At the end of the game’s life, when the lights are going out and the developers drifting off to different positions, the most interesting thing that can be said of Perpetuum Online is that it was a minor miracle this MMO made it out the door in the first place.
One of the lead developers of this indie project posted a farewell notice on the site this week, looking back over the past 14 years of the game’s creation and operation.
“We started working on the game (then just called “GenXY”) in around 2004 — we genuinely had no idea what we were doing, we had no idea of the scope of it, we had no idea what it’d become or what we’d WANT it to become; we just had a faint idea that it was possible, and we started on it because we didn’t know better. Turns out, that was kinda really we needed to get it done — because if we would’ve known what’s coming, we probably never would’ve started.”
Time is running short for robotic MMO Perpetuum Online — but plans are moving forward to keep the game alive with a couple of jury-rigged solutions.
Last September we reported that due to low population numbers and income, Perpetuum Online was ending active development while the team worked on a community-run standalone server solution. Now, it looks like it’s the end of the line for the official server, as the studio announced today that it has to take the hardware offline on January 25th due to the ongoing costs.
Fortunately, one of the team members is committed to keeping Perpetuum’s database and its contents alive on a semi-official private server for the time being: “This won’t be the same as the current official server in terms of speed and availability and it’s strictly a ‘no promises made’ gig, but it’s something.”
It’s true that we lost a lot of MMOs in 2016 — bigger and more important ones than in 2014 and 2015. 2017, however, has been a different sort of beast. The list is long, and while it’s painful for those whose games are gone, the genre didn’t lose many major MMOs this past year. And that startles me.
Marvel Heroes was surely the most dramatic of all the sunsets, given that it shut down early without notice. Earlier in the year, we saw Daybreak put an end to Landmark after less than a year of live operation, while Turbine let the Asheron’s Call franchise go, Firefall formally closed, Club Penguin’s sunset broke the internet, and NCsoft called it quits with Master X Master. A number of other MMOs simply halted development – Perpetuum, Sword Coast Legends, and SkySaga being the most prominent of those. And on a more positive note, there were a few sunsetted MMOs that were revivified, including Otherland, Uncharted Waters Online, and RaiderZ.
Farewell, old friends.
One thing you can say for the MMO industry: It never ceases to surprise all of us. No matter what predictions we may make at the beginning of a year, by December we will all be proven fools who lack vision and foresight.
Although 2017 isn’t quite over yet, we here at Massively Overpowered wanted to count down the biggest news stories that crossed over into our neck of the woods so far this year. We witnessed controversies and delights, shockers and sadness. We saw launches and shutdowns, expansions and bugs.
So before we move into 2018, let’s take a look at the year that was and remember the biggest stories that dominated headlines.
Two years ago, NCsoft dealt a harsh blow to a certain subset of gaming fans when it canned the development of Project HON. This MMO was to be a glorious exercise in mecha combat, but scandals and a decision to reallocate development resources meant that it was never to be.
So where can that kid who grew up playing with giant robots go to get a Voltron, Transformers, or Macross fix these days? While many MMOs offer the occasional mech experience, there aren’t as many games that go all-in on that Pacific Rim experience.
But in the interests of a thought experiment and because I have fond memories of slapping five metal lions together to form the ultimate defender of the universe, here are 10 online games that offered or still do offer the thrill of high-tech mech and robot warfare.
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree deal with a hodge-podge of interesting MMO news, including ARK’s launch, Destiny 2’s PC beta, and what some studios are doing to help players in response to the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
It’s both an end and a beginning for Perpetuum Online.
The team announced on September 3rd that it is no longer actively developing for the sci-fi sandbox MMORPG: “So you haven’t heard from us in a long time, and the reason for that probably became more and more obvious with time: I’m sorry to inform you that Perpetuum is not actively developed anymore […] We knew from the start that Perpetuum will be a niche game and we were cool with it. But even considering that, it never really got off.”
Calling the game’s development history a “catch-22,” the team said that a lack of a publisher and low population numbers led to little money available to expand the game’s foundation, which resulted in fewer players over time, and so on it went.
After some ups and downs this afternoon — everybody loves the “try again later” message, right? — Valve’s summer Steam sale is finally underway and stable. Here’s what we’re looking at in our corner of the gaming world.
Have you ever noticed that while there’s an entire world out there, most all of the MMORPGs we discuss and play tend to either be ones crafted in the USA or imports from China or Korea? We even have a shorthand for this: “western” and “eastern” MMOs. We’re usually not talking about entire hemispheres with these references, but rather about categorizing three countries that are big into the MMORPG business.
But what about the rest of the world? Are all of these other countries so uncaring about this genre that they’ve never tried their hand at making an MMO? Of course not; as I’m about to show you, there are plenty of online RPGs that have been made in countries other than China, the USA, and South Korea. It’s just that for various reasons, those three countries ended up fostering concentrations of video game developers who knew how to create these types of games.
So let’s take a tour around the world and see if we can’t give some credit to other countries for their contributions to the MMORPG genre past, present, and future. Before you click the link, see how many you can name off the top of your head!
The final robots are arriving in Perpetuum. The last four Syndicate robots are being rolled out with the game’s newest patch, allowing players four new options for what to use for stomping about the world. Each machine provides a different focus, with the Helix serving as a good all-around electronic warfare platform, the Legatus providing a heavy machine for mounting firearms, the Metis serving as a heavy support machine, and the Callisto offering a more elusive electronic warfare option.
The patch also contains a large number of balance changes and refinements for tuning modules and various game systems. Weaponry has also received a tuning pass, which should be highly relevant to anyone looking with longing at some of the aforementioned Syndicate robots. The exact date and time for the patch is not yet determined, but it should be soon; keep your eyes peeled for exactly when you’ll be able to ride around on a new robot with better tuning.
Do you have any money left after all of that holiday shopping, travel, and dining out? Steam would very much like to have what remains, if you please, and is willing to trade you some discounted games in return.
Yes, the annual Steam Winter Sale is up and running, which means all sorts of deals for the frugal MMORPG player. We’ve compiled a huge list of all of the deals — including discounts of up to 90% off! — to help you navigate the holiday promotion. The sale ends on January 2nd. Hope it helps!
One of the most common questions that I’m asked from my adoring throngs on the street is, “Justin, where oh where can I get some of these marvelous MMO soundtracks that you talk about all of the time?” OK, that just never happens (on the street, that is), but people are often curious how they can go about starting to amass an MMO soundtrack collection or where to find their favorite album.
The sad truth is that so much music from these games is never officially released in any capacity, which is why I scour YouTube for fan rips of the music files. However, every so often I do discover a studio release somewhere, and I try to keep an up-to-date log on these to help others in their quest for video game scores.
So in the spirit of Christmas and sharing, today I’m going to show you how you can get your ears on more than 120 soundtracks and scores from MMOs, MOBAs, and other online titles — some of which are free and legal for the taking. You’re welcome; don’t mention it!
Getcher credit cards ready, folks. It’s time.
(New additions are at the bottom!)