America’s Army: Proving Grounds – a free-to-play military shooter made by the U.S. Army in an effort to assist in recruitment – is shutting down after 20 years.
With the first entry releasing in 2002, America’s Army is funded and developed by the U.S. Army and takes the team-based tactical shooter into a more realistic direction. The game was originally conceived by Colonel Casey Wardynski, the U.S. Army’s chief economist in 1999.
“It’s designed to give [players] an inside view on the very fundamentals of being a soldier, and it’s also designed to give them a sense of self-efficacy, that they can do it,” Wardynski told The Washington Post in 2005 (via Vice).
Now America’s Army: Proving Grounds will shut down on May 5, 2022 according to a developer forum post.
“The free-to-play America’s Army PC Game represented the first large-scale use of game technology by the U.S. government as a platform for strategic communication and recruitment,” read the post, “and the first use of game technology in support of U.S. Army recruiting. Three mainline titles and more than 20million AA players later, the series’ original purpose continued. There have been over 30million objectives completed, 180million successful missions accomplished [and] 250million teammates assisted.”
The team says it will be shifting its focus to help the U.S. Army with other methods of communications and recruitment.
America’s Army is still currently available on PS4 and Steam. Offline features for both versions are expected to continue working, but servers and player stats will no longer be available, the PS4 version will also be delisted from the store as well.
The title had over five different iterations and sequels, with Proving Grounds releasing in 2013 and being one of the most successful iterations of the franchise.