Capcom has cancelled mobile game Puzzle Fighter just five months after it came out - leaving its Vancouver studio to focus on the next Dead Rising game.
Puzzle Fighter is a free-to-download mobile-only version of Capcom's much-loved gem-crushing puzzle game that features characters and stages from various Capcom franchises. Capcom had hoped it would revitalise the Puzzle Fighter series, but it appears the game failed to find an audience.
Back in February, Capcom Vancouver suffered a major round of layoffs that affected 30 per cent of the studio.
At the time, Capcom said the team was "continuing to work hard to support the recent release of Puzzle Fighter for mobile and is dedicated to its flagship Dead Rising series".
Two months later, Capcom has decided to "sunset" Puzzle Fighter, which means the game will be removed from app stores on 1st July and servers will shut down on 31st July. The game will be playable until 31st July, and Capcom has gifted all players 10,000 in-game gem currency. Characters Regina, Dr. Wily and Ada Wong, and stages Darminor and Uroboros Laboratory are available for free. In-app purchases will be disabled on 23rd April.
"Firstly, we'd like to thank all the fans who have supported and enjoyed our Puzzle Fighter mobile game thus far," reads a statement published on Capcom Unity.
"As huge fans of Puzzle Fighter ourselves, the team here at Capcom Game Studio Vancouver is proud to have created a new version of the game that's unique and enjoyable.
"As the studio is dedicating its focus to our flagship Dead Rising franchise, we have decided to sunset Puzzle Fighter.
"We appreciate the fans who have supported Puzzle Fighter until this point. We thank you for playing the game and hope to ensure your remaining time with Puzzle Fighter is an enjoyable one."
It's been a tumultuous 2018 so far for Capcom Vancouver. Kotaku reported around 50 people were let go back in February, with one unannounced project cancelled and a reduction in scope of the next Dead Rising game, which was "over-scoped and under-staffed". The studio was said to have 250 staff before the layoffs.
The Dead Rising series has struggled in recent years, with December 2016's Dead Rising 4 failing to set tills alight. Dead Rising 4 launched as a timed Xbox exclusive, then released on PlayStation 4 a year later. Capcom Vancouver had previously released Xbox One launch title Dead Rising 3 and, as Blue Castle Games, 2010's Dead Rising 2.