale will top FF7:TFS because of its unique play fashion.“

They continued: “At the moment we definitely don’t know what to do. FF7:TFS was what delivered us together as a own family, so I genuinely wish I will discover some thing similar, some thing that incorporates JRPG elements in a warfare royale.”

Heidi feels the identical, uncertain if any game may want to seize her like The First Soldier did. “I am expecting Ever Crisis due to the fact numerous my pals say they will be playing it, but surely I don’t suppose any recreation can be as huge part of my life as this one became. Considering I had in no way performed a conflict royal earlier than, I turned into surprised after I fell in love with the sport, so perhaps in the future it’s going to take place again.”

The dying of Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier is similar to the numerous different multiplayer video games that have been taken round back and flushed forever: it leaves a nomadic fanbase at the back of, unsure in which to spend its money and time. Here’s to them, and to their journey to discover a new gaming domestic.

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