Asheron's Call and its sequel will sunset as part of the Turbine/Standing Stone split

I'm sorry to report that Turbine announced today that it will be sunsetting Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2 as part of the transition revealed yesterday that will see Turbine's other MMORPGs migrated to the new independent studio.

"It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the end of our support for Asheron's Call and Asheron’s Call 2, and will close both services on January 31st, 2017. This decision did not come easy, and we know this is disappointing for many of you. This game is a labor of love, and it's not easy for us to bring it to an end. We have had a phenomenally long run; one of the longest in the world of MMORPGs, and that in and of itself is a spectacular feat. We are proud of our legacy, and the entire Asheron's Call team has been honored to adventure with you for nearly twenty years. We thank you very much for being a part of it. It’s been an amazing run. You’ve done Asheron Realaidain proud. Between now and January 31st, 2017, the game will remain available to play, completely free, for any player currently with an account. New account creation will be disabled."

Players will recall that this is not the first time Asheron's Call 2 has sunsetted; Turbine originally closed it in 2003 due to poor reception but reopened it in 2012. Classic Asheron's Call has been in maintenance mode alongside its younger sibling since 2014.

Our sympathies extend to everyone affected by the sunset. AC, you were one of the greats.

Source: Official forums, Facebook. Cheers to Jack Pipsam.
Update: Most of you probably already figured that the private servers once promised for the game were off the table since there'd been no movement in many months, but Turbine made it official. "We had hoped to be able to hand off our servers to the community, so our most loyal players could continue their journey through Dereth," Halistran wrote on the official forums. "Unfortunately, this is something we were unable to do." (h/t Ness199X)
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207 comments
51Jagman
51Jagman

This is a massive upset to the AC community and MMO's in general. I don't feel that it's right to leave the players with nothing. Just a brief goodbye...? Give us character data, Give us the game code, Give us hope!. Long Live Asheron's Call.

Dread1313
Dread1313

RIP AC1... The 2nd MMO I ever got hooked on. You will be forever missed and a very fond memory in my heart. Thank you.

MCBarkingSpoon
MCBarkingSpoon

If I had a dime for every announcement that said "heavy heart". It's the "It's not you, it's me..." of game sunsetting.

Wakkander
Wakkander

I've been debating if its worth revisiting before these go quiet for the final time. Still not sure, maybe I'll just hold out for an emulator.

Denngar
Denngar

@Wakkander AC1 feels harder to return to. It's a product of it's era, but if you've got an old character, at least use it to run around and see old sights and take pictures of things you'll miss. AC2, on the other hand, feels fitting, especially since it's about to be the end of the world... again.

Denngar
Denngar

@Wakkander And if you go back to AC1 to take pictures of your cool furniture without a house hook or anything, be aware that your stuff might randomly disappear. Not like it happened to me or anything... *sniffle*

Denngar
Denngar

Anyone hitting up AC2 and looking for the drudge that you turn in the headress to in order to unlock the drudge race, go to 33n 12.6w. You can't portal to Cragstone, but you can run there. Go to Arwic, take the portal ring, and the last portal will put you closest (you'll know it's the right one since the portal closest to you when you exit will take you back to Arwic itself). It's a bit of a run, and you'll need to swim (hug the edge to help keep your health up!), but it's totally doable.

Alphasevx
Alphasevx

Russian hackers.... please get us the code from WB.

Rayko
Rayko

This really hurts. My first MMO.

Humble48
Humble48

Rather than sunsetting these things, they should really just release the code and allow folks to run their own servers for free as long as no money is being made and a license is not being violated. Or just charge some cost to buy the software for hosting purposes. I don't see why MMOs have to be given a definitive end date if a person can just run it solo. Yeah, it doesn't have the same affect, but it would be a nice option to allow.

Alphasevx
Alphasevx

And this move GUARANTEES I will never buy or endorse anything to do with Turbine or Daybreak ever again, and will actively discourage everyone I ever come in contact in the gaming scene to do the same.  The way the private servers for AC were handled is absolutely shameful.  Stringing players along for almost 2 years...  unbelievable.  "powered by our fans".... what a joke.

I'm sure Turbine will make 1 or 2 horrible mobile games and quietly file for bankruptcy in a couple years, tops.  Disgrace.

Jack Pipsam
Jack Pipsam

@Alphasevx Well they won't file for bankruptcy, if they're going to go it would be Warner Brothers closing them.

Jnaathra
Jnaathra

@Alphasevx While we are just a small drop in the collective bucket I have to agree. I thought about it for awhile and there is nothing that Turbine or WB makes that I need in my life. Due to their callous handling of the final days of AC, along with their "no call no show" on private servers, I can commit to being done with them for good. In all forms, movies, tv and games. Odds are I will also be avoiding Standing Stone Games. 

Really_How_So
Really_How_So

@Alphasevx It was all WB Games... It had to do with the whole LOTRO and the IP being own by other companies that really screwed everything over

Dread1313
Dread1313

@Alphasevx I feel the same way about Turbine. I felt like I was strung along, and then ultimately threw under a bus. Screw them.

NicHickman
NicHickman

AC1 definitely could have survived and made money if they'd figured out some way to implement a cash shop. I know As recently as a couple of months ago there was still a lively market in accounts, items, rare spells etc. if Turbine could have harnessed that..

wjowski
wjowski

Fuck it, if AC dies then the entire MMO genre needs to die with it.

Dread1313
Dread1313

@wjowski Lets see what Chronicles of Elyria have to offer, but if its crap - yeah I will be turning my back on MMO's forever. Its been a fun 18 years. Time to finally move on to consoles or SPG's.

