Take Two canceled this in 2015, alas.
It’s become tradition to fare well the MMOs that sunsetted in the preceding year, but that wasn’t always the case. At the beginning of 2015, in saying goodbye to 2014’s sunsetted games, I tried to put that into perspective.
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about how Vanguard’s early stumbles foreshadowed the changing MMORPG industry. In January 2007, when Vanguard lurched its way to launch, the genre was barely a decade old; it was booming, and it had never suffered hardship on a massive scale. In the west, we’d seen only three “major” MMOs sunset (Motor City Online, Earth and Beyond, and Asheron’s Call 2), and only one MMO, Anarchy Online, had “gone F2P,” though we hadn’t yet thought to call it yet because it was such a rare and new thing. In fact, it wasn’t until 2008’s first big wave of AAA, post-World of Warcraft MMOs launched and mostly flopped that MMORPG players gave much thought to the future of the genre and how WoW had reshaped (and possibly broken) it. Maybe not even then.
In 2016 and in 2015, sunsets are increasingly common, a result of market oversaturation, business model struggles, and changing gamer tastes and investment options. Let’s revisit the games we lost in 2015 and consider what their sunsets portend for the year ahead.
Take-Two has confirmed rumors of Borderlands Online’s demise, as well as the closure of its 2K China studio and the firing of approximately 150 staff.
“We determined that the additional time required to finish current projects at the studio, particularly Borderlands Online, would not yield a favorable return on investment,” the publisher told GamesIndustry.biz. The firm also stated that the closures and layoffs did not extend to its office in Singapore as rumored on various Chinese websites earlier this week.
Borderlands Online isn’t looking so hot, according to a report filed today by MMO Culture. The blurb says that 2K Games has blown up its Shanghai headquarters and its office in Hangzhou, the former of which was making Borderlands Online under a publishing agreement with Shanda Games.
Some 150 layoffs were reported, and rumor has it that 2K axed its Singapore office as well. MMO Culture references several Chinese websites as its sources, and while 2K hasn’t issued any official comment on Borderlands Online, it’s hard to imagine that the game will be unaffected.
It’s time for the first Guild Wars 2 expansion beta weekend! Technically, it’s a public weekend, but the only parts of the public that can actually get involved are those players who purchased the expansion, which is a bit on the closed side. Still, at least players can rest assured that the expansion will launch this year.
This week has mostly been dominated by the onslaught of news from Gamescom, but there’s still some beta testing news in the mix.
And lo, there is a longer list past the break! Check it out, see if something slipped through testing without us catching it, you know how it be.
One of the nice things about being an MMO successor to a hit series of shooter titles is that you can draw from and lift wholesale content from your predecessors. Borderlands Online announced this past week at ChinaJoy that it will be able to commit to a three-month patch cycle thanks to all of the work that’s been done in the previous titles.
Currently there’s about two months’ worth of PvE content in the game with more to come, as well as small-scale PvP arenas (4v4 and 8v8). Borderlands Online has no plans as of now to come out anywhere other than China, but it is arriving in both PC and mobile formats in the region.
Check out the new Borderlands Online trailer below and then start an internet petition to get this puppy brought over to the west. Because internet petitions totally work, right?
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time for your daily installment of Things You’re Never Going To Have! Probably not, anyway. Borderlands Online has opened registration for the second wave of closed beta testing, although the game’s developers have not yet specified when this second test will be taking place. A new PvP mode will be introduced that functions as a capture-the-flag scenario with the series’ recurring mascot robot Claptrap, but no new PvE features appear to be in the pipe.
Borderlands Online is currently in development by Shanda Games for the Chinese market, with no announcement of a port or localization or anything for an American release despite being based off of an American IP. Life is strange like that. You can check out a video of the PvE gameplay just past the break and let yourself decide if you’re missing much.