NCsoft is already sunsetting MOBA Master X Master

NCsoft announced this evening that it will sunset its relatively new MOBA Master X Master, explaining that the game just “wasn’t enough to take on the established juggernauts.”

“There is no easy way to say this, but regretfully, we will be discontinuing our service for MXM, with the final day of the game’s life to be January 31. Deciding to close the game is not a decision we come to lightly, but ultimately it came down to a matter of business—we explored several options, but none of them were sustainable. We truly believe that MXM is special, and offered a lot of new ideas to change up the MOBA genre, but in trying to carve out a niche for itself, we failed to connect with players.”

The company will compensate players with a stack of cash-shop currency, refund all purchases made from August 30th to today, and turn on all game modes for the remainder of the game’s life, which will come to an end on January 31st.

The game originally launched in June of this year and was generally well-liked by our early testers and players alike, though its rollout was admittedly marred by the contentious decision to include City of Heroes characters.

Our condolences go out to the game’s staff and playerbase.

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98 Comments on "NCsoft is already sunsetting MOBA Master X Master"

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Joshex Dirad

I read this from TitanNetwork. quite interesting.. yet Titans reaction is to suspect that this may mean there is a chance the deal to get City of X back could now go forwards without obstruction such as NCSoft using the characters somewhere else. good reaction and possible, but if you dig into this further and see the similarities in the message it could also mean there is something legally toxic about City of X that an inclusion of any of it’s elements = lawsuit, or at least a hate group against it with loads of cash may exist.

I have long theorized that there may be such a hate group responsible for shutting down city in the first place. It could be lots of things, it could be racism towards the west by korean businessmen who want to make a bunch of people different from them cry (that could have been their goal in buying it from the start), It could be a political group against motivating people to learn constructive teamwork (something CoX players are famous for with their yearly cash drives for charity etc.) [AKA “Smart Sheeple are Dangerous” insert monty python bit here]

I largely think it’s political, look at the strains each political group all over the world is going to to ally themselves internationally and gain control of media! not just the news either their ideology even spans in to the entertainment sector. Naturally they want to overtake the gaming sector as well but last I checked they weren’t sure how to do so successfully (people wouldn’t buy their political concept games, gee I wonder why?), I guess they decided “if you can’t join’em destroy’em”

that or it was all a nemesis plot.

It kinda argues against my previous opinion that the software license needed to run the server image expired (cryptic AKA PWE NCSoft’s competitor owned that software), and that PWE declined to allow the software to be relicensed to their competitor = make their own engine or shutdown. it seemed logical as that would leave them a big financial burden to keep the game running thus leaving shutdown as the only option. who knows..

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Meanie

I loved this game but could not invest any time into it because it was extremely obvious this would happen within the year it was released…and here we are.

NCSoft took years to get it out of testing (isn’t this a port of another regions game?), locked everything behind paywalls or extreme grind and limited modes and playing for most things.

Really poor management overall. There just are not enough WASD moba type games around, I guess Battlerite will have to do for now.

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James Crow

so… its still interesting to me that ncsoft not pull the plug on wildstar.
and i have to say WS is one of my fav mmo in the past years.

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Jeff

And this type of management makes me hesitant to fully invest in GW2

MagmaFist
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MagmaFist

we explored several options

Sounds familiar…hmm, where I have I heard that before.

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Logan Darklighter

In retrospect I’ve noticed a couple of things –

1) NCSoft used almost the EXACT same wording for MXM’s sunset that they used for CoH. Not that that’s of any great import. Probably standard boilerplate by now. BUT – it says something that NCSoft HAS a “standard boilerplate” for the notification of closing games…

2) They released in June, charging people as much as $100 for “founder’s packs”; then, announced a close five months later, which is just enough time to ensure no credit card chargebacks.

Hopefully this will drive the hard lesson home:

DO. NOT. TRUST. NCSOFT. WITH. YOUR. MONEY.

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kelvar

Perhaps they do enough sunsetting now that they just use a template and find/replace the game name.

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Roger Christie

Only NCSoft.

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Matt B

Heh. Sidebar ad is for Hunter X Hunter.

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Sally Bowls

I just remembered, hopefully correctly, that a NCSoft exec said they were on a March Fiscal year but did calendar-based staff budgeting. My guess is that means someone in Korea is making a spreadsheet with headcount for various projects and divisions. My guess is that there will be some growth in headcount but otherwise it is a zero-sum process; if you want 10 more people for Project M that means 10 fewer from other projects.

