Square Enix Core Online browser service closed

Square Enix has closed Core Online, its ad-supported browser gaming portal. The streaming service launched in August 2012, but was apparently quietly killed off in November 2013 due to lack of interest. Square Enix has no plans to reopen the service, and the lack of attention given to its closure almost two months ago should give some indication of why.

Core Online allowed users to pay a monthly subscription of $2.99 to play everything, buy individual games, or play for free for 20 minutes per day. It offered a handful of games including the likes of Hitman: Sniper Challenge, Hitman: Blood Money, Tomb Raider Underworld, Mini Ninjas.

Square posted a closure notice in November that went largely unnoticed at the time, until a support center post began making the rounds (via Polygon).

"We launched Core Online as an experiment to see what demand there would be for HD games played via the browser--whether gamers would welcome games on that platform, whether new business models might be of interest," the original notice stated. "We were pleased with the advances in technology we managed to make in the creation of the Core Online platform but due to limited commercial take-up of this initiative it's no longer something we will be supporting and Core Online will be closing on Friday 29th November 2013."

Those who held subscriptions through the end of the service were to have their payments refunded.