Java Jawa
Java Jawa

That's a real bummer, AC 1 was pretty much my 1st main stay mmorpg. I played around in Dereth for a solid 5 years straight. Nothing will top those gm run events, the insane level caps and the giant land mass. AC really innovated on so many things.


* researching spells

* carry weights

* skill increase through use

* a extremely in depth guild system known as a monarchy that could chain down into various trees 1000's of people deep


Good times & RIP

Noyjitat
Noyjitat

“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the end of our support for Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2, and will close both services on January 31st, 2017. This decision did not come easy, and we know this is disappointing for many of you. This game is a labor of love, and it’s not easy for us to bring it to an end."


Dude that closure message is like the exact same thing that was said when ncsoft was closing city of heroes down.



Dread1313
Dread1313

@Noyjitat Yeah, they cant even be bothered to come up with something original. They obviously googled: "Examples of depressing game closure statements that sound genuine to an idiot".

ddocentral
ddocentral

Over the remaining time the game has left, players should document all of the zones in AC and AC 2 with game play videos and upload them to YouTube. No one will ever see these images again, especially for AC 2 which still holds up today visually. I have never seen most of either game, so I would like to be able to view an exploration of the areas of the games I was never able to reach.

skylatron
skylatron

@ddocentral I'll be doing this in AC since I know it better, but will try my hand at some places in AC2 as well.

Hurbster
Hurbster

Was saving this old AC2 screenie for a happier time...

Omedon
Omedon

Ok, wow, going back on the handing off of the game code for community servers is the only thing I find worthy of commenting on here, and I hope that haunts them like CoX haunts NCsoft, that is the epitome of dirty to not deliver on once teased.

Drivendawn
Drivendawn

That sucks, AC was my first mmo. It's a good thing I have Project Gorgon.

dragonwhimsy
dragonwhimsy

My first MMO was Asheron's Call. I was so amazed and fascinated by the idea that everyone you saw running around was another person and there was a huge persistent world out there.  I still remember that first winter when it actually SNOWED. I also remember being teleported to the top of one of the Shadow Towers during one of their early monthly events and how epic that was. 


I rolled on Darktide and joined a RP guild called the Circle of the Eternal Dragon. We set up shop in Eastham and made it our home. Just up north from us was Arwic which was the home of Darktide's most fierce PvP guild. You can imagine how that went.


I remember a player named Og who would never talk to you or say anything at all, just hunt you to the ends of the world to kill you. Everyone knew who Og was. A silent, relentless killer. 


Good times. I can't say it was a game that was a natural fit for me, but as my first MMO it will always have a special place in my heart.


Goodbye Dereth. And goodbye to my character Vanion Maedhrous. I hope you had a happy life the last 19 or so years while I've been gone.

Gavin_Lafferty
Gavin_Lafferty

Never played it, but it's been around so long that to see it go is discombobulating. A moment of silence if you please.

skylatron
skylatron

We'll always have Dereth. 17 long years.

RIP - Ruhelos Seele, Thistledown. 

Veldan
Veldan

To be fair... how many players did those games have at this point? Was there any reason to keep the servers up besides kindness?

melissaheather
melissaheather

If you're like me you're just waiting for the next shoe to drop.

MikeHeXt
MikeHeXt

Sad but this game did survive pretty good. I will miss it. I had just started playing my alt account a little more.

The idea of player hosted servers was kind of dead from the start. The community was already too small to support that. People and their server admin god-mode complex  or an elitist group of friends kept that idea alive. It never sounded feasible if you ask me.

MikeHeXt
MikeHeXt

Well that stinks, I saw that coming a mile away. :(


They could only hide the servers under Sev's desk for so long.

DugFromTheEarth
DugFromTheEarth

And thus ending any further reason to care about the name Turbine.


I hope they can prove me wrong, but ... Daybreak.... ugh.

ColdinT
ColdinT

Well Turbine is basically dead at this point. Everything moved over to the new Standing Stone studio.

Turbine has....nothing? Is Infinite Crisis even a thing?

Jnaathra
Jnaathra

Like pulling teeth to get information out of them and its buried deep in Facebook purgatory. Sadly, still no reason given. 



Scuzzman
Scuzzman

This is saddest week for mmorpg's i've felt ever .

CloakingDonkey
CloakingDonkey

oh man this sucks. 


RIP Asheron's Call. The first of the Fantastic Four to fall. =(

Gavin_Lafferty
Gavin_Lafferty

@CloakingDonkey Assuming Everquest and Ultima Online are two of the other four, what is missing? Meridian 59? Dark Age of Camelot?

madoc
madoc

@Gavin_Lafferty @CloakingDonkey


It depends how to define MMO.     If you don't include MUDS, then you can almost rule out The Realm.   I remember it being a static screen with 2d sprites.     

The first open internet, 3D-realized game environments that supported thousands of simultaneous players were:
Ultima Online ( "3D" isometric)
Lineage  ( "3D" isometric )
Everquest
Asheron's Call

Those were the originals that were emulated heavily.  They, themselves, being heavily influenced by MUD/MOO/MUSH''s of the time.




CloakingDonkey
CloakingDonkey

@madoc @Gavin_Lafferty @CloakingDonkey Lineage isn't western and Meridian59 as cool as it was, saw no significant success. At least not on par with the other 4. 


I don't count MUDs as MMORPGs. I know, the harsh snobbery of it but MUDs just are something different. Cool and influential for sure but different.

Dixa
Dixa

meridian 59 launched in 1995, when most people were still paying by the hour to places like prodigy and aol for their internet. the flat fee unlimited exploded two years later, and affordable dsl 4 another 4 years after that.

CloakingDonkey
CloakingDonkey

@Dixa I know. I'm sure that's one of the reasons. Right time, right place for the other 4, I suppose.