MMOs, unfortunately, do not last forever. When they sunset and close down for good, the whole genre mourns.
Two-year-old Devilian will not make it to its third birthday, we are sorry to report. Trion Worlds announced on Friday that it will be shuttering the Diablo-style MMO on March 5th. This makes sense following developer Bluehole’s decision late last year to discontinue work on the game.
“Trion Worlds and Bluehole Ginno have come to the mutual agreement to bring Devilian to a close,” the publisher posted. “In order to help with this transition, we want to ensure that you have time to say goodbye to your favorite haunts and to decide where your journeys will take you next. As Nala’s time nears its end, we want to offer you every opportunity to enjoy your remaining time there. While the servers are still on, we are turning on a 24/7 event with bonus experience, gold, gems, Enigma keys, and flower drops — making it easier for all to experience endgame content together.”
Devilian players are being compensated with a welcome package and credit transfer to one of Trion’s other titles. We recently checked in with the title, as you can see in the two-year birthday stream below.
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.”
Things looked very bleak for SkySaga and its parent company Radiant Worlds last August when the upcoming multiplayer game shut down production following Smilegate’s decision to pull out as publisher and leave Radiant without funds to finish the game. However, hope for the studio blossomed following a statement today by UK media developer and publisher Rebellion, in which it was announced that the company had acquired Radiant Worlds for an undisclosed sum.
The publisher said that Radiant Worlds will now become a sister studio called Rebellion Warwick and “will immediately transition on to current projects including the 1930s co-op adventure Strange Brigade.”
Unfortunately, this acquisition did not include SkySaga, so don’t put too much stock in a resurrection. “As much as we loved working on SkySaga, the game belongs to Smilegate, so any future development plans would be from them, not us,” Radiant tweeted.
Add two more to the sunset list: Perfect World announced last month that it will sunset the international versions of six-year-old War of the Immortals and Battle of the Immortals next week.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the shutdown of all War of the Immortals (WOI) server on January 9th, 2018. On that day, your WOI character will no longer be accessible. All WOI payments from September 1st, 2017 through December 14th, 2017 @ 11 AM PT will be converted into Arc credit and allocated to your account. These credits can be used in any of the other PWE games. Arc Points between this same time period will also be refunded to your account. Your Arc credit and Arc points will be distributed before the end of next week. Thank you for your loyalty to War of the Immortals over the last six years.”
The Battle of the Immortals site has a similar message in regard to the closure and compensation. Neither gives an explanation for the cease in game operation.
. With thanks to Nicholas.
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.
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.
Better buy Sword Coast Legends while you still can: It appears that Wizards of the Coast and Digital Extremes will be ending the publishing contract for the Dungeons and Dragons-based co-op game at the end of 2017. The good news that the servers will stay up for those who already own it (or who purchase it before December 31st).
“Purchase Sword Coast Legends now at 67% off and receive the Rage of Demons DLC for free,” the devs posted to the official forums. “Our publishing contracting is ending, but although Sword Coast Legends will no longer be available to purchase after December, its multiplayer servers will remain live indefinitely.” (It looks to be $14.99 on Steam as I type this, so the sale doesn’t appear to be live yet.)
We’ve been following the game since 2015 when we first heard about this odd multiplayer-slash-single-player game, which allowed one player to step into the gamemaster’s shoes to run campaigns for a team. It officially launched in October of that year after an initial delay, then rolled out an expansion in May of 2016, followed by a double console launch in July of 2016, but it’s been relatively quiet since then. In the middle of it all, the original developer, n-Space, was shuttered, leaving further development to Digital Extremes.
If you happened to catch the Massively OP Podcast this week, you heard my positively livid rant about the whole Marvel Heroes situation. Now, I have been doing this a long time, and I’ve weathered a lot of extremely painful sunsets of beloved games. But I’ve never, ever seen one handled as abysmally as the Marvel Heroes sunset.
Gazillion, Marvel, and Disney completely and utterly dropped the ball on telling players about the stepped-up sunset, to the point that many players had no idea what was going on. Nobody sent so much as an email or tweet or forum post to the players. The only company granting refunds? Microsoft, eating costs it shouldn’t have to eat. The only ones who did anything were laid-off rank-and-file devs who felt a duty to warn the public.
In fact, the only thing that comes close is Firefall, and that sunset came after a year of that weird thing with the Chinese cashmere company. It was bad, but it was understandable because it was basically a clownshow from the day Red 5 got bought out. This? There’s no excuse for a company as huge and wealthy as Disney/Marvel to screw over players in this way when either could have easily floated Gazillion and the game to the end of the year as promised. Or at least sent them a damn email of apology, knowing the banks were yoinking the servers on Monday. Nothing. We got nothing.
Has it already been nine years since Demon’s Souls first appeared on the scene, bringing its now-famous brand of ultra-hardcore action combat and progression? Apparently is has, and the studio behind the original game of the series has decided that nine years is long enough to keep the servers up and running.
While gamers can still enjoy Demon’s Souls as a single-player title, after February 28th, 2018, nobody will be able to access the multiplayer components that connected the community. The team announced this week that it is shutting down the online servers early next year, which will effectively kill coop play and multiplayer features such as leaving notes for others and seeing death markings of other players to help avoid your own demise.
It’s gone, gang, and I’m so sorry.
Following the disastrous silences and accusations that unfolded over October and November, Marvel announced that it had terminated its relationship with gaming studio Gazillion and canceled MMOARPG Marvel Heroes, which was then scheduled to sunset at the end of the year.
However, on Wednesday, Gazillion employees began reporting that they’d been sent a letter by company CEO Dave Dohrmann announcing the end of Gazillion, the loss of their jobs (and some of their benefits), and a rushed end to Marvel Heroes as the bank called in its debts. The letter said the game would be shut down on Friday following an announcement, causing panic among MMO players who thought they had a bit more time. But no announcement came, and the game stayed up through the weekend.
Now, players on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 report that the game has indeed gone fully offline as of this afternoon.
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?
Massively OP’s MJ feels like she is pressing her luck, but the Marvel Heroes servers are still up (for who knows how long today!) so she’s rushing in for a final play session. Of all the plans and goals she had in game, there is one she just has to try to accomplish: the Cosmic Trial. Previous attempts failed, but MJ has a better Storm build prepared and a good — although not properly leveled-up — team up. It’s her last chance to try and beat it, so join us live at 2:00 p.m. to cheer her on and give the game a final farewell.
What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 24th, 2017
Well then. That happened. Although Massively OP’s MJ actually had other Thanksgiving day plans, the very real threat that this could be her last time ever to log into Marvel Heroes made her drop them. Instead, she is throwing herself into being Rogue, Storm, and all of her favorite heroes before the doors close for good sometime tomorrow. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. for quite possibly the last hurrah for this superhero game.
What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017