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.
Need for Speed World has entered its final lap. After five years of operation, the game is shutting down on July 14th, with purchases of speed boosts already disabled for current players. New accounts cannot be registered, but existing players will be able to still log in and play until the shutdown date; no reimbursements for cash shop currency are mentioned, just a note that you should probably spend it if you have any left.
The shutdown notice explains that what ultimately killed the game was a lack of feature development to accompany the game’s ongoing content updates, which means that bringing the game up to par with more modern racers would require an overhaul that just isn’t possible. Our condolences both to any players losing their favorite game and to the developers affected by this shutdown.
[Source: Official site
. Thanks to Hadden for the tip.]
It’s a dark day for several online EA
titles that contains ray of light for Star Wars: The Old Republic
The publisher announced today that it will be ceasing service on four of its games due to a lack of popularity: Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield Play4Free, Need for Speed World and FIFA World. Players will have until July 14th to say their farewells before these titles are sunsetted.
The upshot? EA cited SWTOR as an example of a successful part of its F2P portfolio. “Star Wars: The Old Republic is a game that continues to have a very enthusiastic and growing player community,” the company posted, “and we have plans to introduce more new story-driven game updates to our Star Wars: The Old Republic players this year.”
, Battlefield Heroes
, Need for Speed World
, via: PC Gamer