shutdown

The Daily Grind: Has the MOBA bubble burst?

The past few weeks have not been kind for fans of MOBAs. In a short span of time we’ve lost Paragon, Master x Master, and Gigantic; it wasn’t so long ago that the not-quite-a-MOBA-but-close-to-it Breakaway got put on indefinite hiatus by Amazon. Off the top of my head I can think of a lot of other MOBAs that arrived, failed to make any significant impact, and then shut their doors without a whole lot of fanfare.

Of course, this also prompts a question of whether or not the bubble has burst or if there was ever a bubble in the first place. I’ve always found it kind of odd that the genre exploded as it did in the first place, because it’s already fundamentally a genre based on a mod for one very specific game. There are only four titles that have really taken off in a significant fashion, and two of those are somewhat debatable depending on who you ask.

So what do you think, readers? Has the MOBA bubble burst? Was there never really a bubble in the first place, just a bunch of games rushed out with no real sustainable market? And how does it make you personally feel either way?

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Western gamers start petition to save Paragon while Chinese players await info

It shouldn’t really need to be said, but Paragon has fans. You may not love it yourself, but there are a lot of fans who are really upset about the shutdown announcement. So the fans have turned to that time-honored tradition in the wake of an unwanted shutdown, a petition for Epic Games to keep the lights on at the bare minimum.

The petition was aiming for 25,000 signatures and as of this writing has almost hit that number, so it’s clear that a lot of people are willing to write in to support the game at least remaining online even if the updates grind to a halt. Of course, petitions to avert shutdowns do not have the most positive track record; nevertheless, if you are sad about the game shuttering, we encourage you to throw your name onto the list.

Don’t think a petition is going to work? You could always join the folks playing on the Tencent-backed Chinese version of the game, which reportedly either isn’t sunsetting – or hasn’t been told yet.

Source: Petition; thanks to Kinya for the tip!

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Hyperspace Beacon: No, Star Wars The Old Republic isn’t on the verge of sunset

I recently read a wild argument based on unsubstantiated rumor that Star War: The Old Republic is nearing its end of life, that BioWare is tired of it and is considering shutting it down. It’s just one among many I’ve read lately, and I don’t believe they are right. Instead, some appear to be repeating the same tired premise: “I don’t like it, and therefore no one should like it.”

Now, I don’t like many games, but I understand the merits and positive qualities of even some of the oldest, most shop-worn MMORPGs. First-person shooters make me disoriented because of the camera placement, but that doesn’t make them bad. In fact, one of my favorite series of games, Bioshock, was all told in first-person, but that didn’t affect the quality of the game. (Of course, I had to play it in super-easy mode just so that I could get through it without getting sick, but that’s beside the point.)

So in that vein, I would like to present my argument for why I believe the rumormongers are wrong about SWTOR.

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Dungeon & Fighter: Spirit shuts down in South Korea

Once one of the up-and-coming mobile MMOs on the scene, Dungeon & Fighter: Spirit is ending its short-lived run in South Korea.

The action MMO, which is a spin-off of Dungeon & Fighter (or Dungeon Fighter Online, if you’re nasty), was developed by Nexon and Tencent and had plans to release globally in 2017. Instead, MMO Culture is reporting that the title will shut down at the end of this month. The good news is that Spirit should be replaced soon by a 2-D Dungeon Fighter MMO on mobile.

Nexon released Dungeon & Fighter: Spirit in Korea in 2016. Pay your respects after the break.

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The Daily Grind: Is an MMO’s shutdown announcement better or worse than shutdown suspicions?

This is a post about Marvel Heroes. It’s also a post about Firefall. In fact, it’s a post about all of the games where there’s a period between “shutdown announcement” and “things are still humming along.” There’s a certain point where communication stops, where updates don’t happen, where sometimes the servers just go down without explanation and then come back up without explanation. And you play the game knowing, at that point, that things are not going to be all right, because there’s no possible world where things turn out fine after that.

Which is awful, yes, but part of me wonders if that’s worse or better than cases where you’re suddenly smacked in the face with a shutdown notice. As far as City of Heroes players knew, everything was fine before the shutdown; by contrast, Marvel Heroes players knew full well that something was up well before the announcement came down. So what do you think, dear readers? Is an MMO’s shutdown announcement better or worse than shutdown suspicions? Is it better to just know, however surprising it may be, or would you rather it starts slow?

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Marvel Heroes players seek refunds in the face of the game’s closure

With the shutdown of Marvel Heroes looming about a month and a half away, players are scrambling to see if they can obtain a refund for some of the funds they dropped on the game the past few months.

According to Kotaku, it has been a mixed bag so far, with many players reporting that they have not been able to get a refund within the 90 day grace period. However, there may be hope. One player reported (and screenshotted) a conversation with Xbox Live support during which the representative said that “all customers who purchased the game will be receiving a refund for it next week automatically.” The rep followed that up by saying that “we were initially waiting on approvals from the publisher to allow refunds to be processed for it.”

