Yesterday, the U.S. Army announced that it was time to withdraw their America’s Army video game series after 20 years. America’s Army is a free-to-play, first-person shooter game developed and published by the U.S. Army to increase recruitment by giving players a chance to experience being a U.S. Army soldier through virtual training and fighting.
The America’s Army series first began in 2002, where it became the U.S. Army’s first venture into the video game industry. Throughout its 20 years, the game series has often been viewed as controversial due to the U.S. Army using the game series as a recruitment tactic. Regardless, the U.S. Army views America’s Army as a success: “Three mainline titles and more than 20 million AA players later, the series’ original purpose continued. There have been over 30 million objectives completed, 180 million successful missions accomplished, 250 million teammates assisted, and many more in-game achievements attained in AA: PG alone.”
The U.S. Army also announced that America’s Army: Proving Grounds, which was released in 2015 as the last installment of the series, will shut down after eight years. The game’s online features, support, and official servers will cease to function on the PlayStation Network and Steam on May 5, 2022. PlayStation players can still access offline features but cannot use the Play Online feature or access player stats. Steam users can still access privately owned servers, the Mission editor, and offline features, but official servers and player stats will cease to function.
Additionally, the official America’s Army website will no longer be available, and players will be unable to access user login, player stats, and other resources provided by the website.
According to the U.S. Army, America’s Army comes to an end as “it is time to shift our focus to other new and innovative ways to assist the Army with comms and recruitment.” It would be unsurprising to see the U.S. Army use more questionable recruitment tactics similar to their recruitment attempt on Twitch in 2020, where users were led to a U.S. Army recruitment page under the guise of fake giveaways for an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller.