America’s Army, a controversial shooter backed by the US government, has been shut down. The Unreal Engine has been used to develop multiple versions of the game since it was released in the U.S. in 2002. There will, however, be a shutdown of America’s Army: Proving Grounds on 5th May.
According to an official blog post, the game ‘represents the first large-scale use of game technology by the U.S. government as a platform for strategic communication and recruiting, and the first application of game technology to advance U.S. Army recruiting’. Over 20 million players took part in 180 million successful missions.
According to the post, ‘now that AA has accomplished its mission, it is time to move on to new and innovative ways to assist the Army with comms and recruitment. None of this would have been possible without our players, so thank you for your dedication and continued support throughout these years’. A further blog post provides more information on the shutdown.
The store page for players on PlayStation is set to be removed, and the game will no longer be available for purchase. Play online will cease to function, though existing players should be able to play offline. Official servers and player stats will no longer be available to PC players through Steam, but players will still be able to access private servers. The game’s use as a recruitment tool, alongside its timely release following 9/11 and ahead of the war in Iraq, made it controversial to many.