I did not want to be too negative (for me) but omg Bree pegged that needle below. Anyway, my completely uninformed guess is that if Wildstar makes it through the next month or two, then it is in the budget for 2018 and has a good chance to make it for another twelve months. If there is a some event next year NCSoft could rebalance, but being in the ’18 budget would give Wildstar some inertia to KCCO.

Line
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Line

It had nice controls for a MOBA (instead of being another mouse bound shitfest), and plenty of side activities.
Suffered massively from having awful PvE “progression”, it was just a pointless grind for upgrades to play dungeons.

As much as I kinda liked what they wanted to do, it was boring-ass MOBA number 9687135 and boring-ass hack’n’slash number 7647964.

It’s nuts to see the post WoW gold rush and subsequent crash repeating that fast, and by similar companies too.

styopa
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styopa

Sad if you enjoyed it, but evolution only happens when things are allowed to die.

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Wolfyseyes

Honestly, everything in MXM that wasn’t a MOBA was fun and engaging. I really feel like if there was more focus on that part of the game in terms of development, it wouldn’t have been a flash in the pan.

Goettel
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Goettel

Good, one down, a zillion to go.

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traja

Problem with doing this too many times and too soon is that you get a reputation for it. Why would anyone play NCsoft games that don’t clearly become instant hits? You just cant trust them to keep anything less than that running.

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Modrain

Wow, that was quick. I’ve certainly had fun with the game, it was refreshing for a MOBA. The dual characters switch was really well thought out, the PvE modes, various arenas added some welcomed diversity.

The playerbase never felt like it was growing, but I thought it could find some place due to how different it is from your average MOBA.

I stopped playing a few weeks after release due to a broken arm, but I was planning to play it again. Welp.

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Simon Morris

NCsoft have such a bad rep now for pulling the plug on their games.
I personally wouldn’t trust any game from them with any of my money or creative investment.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Cmon NCSoft. It didnt appear to be as popular as LoL and you just finish it?

hurbster
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hurbster

Including characters from a niche game from a niche market was never going to get people over that silly name.

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Veldan

Yeah, I always found the name dumb. It sure wasn’t going to draw in any players thinking “that sounds interesting, let’s check it out”

Richard de Leon III
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Richard de Leon III

It may be petty, but anything to give grief to NCsoft after CoH is ok in my book.

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Brinto Sfj

Here is the thing with isometric MOBA, we look at one and you see similarity with 10 other in the market and we feel like “seen it all, done it all” even if the new one brings something special on the table. But if they made it a 3rd person action combat system, they would instantly get some curious eyes revolving around it. 3rd person action MOBA are not really a “thing” in current market so they have a higher potential of getting a steady player base.

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Sim

Not Really. Smite, Paladins and Paragon has the 3rd person action moba pretty much cornered too.

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Veldan

Doesn’t GW2 even have a MOBA-ish PvP mode nowadays?

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Battle_of_Champion%27s_Dusk

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Bruno Brito

Not very much played.

Celestia
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Celestia

When oh when will we hear that NCsoft and Trion Worlds have merged, followed immediately by the news that the new company has been purchased by EA and liquidated?

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

Er, I kinda like Trion.

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Nathan Aldana

Please god no. The last thing we need is all of their halfway decent IPs owned by fucking EA

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Logan Darklighter

I concur. If there is one company in the world that actually is WORSE than NCSOFT and who would utterly DESTROY any IP that falls into their lap, it’s EA. As bad as NCSOFT is, I actually hope they never fall to the stygian depths that has been the fate of the likes of Bioware.

The worst thing in the world would not be that EA wouldn’t try to make something of – say – the City of Heroes IP if they got their hands on it.

It’s that they WOULD.

And EA would RUIN the entire concept of something like City of Heroes for all time. Just like they have with Mass Effect.

I would rather see City of Heroes NEVER come back than to have it come back under the EA banner.

*SHUDDER*

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Khrome

What a surprise.

On a slightly related note: This may make a revival of the City of Heroes IP more likely, since it is no longer bound up in MxM.

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Logan Darklighter

It seems the PRODUCERS at NCSOFT took their idea for a cash-grab inadvertently from a somewhat… disreputable source…

( “Springtime for Hitler and Germany…!” )

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imayb1

LOL! If MXM had been as successful, it wouldn’t be shuttering.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

The name was awkward and bad. The characters were too niche. Market dominated by 3 juggernauts. Lord of the Rings, Warhammer, DC Comics fail as MOBAs. Too much risk.

I didn’t play it, but I heard good things here and there. But sadly, it isn’t enough to just be a great game sometimes.

