Microsoft Discontinues Ascend: Hand of Kul Without Informing the Developer

Microsoft Discontinues Ascend: Hand of Kul Without Informing the Developer

Lee Bradley

Ascend: Hand of Kul, Signal Studio's free-to-play Xbox 360 action-RPG, has been removed from the Xbox Live Marketplace and will only be playable up until November 18th for existing players.

The removal of the game came as a surprise, even to Signal Studios. Microsoft is the publisher of the game and made the decision without informing the developer.

"Signal Studios must regretfully announce that despite our best efforts and the games success, Microsoft has discontinued support for Ascend: Hand of Kul on the Xbox 360 and removed the game from the Xbox Live Marketplace," said the developer.

"This surfaced to us while investigating various issues players have been experiencing over the weekend. We are deeply saddened by this decision and the impact it has on our community."

Microsoft’s response to enquiries has been vague. Speaking to Eurogamer, the platform holder said, "We can confirm that effective November 18, 2014, Ascend on Xbox 360 will close. Players will still be able to play Ascend on Xbox 360 and use any content they have already acquired until the game closure date."

"This only applies to Ascend on Xbox 360 - Ascend will continue to be available on the Steam gaming platform. We thank Signal Studios and its community of gamers for their support and look forward to welcoming them into our other gaming communities.”

A PC version of Ascend: Hand of Kul is still in beta and developer Signal Studios is offering those that make the switch 25K in in-game currency.

