MMOs, unfortunately, do not last forever. When they sunset and close down for good, the whole genre mourns.
Perhaps because the announcement was all the way back in January, but Paragon’s shutdown is scheduled to take place at the end of next week. Epic Games made the decision to pull the plug on the action MOBA due to an unsustainable playerbase and refunded all users any money they had spent on the title.
As the sun begins to set on this title, we can take a moment to ponder what might have been. Artist Dave Rapoza shared some concept art on Twitter that he had developed for the game but had never been turned into actual assets. This gallery of characters ranges from the heroic to the bizarre and gives a taste of the odd sci-fi angle the game as attempting.
“Four years ago I got the opportunity to help flesh out Paragon, the now-cancelled MOBA from Epic Games,” Rapoza wrote. “I was given free reign on the character designs, it was an awesome opportunity, but most of these never made it into the game. Hope you like it!”
At some point, the ending credits have to roll. And Devilian’s have started as of 3:00 p.m. EST today. Devil transformations are now a thing of the past. Many fans gathered in game for a final farewell before sending the game off into the sunset — except for those who have Windows 10, in which case they got to wave goodbye to the “stopped working” error.
Work on the fantasy game halted shortly after Bluehole, which owns Devilian developer Bluehole Ginno, renamed Bluehole Ginno after its newer title, PUBG. As the western publisher, Trion remained in talks to get continued support for the game (and the known Win10 issue), but I think we can see how that turned out. It is always sad to see a virtual world dissolve into oblivion. When you’re in the mood to reminisce, have a look at happier times when we took our very first look at alpha.
There’s been a trend over the past several years of games that are not MMOs but still have a pretty robust suite of online functions. Demon’s Souls, which is either the first installment in the Dark Souls series or a precursor to same depending on who you ask, is one of the many games with online functionality… until tomorrow, anyhow. The servers for the game are shutting off completely as of tomorrow, thus blocking out all online functionality.
Of course, the game remains playable, since the online components were always optional, but players who still enjoyed summoning helpful or harmful players into the game will be losing something in the process. One of the game’s bosses is also getting changed to no longer use the online functionality to summon aid, which made for a rather unique fight while it was in place. It’s a smaller sunset than that of a fully online game, but it’s a sunset nonetheless.
If you have any pressing business left in Cabal 2, don’t put it off for too long. ESTsoft announced last week that it will be sunsetting the fantasy MMO sometime in the coming months.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Cabal 2 will be closing its doors in the months ahead,” the studio said. “Unfortunately, Cabal 2 didn’t resonate with as many players as we had hoped, and its continued operation is no longer sustainable. We recognize that many of you will be disappointed by this news, and rightly so.”
ESTsoft said that it is working on further posts with more details of how the shutdown of the game in the west will unfold. As for right now, players can no longer refill eCoins and purchase duration-based items.
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.”
More chunks of EVE Online
are on the chopping block this week, as CCP announced today that it’s sunsetting EVE Voice
with the March patch. And less than one-hundredth of the playerbase will care, as the studio explains only 0.4% of active players used it instead of Discord, Mumble, and their ilk. The good news is that it paves the way for 64-bit client development and a chat system overhaul.
“With the March release, we’ll be updating the chat system in EVE Online, moving from the custom solution we’ve been using since EVE was initially designed, to an industry standard XMPP chat server that will offer better performance and flexibility for the future. There’ll be more information on the new chat system in the coming days and weeks, so be sure to keep your eye on this section of the EVE Online website for more news and Dev blogs about it.”
CCP’s never been a studio to shy away from shutting down APIs, community sites, offices, games, ventures, and in EVE, even whole systems, like Walking in Stations, which was decommissioned last year.
If you’ve been playing MMOs long enough, you’ve probably lived through at least one sunset of a beloved game world. In fact, I bet most of you were personally affected by more than one. I sure have been. I also bet you’ve had to wade through your share of “let it go” trolling across the internet whenever you mention it from people who either haven’t been affected or weren’t that attached to the game worlds, their characters, and their fellow players as you were.
All that said, there are some games I’ve said goodbye to that didn’t hit me as hard as they should’ve. For example, while I consider Asheron’s Call an extremely important MMO and loved it in its day, I knew how tiny it was and had already watched its sequel sunset once, so the final curtain didn’t bring tears to my eyes. By contrast, there have been other MMOs cruelly cut down in their content prime, and those gutted me so much more.
Which MMO sunset had the biggest impact on you?
Have you ever thought about what it is like for developers and community managers who handle online games that are being shut down? It’s certain just as painful (if not more) for them as it is for us, and it is not as easy as turning off a switch and walking away.
PC Gamer has a fascinating piece on the process of sunsetting titles from a studio’s standpoint, including looks at games such as Club Penguin and PlanetSide 1.
Former Club Penguin CM Bobbi Rieger shared the overload of details that the team had to sort out when the news broke: “My immediate reaction was, ‘Oh crap.’ Of course my thoughts went to the community and how we could make this as positive as possible. At the end of the day, it’s going to be hard. It’s gonna suck. I was just like, ‘OK, what’s the action plan?'”
Minecraft developer Mojang revealed this week that it will be shutting down its online card game Scrolls on February 13th. This shouldn’t come as a huge shock to the community, as the studio announced back in 2015 that it was ceasing development for the game but keeping the servers on for a while.
“The game has reached a point where it can no longer sustain continuous development,” the studio said then. Before next week’s sunset occurs, there will be a final community tournament on Saturday the 11th.
This doesn’t mean that Scrolls will go away for good, however. The team also said that it has plans to allow the players to host their own game servers within the next few weeks or months, but not as open source.
(We’ve updated below with MMOBomb’s detailed investigation into this Indiegogo – short story, don’t go handing over your dough.)
With Marvel Heroes dead and gone, most fans have moved on to other gaming pastures. After all, it would take a miracle to bring it back, right? Turns out that miracles are pretty expensive in this modern age, but there are always those who will take a shot at the near-impossible.
Enter Paragon Institute, a new non-profit that says it wants to purchase Marvel Heroes for $450,000 (or more) and form an indie studio to operate it. Even more interesting, this group says it wants to use Marvel Heroes and other titles as “learning labs” to train developers and preserve abandoned video games.
“Our goal is to establish ElderMage Studios as a learning lab to partner experienced professionals with aspiring game developers to help them gain the skills and hands-on experience necessary to work in the field,” the group posted on IndieGoGo. “This may include time spent supporting or enhancing existing titles to create entirely new ones. A secondary mission is to preserve games that are no longer supported so that those who have licensed them may continue using them and so others may learn from them.”
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?
It is never a happy day to see a game end. Perhaps inevitable in the grand scheme of life, but never happy. Today Massively OP’s MJ will be with MXM until its servers blink off for the very last time. Tune in live at 4:00 p.m. to share stories and say goodbye as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you the final hour of…
What: Master X Master
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018
Gigantic is on the short road to sunset, I’m sorry to report.
The move by publisher PWE won’t surprise many players, as the development studio behind the game, Motiga, was shuttered back in November. At the time, PWE said it would keep the game itself online; it even pushed out a patch a few weeks atfer that.
But today, PWE has called it quits. “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the January Update is the final content update for Gigantic, and the game servers will be discontinued on July 31, 2018,” says the company, thanking players for giving the game a chance.