The Japanese multimedia series Love Live! has been around since 2010, and has enjoyed popularity through various anime series, films, and rhythm-action videogames. The setup is fairly simple, and revolves around girls who attend school with each other but are secretly the planet’s greatest pop idols. One especially successful entry is Love Live! School Island Festival, a free-to-play mobile-first game that was released in 2013 before being ported to various other platforms.
The publisher behind the game, Bushiroad, announced the game’s successor at Love Live!’s 2022 thanksgiving festival. Love Live! School Island Festival 2 would see all player account data carried over and replace its predecessor entirely, and feature various popular groups and idols from the series and its spinoffs. Other than that it’s along the same lines: a rhythm game crossed with a visual novel, where you get your J-pop on then talk about maths homework or something.
The servers for Love Live! School Island Festival closed on March 31, 2023, and the Japanese version of Love Live! School Island Festival 2 released on April 15, 2023. A global version was expected to follow in the same year, but this was pushed back to February 2024.
So here we are, and boy does Bushiroad have some news for expectant players. In what has to be some sort of industry first, Love Live! School Festival 2 has announced its global launch date and, in the same tweet, announced the game will end service a few months later. Here is the full gobsmacking text:
“We are excited to break the news to you that the global version of Love Live! School Idol Festival 2 MIRACLE LIVE! is launching soon in February 2024.
“However, we also want to inform you that the Global Version will close its doors on May 31, 2024, and cease in-app purchases accordingly.
“We appreciate the love and support you’ve shown, and we’re committed to making these last few months an unforgettable moment.”
Talk about putting a brave face on things. Love Live! Wasn’t exactly Grand Theft Auto, but it’s a popular enough series to sustain various multimedia properties and spin-offs, as well as the original rhythm game (which even had an arcade version).
It’s all utterly baffling, and needless to say the replies and quotes of the announcement do not hold back. “Took me about 3 passes to really comprehend,” says Robin Osiria. “We would like to announce a new corpse being buried right after this tweet,” adds Flork. A big theme in the replies is folk wondering why the company’s bothering to release it at all, and the tweet has now gone viral in the bad way, with 9 million views, 5.5K reposts, and 17.1K quotes, many of which are simply revelling in the absurdity.
While this is funny, you have to feel for players of the now-unavailable original it was supposed to replace. The game is scheduled to release on February 29, 2024 (on the App Store at least). Make the most of it while you can, I guess.