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'Devil's Third' multiplayer mode goes offline in December

Divisive Wii U action game Devil’s Third will lose its online functionality at the end of 2016, as Nintendo announced that it will permanently drop support for the game’s included multiplayer modes one year after launch.

To compensate for the early end to its online multiplayer service, Nintendo has slashed the eShop price of Devil’s Third worldwide in a last-ditch bid to attract new players.

Related: Nintendo confirms Devil’s Third publishing plans, free-to-play version headed to PC

Released worldwide in 2015, Devil’s Third is a Wii U-exclusive action game directed by Tomonobu Itagaki, former head of Dead or Alive series creator Team Ninja. Similar in structure to the Itagaki-directed Ninja Gaiden games, Devil’s Third mixes melee-driven combat and first-person shooting, resulting in a unique gameplay hybrid.

While Devil’s Third’s single-player campaign met with widespread criticism, many reviewers praised its online multiplayer mode, which featured an in-depth progression system at its core. All featured multiplayer modes in Devil’s Third will cease to operate by the end of this year, though single-player online components will remain active.

In the years leading up to its release, Devil’s Third earned a degree of infamy due to its troubled development cycle. Initially slated as a multiplatform release, Devil’s Third disappeared from the public eye for many years before suddenly resurfacing as a Nintendo-published Wii U exclusive shortly before its launch.

After Devil’s Third met with a negative critical reception in Japan and Europe, many speculated that Nintendo of America had dropped its plans for a stateside release. Despite a lack of promotion from its publisher, Devil’s Third eventually hit the United States digitally and at retail in December of 2015.

As part of its sunsetting process for the game’s online multiplayer modes, Nintendo announced that it will no longer sell progression-boosting “Golden Egg” items as of June 27. Player-purchased Golden Eggs will no longer function when the game’s multiplayer servers close down permanently on December 28.

Starting today, the Nintendo eShop version of Devil’s Third has been reduced in price from $60 to $30 in North America. The game’s retail price at Amazon and other online retailers is currently unchanged.