Touken Ranbu Online English and Traditional Chinese versions to shut down in August

The sword boy saga will soon end for English- and Chinese-speaking fans. Johren, the operator of free-to-play RPG Touken Ranbu Online, has announced that the English and Traditional Chinese editions of the game will be shut down in August 2023. The closure comes roughly two years since the English edition launched in 2021. The news was first communicated to players via an in-game announcement and a message on the official Twitter account.

Johren didn't specify a reason for Touken Ranbu Online's closure. However, most free-to-play titles are dependent on microtransactions to bring in revenue, Touken Ranbu Online included. In many cases, a free-to-play title will shut down when its operator decides that it has failed to find an audience large enough to offset operational costs or generate profit.

By August 21, 2023, the English and Traditional Chinese versions of the game will be delisted from Johren and associated storefronts. As the Japanese edition of the game will still operate as normal, players with the requisite language proficiency can take it up, but progress and purchases will not transfer over.

Check out the opening sequence for the Japanese version of the game:

Touken Ranbu Online was first launched in Japan in 2015 and continues to be operated by Nitroplus and DMM games. Its premise revolves around the player character, known as the "Saniwa", who defends the proper flow of history against threats by sending "Touken Danshi' (literally "Sword Men"), the personifications of famous Japanese swords into the past. The game spawned several anime, stage play, and mixed-media adaptations. A premium action adaptation, Touken Ranbu Warriors, was released in 2022 for PC and Nintendo Switch by Koei Tecmo, Ruby Party, and Omega Force.