MMOs, unfortunately, do not last forever. When they sunset and close down for good, the whole genre mourns.
Cast your mind back to 2015 and see if you can recall an odd MMO launching on PC and PlayStation 4 called Wander. It was notable for being a non-combat game that focused on exploration and had you roaming about as a giant tree (at least part of the time). It was also notable for being called the “worst PlayStation 4 game ever.”
It was pretty obvious that Wander wasn’t going to be even a mild success by that fall, and the studio stopped issuing patches and updates for the game in September 2015. The last Twitter message from the company was in late 2015, saying that there was another update in the works.
The deathknell for the game came in last month, when it was delisted from Steam, as Endgame Variable noticed: “Sorry to say we are now removing Wander from sale. We would have liked to switch it to be free, but alas our agreement with CryTek for use of the CryEngine will not allow that. Thanks to all Wanders and sorry.”
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.
Aw, damnit. My.com is giving up on its Allods-themed Cloud Pirates MOBA already. The company doesn’t say why, but given the successes of its other titles, we’re guessing it’s more about playerbase size in a bloated MOBA market than the company’s overall revenues, an assumption backed up by its low numbers on Steam.
“We are sad to announce that Cloud Pirates will be closing the servers on September 29,” says the studio. “It’s been wonderful sailing the turbulent skies with you, Captains, and we’d like to thank you for all your support.”
Beginning today and lasting until serverdown on September 29th, players will see doubled experience gain, virtually free in-game and cash-shop items, and free Steam DLC. You can also claim refunds on everything you bought since July 12th, convert your cash-shop currency to some of My.com’s other games (Skyforge, Armored Warfare, and Revelation Online), and enjoy the game’s latest patch, which rolls out today in farewell and contains custom matches, a new progressive PvE mode, and cash-shop currency as rewards for daily matches.
We’ve known for a while that social network Miiverse would eventually be closing, but Nintendo confirmed the news and the official death date yesterday on its Japanese site. For those hoping it may only affect Miiverse in its home country, a second shot has since been fired on Nintendo’s North American site: Miiverse shuts down at 1 a.m. EDT on November 8th (10 p.m. PDT on November 7).
Miiverse wasn’t an MMO, but social-minded MMO players might care about the sunset all the same because of the MMO-like games it effectively serviced and the multiplayer future it could have heralded. While Nintendo cites the reality that users have migrated to other social media platforms as the reason to shut the service down, the fact remains that Miiverse integration made a lot of Nintendo games more multiplayer. Nintendo’s clumsy code system could often be circumvented through Miiverse, allowing people to add new friends by seeing who was active on a game’s Miiverse page, looking through profiles, and requesting to add buddies to friend lists. Miiverse profiles allowed not just text and mentioning of favorite games or personal interests but also custom art, something we still infrequently see in MMOs.
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.
Very sad news today out of Radiant Worlds, which announced that Smilegate, its publishing partner, ordered that SkySaga’s development be shut down immediately and pulled support from the project. While the studio said that the game is only “on hold” and that Radiant is in a “strong financial position,” it doesn’t look good for the multiplayer title. It also sounds like there will be some serious layoffs at Radiant Worlds as a result.
Radiant Worlds is sad to announce that its work on PC-based creative sandbox and adventure game SkySaga: Infinite Isles will now cease, following the decision of its publishing partner Smilegate Entertainment to put the game on hold for an unknown period of time.
This has resulted in the failure to renew our recently expired contract, and as SkySaga is currently our only project, this has inevitably meant that we now have no ongoing source of income.
This unfortunately means that all positions at Radiant Worlds are now under threat and we expect to shortly enter a period of consultation with all staff, which is likely to lead to a large number of redundancies across the board, potentially affecting everyone.
The business has made every effort to negotiate an alternative outcome, but without success.
Over this summer, we’ve been getting tips suggesting that the Tad Williams Otherland MMORPG was in serious trouble, as first it went dark on Steam and then it returned, silently, with an 8GB patch. Drago Entertainment did not respond to requests for a comment then, or perhaps it could not if it didn’t control its press relations, but either way it’s finally posted something to its Facebook page today, and although it doesn’t address the Steam outage directly, it’s definitely good news going forward.