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James Mock

MOBA is honestly a genre that I wish would disappear.

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imayb1

If MOBAs disappeared, would all those salty competitive types return to MMORPGs and scream for more PvP attention? I’d rather the MOBAs stick around, as a sort-of filter.

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Sim

Battle Royale genre is infinitely worse. It’s merely people gunning down others, trying to survive, done over and over. At least in Moba, we find something innovative like Dawngate, which was unfortunately killed early on (by EA). But I agree the Moba genre is hard to break into because of investment into buying the champions.

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Cinaminson

Eh, MOBAs aren’t as super popular as they were and Battle Royale games will die off in popularity too. They’re fun genres that appeal to some types of people. Not unlike MMOs. I hope both stick around for the people who enjoy them. More variety is a good thing!

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Denice J. Cook

It serves them right for sticking shambling zombie rezzes of Marcus Cole and Ghost Widow into that thing. Most people who had ever even heard of CoX let alone played it were disgusted.
I think the bulk of the bad publicity this game got because of that helped bring about its demise. People just avoided it.

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Crowe

The only positive thing coming out of this is that Statesman dies again!
The character was even blander than Superman and the pairing of developer Emmert with Statesman never fit. Also, btw he’s Zeus.

cryinglightning39
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cryinglightning39

If they would’ve given it a better name it could have lasted at least a few months longer. Everytime I saw that name I be like huh?

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Paragon Lost

Too many mmos out, I honestly think the market’s pretty damn saturated. The cherry on top for this particular mmo was the very lame name that they came up with. I winced every time I saw the name.

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McGuffn

They shoulda made this a card game. Lessons for next time.

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RJB

It’s not an mmo… it’s a moba

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Paragon Lost

Really? That’s the line you’re drawing? Whatever man.

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

It is accurate. MMO’s are not MOBA’s.

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Johnnyt305

Same problem with MMORPG for years, way too many WOW addicts they didnt give way better and innovative games a shot. They were addicted to WOW, for 10+ years games failed for no reason really other than that. Now finally some have had success again like ESO.

Here now its LOL/DOTA 2 & the established MOBA games, the players wont give new ones a shot. SO MXM had no chance, players want everything free and no grind since they are grinding away in LOL and old games still, so any new one they wont accept they need to play a lot ot move up in the game.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

That was quick. I would have expected them to give the game more time to find its footing, but no.

Just ruthless, oversaturated market – or a publisher with too big expectations?

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rafael12104

Shifting gears into mobile is my guess.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

STATESMAN MXM AAAND IM GONE.gif
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Utakata

…again, apparently. :(

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Sally Bowls

The MOBA bubble has not burst. However, the opportunity for a new MOBA to launch is probably over for PCs.

The spreadsheet bubble has not burst but it would be really dumb to make a competitor for Excel. The online shopping bubble has not burst but a competitor to Amazon does not seem wise.

MOBAs are not a dead market; they are a mature market. Mature markets tend to have few new entrants and the number of companies tend to shrink as the smaller leave or merge.

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

I don’t know. How many MOBA’s have been released in 2012, and how many are still going? I recall the launch of Tome, for example. Where is it now?

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Logan Darklighter

All NCSoft had to do to keep control of the various inactive IPs represented here was publish the game. They didn’t have to actually SUCCEED with it. I KNEW they were going to do this, sooner or later.

But man – even I’m surprised at the turn-around time on this.

NCSoft’s motto should be “Don’t get attached.”

Watch for another one of these things in about 4-5 years time. Statesman and crew will be dusted off like zombies to be marched off to defend the IP castle by the Necromancers of NCSoft.

Mark my words. It’s gonna happen.

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Utakata

I’m not sure the irony was noted of a company sunsetting a game that featured characters from game that it sunsetted. See the header image for details…

…but me too! My best wished and condolences to all those affected by this. :(

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Manuel Schwarzenberg

a shame, this game is very good, but the time of MOBAS is hard today, i will miss the intro login, fantastic music… a shame for this game

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Sorenthaz

Eh, hardly the first semi-big-name MOBA to get shuttered due to not being able to compete with LoL, DotA 2, SMITE, and HotS.

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Vicarious Fan

The MOBA bubble burst years ago.. Kind of suprised they kept this one going.

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Jack Kerras

I actively enjoyed playing this game.

I liked the PvE, I had some fun with the PvP, the botmatches were actively amusing (and less ragey than PvP, ‘cuz I can’t be arsed to -really- climb the mountain in MOBA games), and generally I’m sad to see it go.