  • Looks like I'm switching to Steam then. Microsoft can be idiots sometimes.
  • Was really fun at the beginning...but IMO, money in game destroyed this game and it's the cancer of a lot of free games these days.
  • one gold tooth like im shabba ranks
  • Thank god i did not get into it at all as i would be pretty pissed if i were playing it.. Was it any good??
  • This is seriously messed up. Huge reason why I never invest in games that involve microtransactions. Because I'm sure there are plenty of players who spent a hefty amount of money towards this game, and now that's pretty much money down the toilet. Seems wrong to me.
  • I was planning on starting to play this weekend. Got it downloaded already, but someone on the forums mentioned that the patches are gone too, so... might not even be worth it to start playing, even with those few months left of play. Ah well, I'll check it out on Steam when I get the chance.
  • @9 I am still missing one Avatar Award in this and started playing today the first time since January. All Updates and in-game downloads worked fine for me. So it might just have been a temporary issue with the updates in the last couple of days.
  • Seems a bit shocking that MS didn't tell them that they were pulling the plug on it. Some form of disagreement between the two behind the scenes perhaps?
  • At least make it not so money hungry for the time it has left?
  • @1 All of Microsft is idiots
  • how rude!
  • This is why I avoid f2p like the plague.
  • So sad. Had alot of fun playing this game and was looking forward to returning to it. Guess that'll won't happen now. I'd rather play this on the couch than on my PC, but MS has (again) taken away the choice. I guess I'm switching to PC then. And it was very rude of MS to not inform the developer! @1 & 12: Totally agree!
  • Good riddance. This game was garbage anyway. It's so broken that it wouldn't let me past the start screen. Thanks, but no thanks. I like games that function properly.
  • Honestly, I only played in the beta as it seemed the repair costs for gear was ridiculous without shelling out cash. That aside, the game did seem to have a lot of potential so its a shame that MS is doing this so suddenly
  • Lol blaming MS for a developers issue. They haven't even released the 'coming soon' areas that have been listed since release, they couldn't even keep up with the growing population on their servers. They never let out a actual update just bug fixes. This is/was a great game don't get me wrong but they invested too much into the 'pay to win' aspect of it. Grinding to Transcend was retardedly time consuming and even I thought about buying souls to purchase the XP booster.
  • @16, you might of encountered a problem, though the game was far from broken, you've never played an actually broken game if you consider this out right broken. On topic, shame to see it go, very dodgy what Microsofts done there, though I'm curious what their reasoning is behind taking it down.
  • KInda sucks as now i have to get back on this and 100% it now instead of in 2015
  • Was in the Beta and enjoyed it. Shame I never got the chance to properly get into it. Bit shocked that its being closed so soon, and without any notice towards Signal Studios. Or so we are led to believe.
  • @19 If he can't get passed the starting screen then yes it is broken, and no, you are wrong. Games do not get much more broken than that.
  • This is why digital games suck, physical way better.
  • @23 Games like Titanfall or any Call of Duty are physical, but their multilayer will go offline one day regardless. Not sure what your point is on being digital. Especially considering how many single player only games are digital only as well.
  • @24 Ok if you can't play Call of Duty online one day, you can still play the single player and local multiplayer. With Ascend being taken off you can't play it at all.
  • That blows. I really enjoyed this game! Guess I'll be making the switch to Steam...
  • @25 Which has absolutely everything to do with it being an online only multiplayer game, and absolutely NOTHING to do with whether it's digital or on disk.
  • Good to see this. They're a business, not a charity.
  • While not outright mad, I'm mildly upset about this. Not so much because of the game, it wasn't anything remarkable, but because of the principle of it. Such short notice is really fucked, and for all the money some players have invested, they won't even see a dime of that back.
  • @1 Steam is just as bad with its DRM tactics
  • Heard that something was wrong with their game due to a faulty patch. MS took it off because it supposedly broke the game. Not sure what the exact situation is, but I feel like there's plenty behind the scenes stuff going on in there.
  • Heard that something was wrong with their game due to a faulty patch. MS took it off because it supposedly broke the game. Not sure what the exact situation is, but I feel like there's plenty behind the scenes stuff going on in there. Stuff not being shared with the public.
  • I don't get why they removed games for Microsoft are not losing money by it being there are they?
  • Make Ascend or Ascend 2 physical disc for XB1/PS4 please!
  • All achievement whores will feel the impact!
  • I downloaded this for free, but never played it until I heard this bad news! I kinda like the game and now I'm forced to earn as many achievements as I can!!
  • I spent like 100 bucks on this game because I was so impressed. I ended up investing about 200 hours. So I feel I got my moneys worth. I stopped playing to wait for new content. This game was gem. I played it since beta and was ranked pretty high when it fell into open. I just couldn't keep up with it after I finished all the content. I think Signal and Microsoft no longer got along (anyone notice Toy Soldiers being published by Ubisoft now?). I'm pretty sure Signal knew this was gonna happen by the disappearance of the Xbox logo off the Ascend website a few months before this when down.
  • It is Microsoft and we knew they will / would pull off some games out of way and became R.I.P. so good thing is this game is crap anyway and this can go away forever and not look back. :)
  • @22, big budget games have had those issues, yet they're not considered broken, given that his seems to be the only case saying so on here, means that he's the exception and more then likely has a fault with his hard drive. A broken game is something that breaks down on the vast majority or all occasions of playing it, something along the lines of 'cheetahmen' is an example of a broken game off the top of my head.
  • *palmface* gee...
  • I tried the game when it first came out, didn't really like it. I guess it didn't have the potential that Microsoft was looking for.
  • Who cares about this freemium crap? Why support this stupid shit?
  • The game really wasn't built too heavily around the soul packs, honestly. I'm fairly close to finishing up all the achievements and I've never felt like I needed to buy a soul pack. Souls are seriously easy to get if you know the right places to farm. I feel like everyone bashing it for having microtransactions is just blindly hating and not looking at how deeply or non-deeply they were required. Yeah, it was a sub-par F2P game with microtransactions. But it wasn't really exclusively built around them. Direct more hate to the ones that are goddamn unplayable without them, AKA 90% of stuff in mobile gaming. Steam version is still getting updates, so for fans of the game, there's that.
  • @2 you're right! developers should make free games without micro transactions and you should tell your boss that starting tomorrow you'll work for free, because expecting to make money from a honest day's work is "cancer".
  • Good news, anything free to get milked to enjoy the game needs to die. Glad Microsoft are banishing that sort of crap so it doesn't end up like shitty mobile phone app stores flooded with such crap.
  • #37 a 100$ 0_o you and anyone who pays in free games are IDIOTS, you only do it to brag about beeng high in the leaderborad but the in reality you paid to be there. I finish it without spending a single $.
  • Looks like I need to get back to playing it again while I can. Get at least some of the achievements before it's gone. I'm only at like 25g.
  • Guys, repairing items in the game only requires the usage of the forge in Sanctum. Aside from that, if you're looking for the full gamerscore before it's removed, blast through the story whilst following a guide for the lore locations. Once you complete the story, it's all about grinding out the last levels in the Ring of Bones and Ascending every chance you get. For the armor of 2k and the weapon dmg of 200, just keep leveling and this will come naturally. The armor bit is easily obtained once you go to the God of Light and buy Lightning Shield.
  • @19 MS doesn't want games that don't work on the XBL market place, simple as that. Too bad the devs won't bring out an update to fix it though.
  • im glad i found this. i put down between 15 to 30 bucks on this "free" game. been a few months since i played. now i know i have until mid-november to finish it up. soooo gonna call microsoft and tell them how i feel about this. it sucks. you put money into a game and they take it down in less then 2 years!? thats bs people..plain and simple. certain people at microsoft are not idiots, however they ARE a-holes for doing this. they seem to care more about maximizing their own profits rather than caring about the consumers of their products. i was leaning towards not getting an xbox one and now i have made my mind up that i wont get one at all.
  • The race to finish the Gamerscore in the game is on! Also, the repair costs only seem ridiculous at the beginning. Until you figure out how to play the game. That is, use the worst gear you can, when it breaks, sell it and switch to the next worst. Leave your best gear repaired and on-hand only for encounters with other players Caos as that's the only time you'll truly need amazing gear. You get more Souls and XP from fighting with weaker weapons because you can rack up really large combos and have better chances to get the "execution" prompts which net you x3 experience per kill instead of standard x1. I made the mistake of trying to equip the best stuff all the time like a lot of players. It's a bit counter-intuitive. But, man do you feel supremely intelligent when you figure out how to get the game to give you a ton of souls and xp. That's the trade off. Lots of souls and XP or have really easy kills that let you murder stuff fast.
  • ^take his advice. i am lvl 41 and i only need to make 60 now to get the last achievement. done ascending. also..load speed runes on the the weaker weapon you use to rack up combos. and perhaps a lighting rune to shock your enemies so the combo does not break cuse you get hit. adding dodge runes to armor will help keep your combos going too. game was fun and had alot of potential even though it had a good share of issues but both signal and microft screwed it up. ms is to blame for not giving more notice to it being taken down and xbox live customer servive will get LOTS of calls tuesday because lots of people still play this and many dont know about this stupid move to stop supporting the game so soon. only like 1 year and 2 months. thats just wrong.
  • *microsoft and *service atleast i will have 2 more gb free on my hard drive soon.
  • You need to register before being able to post comments

Game navigation