The studio explains that it was originally brought on as the developer by the investors who own the game in the wake of the RealU studio’s closure, but it was hamstrung by the publisher, who you’ll recall was Gamigo, though Drago doesn’t name names.
“Shortly after the soft launch of Otherland as a free-to-play game in September 2016, the publisher decided to hold back on most releases and information in preparation for a major relaunch planned for June this year,” Drago says. “The game not being relaunched as planned has seen the investors sit down with the publisher to voice their concerns and to keep a long story short, it has been decided that the investors will continue Otherland on their own.”
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.
Hey, remember CrimeCraft? I had forgotten all about it, but we covered the Vogster-designed MMO from 2008 onward on Old Massively through its 2009 launch and subsequent free-to-play conversion that same year (a bit before F2P was popular!). Back then, it was competing with the original All Points Bulletin for the title of best Grand Theft Auto copycat, and it even managed to get banned in Australia. In 2012, the game was picked up by Mayn Games, and it is Mayn Games delivering the bad news to players here in 2017.
“It is with heavy hearts that we must announce CrimeCraft is closing on August 31, 10:00 am CET (04:00 am EST),” writes the studio today. “For the past years, we did our best to support the game and make players to enjoy it. It was a very hard choice to make, but despite the overwhelming support of our loyal players, this was the way it had to go. We are grateful to all players for continued support of the game.”
What might be worse than having an interesting-looking MMORPG in development shut down before it reaches launch is having one cloaked under the veil of secrecy given the axe. The “what ifs” and “what could have beens” can drive one mad.
MMORPG.com is reporting that Nexon has made the decision to close a southern California studio, lay off the staff, and cancel the mysterious game known only as Nebula.
There was very little known about Nebula, other than some cryptic quotes and black-and-white art on its website. The game was subtitled “the thrill of adventure” and talked about exploring the unknown while a girl looked up at the heavens with a telescope. There were also images of a shattered world and comets streaking across the sky.
The team had been looking to hire a senior character artist, a level designer, a technical artist, and a technical director, although that looks to be over and done with now.
Welcome back to our series on MMOs and other multiplayer games you you’ve never heard of! Tonight we have three to highlight.
Mad World has my attention because of its cute graphics first and foremost. The Korean-born game styles itself as an action-centric HTML5 MMORPG with crossplatform play across Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Studio Jandisoft – whose core members apparently worked on another game we’ve covered in this series, Metin2 – says it’ll launch next year on “a mission to offer a truly massively-multiplayer experience without boundaries,” but there’s a fun trailer out as of today:
Welcome back to another edition of MMOs You’ve Never Heard Of, where we pull together a few interesting little games we don’t want to fall through the cracks, and you pipe up in the comments that you have in fact heard of one of these, because someone is totally keeping score!
Terra Mango dropped into our inbox this week — its devs call it “MMOLBTDRTS (Massively Multiplayer Online Location-Based Tower Defense Real Time Strategy game), but the guys in marketing said we had to shorten it a bit.” It’s a free-to-play mobile MMO with multiple races, combat, research, and troop deployment, all with a focus on collaboration with teammates in a three-way war set kinda sorta in an ARG-like real world setting. Reminding you of a cuter Ingress?
Did our article yesterday on MMOs in limbo knock one loose? Probably not, but one of them is sunsetting all the same: Firefall. Late last night, an unknown Red 5 staffer posted the sad news.
“With heavy hearts, we regret to inform you that after much review and analysis, Red 5 Studios have decided to suspend the Firefall efforts on 7th, July 2017. Thank you for being an important part of the Firefall experience and for your loyalty and dedication to the online community. Your efforts and loyalty will not go without recognition, however. Firefall is currently developing a mobile version of the game and all of Firefall’s founders and players will be rewarded greatly in the new game. We will be sure to provide everyone with more updates as we have them. Thank you for your support and enthusiasm throughout the years; we will see you at the next battle.”
Yay, a mobile game. You could also head over and pick up your credit toward Mark Kern’s new game, Em-8ER.