I couldn’t get any of my friends to try it. :/ I bought a subscription dealie and paid in for a few heroes and such just to support it, and got the hours out that I put dollars in. That’s all I can really ask for, but… this deserved a fairer shake.

…also, its hero unlocking nonsense got a bit silly. You had to play some of those missions waaaaaaaaaaaay too many times to get a hero unlocked, and then way too many more to upgrade.

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MesaSage

.

shocked.jpeg
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Arktouros

This is an unsurprising turn of events.

Next up: Shooter arenas followed by the Battle Royale scene.

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Chosenxeno .

And the MOBA bubble has popped. People realize how time consuming it is to learn a MOBA now. I remember playing LoL for about a week. After I felt comfortable with Ashe I decided to try competitive. Only to have her bannede. That was it for me and MOBAS. I’m the type that uses 1 Character throughout the life Cycle of a fighting game lol. I did like Smite but that was for Arena. I don’t have the time(desire?) to learn 40 Characters(even if I kinda do this in fighting game but there are no bans and information gathering is much faster due to the frequency at which you see the roster.)

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Sally Bowls

This may not help North America’s reputation back in Korea.

And soon North American gamers will even get to play games before NCSoft’s Asian audience has a crack at them. The company’s newest franchise, a multiplayer online battle-arena game called Master X Master, is currently under development by NCSoft’s lead studio in Seoul but will make its global debut in North America later this year.

“It’s U.S. first, developed in Korea, with all our feedback from the Western regions,” Yoon says. “And if it’s a great game, then everyone will like it, whether they’re from this market or another.”
– June 13, 2017 issue of Forbes

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Robert Mann

A MOBA 3 years too late… no kidding it wasn’t going to work. That said, I was never invested, just hoping this might teach them not to trend chase. Aw, who am I kidding…

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A Dad Supreme

Wild West genre is next! It’ll be twice as bad if Red Dead 2 takes off.

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NeoWolf

Anyone who is familiar with NCSoft knows they have ZERO issues nixxing a game that isn’t making a certain amount of money. These guys have buried more games than just about anyone I can think of.

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

I think SoE still is the holder of that title

quark1020
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quark1020

Yea, no kidding. I think I’ve spent around $300 worth of games from them that have been shut down at some point.

Never again.

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Dug From The Earth

Famous last words…

“Hey, lets add a City of Heroes character!”

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rafael12104

It was fun. I enjoyed my time, but sadly, once I found something else there wasn’t that hook to reel me back in.

Great ideas though, and the use of other games notable NPCs as playable characters was inspired. I enjoyed that.

But I guess I should have know this would happen as there last earnings report didn’t even mention MxM which is a newer game. It was already in that “other” category.

I’ll miss not having the option to log in to MxM. I’ll miss that more than the actual game if that says anything.

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A Dad Supreme

“NCSOFT IS ALREADY SUNSETTING MOBA MASTER X MASTER”

At various undisclosed locations around the world, a tiny group of bitter, disgruntled 10,000 ex-CoH players smile silently because… NCSoft.

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Meanie

Nobody should be smiling because another group of players lost their game…

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xanadox

/agree
It’s a pity but ….

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Eduardo da Fonseca

NOT Silent! Now CoH Ip won’t be attached or used. Ncsoft can sell it !

TophatKiyaki
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TophatKiyaki

Oh man, I’m so shocked and surprised right now.

Bear Shock.jpg
Skoryy
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Skoryy

Wildstar’s partying over in the corner with Keith Richards.

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Chosenxeno .

I think WildStar actually being decent helps. Too bad a poor philosophy crippled it early on.

Skoryy
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Skoryy

My belief is that games like Wildstar and Champions Online survive by their whales alone. Call it The Voyage Home theory.

throwaway389134er2rf
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throwaway389134er2rf

I’m not so sure about that. Wildstar is doing so poorly financially that it isn’t even on NCSoft’s financial reports anymore as a separate graph. It’s lumped into “other.”
CoH was making more money than Wildstar when it was shut down. I think NCSoft just shutters things on a whim.

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Jon-Enee Merriex

Cockroaches, Keith Richards, and WildStar – they’ll outlast us all.

Now I have a mental image of Keith Richards playing WildStar against cockroaches in a post-apocalyptic world. Where’s Uwe Boll when you need him?

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Maggie May

You can add my old yellow crocs to that list.

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Slaasher

I really wanted to like this game but never felt inspired to log in and play.
I really cant put my finger on this one

wpDiscuz