January 30, 2023

Bobbys Brane

Bobbys Brane – Business & Tech Blog

Epic is shutting down online services for classic Rock Band and Unreal Tournament games

2 min read

Epic Games is beginning to shut down online services for a large selection of its older games, including Rock Band 1 through 3, The Beatles: Rock Band, and Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004. The company is making the changes as “we move to solely support Epic Online Services with its unified friends system, voice chat features, parental controls, and parental verification features,” it said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The shutdowns will begin on Wednesday. For the below games, online services will be fully disabled by January 24th, though you can still play single-player or offline multiplayer. Epic is also beginning to remove the games from digital storefronts (where you could still buy them) and disabling in-game DLC purchases.

1000 Tiny Claws

Dance Central 1-3

Green Day: Rock Band

Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess

Rock Band 1-3

The Beatles: Rock Band

Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars

Unreal Gold

Unreal II: The Awakening

Unreal Tournament 2003

Unreal Tournament 2004

Unreal Tournament 3

Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition

If you’re disappointed to see Unreal Tournament 3 on the list, I do have some good news: Epic says that it plans to bring back online features for the game in the future. As spotted by deals expert Wario64, there’s already a Steam page for a game called Unreal Tournament 3 X, and according to the listing, it will be free with crossplay between Steam, Epic Games Store, and GOG.

Confusingly, Unreal Tournament 3 X’s release date is listed as November 19th, 2007, and there’s a notice that the game is “no longer available” on the store. But given that Unreal Tournament 3 originally launched that same day, it seems Epic might be repurposing the older game’s Steam page for the newer release. Epic declined to comment.

As for Rock Band, which Epic snapped up as part of its Harmonix acquisition in 2021, the studio says that Rock Band 4’s online multiplayer will remain available. But with the shutdowns to the other Rock Band games on the list, you won’t be able to buy DLC songs, meaning you won’t be able to expand your song libraries once DLC purchases are fully disabled.

Epic is making changes for a few other games and apps as well. On Wednesday, the Mac and Linux versions of the avian dating simulators Hatoful Boyfriend and Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star and the mobile game DropMix will be pulled from storefronts. Battle Breakers, a free-to-play RPG, will be shut down on December 30th. Unreal Tournament (Alpha), Rock Band Blitz, the Rock Band Companion app, and VR karaoke game SingSpace will be shut down on January 24th.