Roughly 20 years ago, online-only video games became a significant force in retail. You could expect boxed games, ranging from $30-60, to revolve entirely around things like versus-deathmatch arenas or MMO quests. That, obviously, has changed on modern PCs and consoles.
But what happens when a game publisher in 2020 tries to go back in time and charge $30 for one of these things? Can a paid, online-only game work in the modern, free-to-play marketplace?
We don’t get a conclusive answer from Rocket Arena, which EA released last week on PC, PS4, and Xbox One for $30. There may very well be a brand-new game in this era that’s up to the task, but this one is more of a cautionary tale.