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Marvel Heroes dishes out a hefty daily allowance as the game counts down to extinction

Marvel Heroes players are dealing with the fallout of yesterday’s announcement that the superhero MMO is being shut down by Disney and will officially sunset on December 31st. At least before this happens, the community will have the opportunity to play or wear anything they want.

This is thanks to Gazillion’s decision to dish out 1,000 GsMarvel Heroes’ premium currency — every singe day from now to its closure. Even better, all store options are now 50Gs across the board. “This is the best current solution we have with limited resources and technical limitations of the PC, and wanted to make sure this got out to you,” the studio said.

Former Creative Director Jeff “Doomsaw” Donais popped back up on the forums yesterday to praise the work that the team did on the game and urge other studios to hire those laid off: “The actual people who worked in every department on Marvel Heroes were the definition of epic. They accomplished an amazing amount of work with a relatively small budget and an approval process that made everything a little tougher.”

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Asta Online prepares to shut its doors… again

Alas-ta, poor Asta Online. We were pretty surprised when the game got its third lease on life earlier this year, but it appears to have been sadly abortive, as it will be shutting down once again on December 8th of this year. Cash shop items have already been made unavailable for purchase, with no words on any sort of farewell celebration before the shutdown. (We would not hold our breath on that one.)

Players who have purchased cash shop items are directed to contact Steam support regarding any sort of refunds, which seems a little unexpected under the circumstances. Installation of the game is already disabled as well, but if you’ve already got it installed, you can continue to play until the servers go off. Our condolences to players affected by the closure, although we can’t help but wonder if it’s not going to come back yet again.

Source: Steam page; thanks to Gaz for the tip!

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Amazon confirms that Breakaway is on hiatus

Is Breakaway dead? We don’t know for sure, but the rumors started flying yesterday, and the latest official word certainly reads like a death certificate. In the announcement, Amazon has announced that Breakaway is going on hiatus while the core gameplay experience gets retooled, with no actual timeframe for when this will take place. It’s possible that it’s temporary, but it’s also possible that this will result in the game quietly slipping from memory.

There’s no word about how this will affect any other titles in development or even the core team behind the game (or Amazon’s other games), although the prospect of wildly retooling what was originally meant to be the first launch title has to sting a bit. We’ll keep our ears to the ground for more information, but don’t expect more news to be forthcoming quickly.

Source: Official site; thanks to Sray for the tip!

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Raptr is shutting down on September 30th

Do you remember Raptr? You can see a screenshot from our own memories of it right there in the header. Yes, there was a time when Raptr provided us plenty of information about which games were most popular among Raptr users. But no longer; the service is officially shutting down on September 30th, with the option for existing users to download their user data and overall usage history for the past decade of tracking.

The stated rationale for the shutdown is simply that the world is a different place from when it launched, and at this point there’s just no need to keep it around any longer. There are several first-party optimization clients for game settings already available, which does render the original purpose of the Raptr service fairly redundant. Our condolences go out to those affected by the shutdown.

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Ghost in the Shell Online will close on December 6 in North America

So, remember how Ghost in the Shell Online announced it was shuttering in Japan without announcing that it was also shuttering in North America? Turns out the latter is happening as well. The team behind the game announced today that all services will be shutting down on December 6th for North America, South America, Europe, and Oceania. All cash shop services have been suspended, although the game will continue to operate normally until the shutdown.

The official word is that it was a difficult decision to make, but the ultimate conclusion was that further development time wouldn’t make the title into a large enough success to justify ongoing costs. Our condolences to the players and developers affected by this closure; we hope you get some last good matches in before the game goes entirely offline.

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Ghost in the Shell Online services to close in Japan

The bright side of the news that Ghost in the Shell Online will be shutting down service in Japan is that this is not, technically, the game shutting down in its country of origin. But it’s still something of a blow, considering that the IP it’s based on is extremely Japanese and it was expected to be rather successful in the country. Not so, it appears; no reason is cited for the servers shutting down, but the most likely explanation is lack of players.

The game will close on November 29th after just about a year of operation in the country. No statements have been made about the future of the title on Western shores, to you can feel free to extrapolate your own hopes or fears based upon the announcement.

Source: MMO Culture

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The Soapbox: Your favorite MMO is going to die

Your favorite MMO is going to die. Don’t take it personally, though; every other MMO is going to shut down, too. That includes my favorites and everyone else’s favorites.

Do you like Final Fantasy XIV? It’s going to shut down. WildStar? It’ll shut down. Ultima Online? Oh, yes, the shutdown is coming. The Secret World? Guild Wars 2? The Elder Scrolls Online? Destiny (yes, I meant to leave off the 2, I mean the original)? RIFT, Trove, Black Desert, Revelation Online, Crowfall? All of the above will shut down.

But don’t get up in arms about this. Seriously, relax, take a deep breath, maybe hum a little William Shatner tune. All of these games are going to shut down, but that’s just because every single MMO exists in one of three states: not yet launched, shut down, or waiting to be shut down. And as cynical as that may seem, I think accepting that truth is going to do wonders for all of us when it comes time for the next unexpected shutdown. Because it’s going to happen.

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