The US Army has announced it is shutting down the online servers for ‘America’s Army: Proving Grounds’ – the latest installment in a game series that has been developed and produced by the US Army since 2002, which has been used to show potential recruits the wonders of army life in an attempt to get people to sign up for military service.
“After eight Years of hard-fought battles, we say goodbye to Czervenia and withdraw our forces. On May 5th, 2022, support and official servers for America’s Army: Proving Grounds will be shut down,” reads a statement published on the game’s official forum.
The America’s Army franchise has been around for 20 years, and, according to an MIT study conducted in 2008, the game has had the desired effect on its audience throughout the years. The study revealed that almost a third of Americans aged 16 to 24 had a more positive view of the US military after playing ‘America’s Army’ and some even signed up thanks to the game.
However, the game has received its fair share of criticism as well, primarily for the way it depicts war as being ‘fun’. The game’s multiplayer has also been deemed problematic, as it only allows players to be on the side of the US Army, while the computer-controlled enemy forces are depicted as generic bad guys. Some have seen this as giving players/potential recruits an unrealistic representation of a real war and the people they could end up having to kill.
‘America’s Army: Proving Grounds’ official servers are expected to shut down in May. However, private servers will still be allowed to operate and the game’s offline features will reportedly remain in place.