At this point, many of us have been burned by the modern concept of games-as-a-service. For example, our team raged at the random cancelation of Sim City Social, an early big-budget entry into genre. This week, the now rather large graveyard GaaS titles grew a little larger with the announcement of the end of Puzzle Fighter.
The in-game store will close on Monday, April 23, 2018, while the servers will be shutdown on Tuesday July 31, 2018. The July closure will end the game entirely, only 8 months into its life. The reason why the game, which has a single player mode, will come to a close when the servers close is because of an always-on connection, which is required for the soon-to-be-closed store. Obviously, Capcom could save this 90s revival if they wanted to with a patch to prevent the online component or to open source the servers, but they have no intentions to do so. While the fate of the mobile version of the game is now sealed, there is no mention of the recently rated PC and console versions of the game, though it is an easy assumption that this software will never see the light of day, as the servers are going away.
This shutdown reminds us of the dangers and annoyances of the GaaS type of entertainment. It is beyond infuriating when a game, especially one with an in-game store, decide they no longer have value and go away. It's even worse when the title is not free-to-play (which Puzzle Fighterwas). Unlike games of the past, which are playable decades later, current games (including retail titles) sometimes have a lifespan under a year (see Battleborn as an example).
There is no game-specific reason given for the shutdown. In fact, according to Capcom, the blame falls on the team's rededication to Dead Rising. Of course, moving the developers to another project does not mean that the game would no longer function. Shutting down the servers would not be related to a focus on an unrelated title. It sounds like maybe Capcom has adopted the model of charge for digital goods and then move on to a new town.