sunset

MMOs, unfortunately, do not last forever. When they sunset and close down for good, the whole genre mourns.

Tribes: Ascend’s last patch ushers in maintenance mode

Hi-Rez has implemented several patches since breathing life back into Tribes: Ascend last year. December’s patch was its first since 2013, followed by updates in January and March. Unfortunately, today’s patch will be its last.

Back in July, Hi-Rez Creative Director Sean McBride — the man probably most responsible for rescuing Tribes — announced that he was leaving the company, saying that “Hi-Rez and myself are not aligned.” His departure was due to be marked with the 1.4 patch, dubbed “Parting Gifts,” which Hi-Rez confirmed to Massively OP would be the last one the game will receive.

Parting Gifts removes screenshake, alters consumable pickups, merges bullet-based weapons into one category, balances a number of weapons and vehicles, deletes the in-game web browser, makes the patcher standalone, and fixes a number of other outstanding bugs.

Hi-Rez has said that it will continue to support the game “for the foreseeable future” with live servers and bug/balance tweaks as needed.

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Rumor: American McGee ARPG Akaneiro is kaput

Four years ago or so, a number of folks at Massively, including me, had their sights set on Akaneiro: Demon Hunters. It was a co-op ARPG by American McGee with a successful $200,000 Kickstarter behind it and a Red Riding Hood-inspired, horror-esque Mori Girl setting and beautiful, cel-shaded graphics. The only real problem with the game was its hybrid business model, which couldn’t quite decide whether it was buy-to-play or free-to-play with an excessive pay-to-play cash shop.

Along the way, the game’s real-life business model collapsed. In 2014, McGee admitted that studio Spicy Horse Games was $1.7 million in debt and had downsized to just two people. But the game was at least playable — in a messy but free-to-play state on Steam.

That is, at least until recently. Over the past week, players have begun reporting on Steam that the game has gone offline without warning. According to MMO Fallout, support tickets are apparently triggering an auto-responder that declares Spicy Horse closed entirely (in July, as a matter of fact) and that it will no longer offer support for any of its games, though it does say “Akaneiro WILL continue to remain online for the foreseeable future.”

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Webzen is closing down ELOA and ASTA in October

About a year ago, Webzen announced that it was bringing Asta: The War of Tears and Winds over after the game had been shut down in Korea. People were skeptical about its ability to succeed as a localized title when it hadn’t succeeded in its domestic market, and it appears that skepticism was merited, as the game has announced its impending shutdown on October 4th, 2016. Elite Lord of Alliance, more commonly styled as ELOA, will also be sunsetting in mid-October.

Players of Asta who purchased currency within the previous month will be refunded, while ELOA players will have the game’s currency reimbursed in the form of bonus Wcoin usable on any of Webzen’s other titles. Both games will also have accelerated leveling during the final month of operation. Our condolences go out to the staff and players of both games.

Source: Asta shutdown, ELOA shutdown; thanks to Filur for the tip!

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Firefall appears to have silently sunsetted (Update: Or maybe not?)

Update, 8:39 p.m. EDT: The game and site are back online now, still with no explanation or clarification from The9 whatsoever. Hopefully it stays up for you folks, even in uncommunicative maintenance mode. Thanks to Lemon for letting us know! However, the game appears to have vanished from Steam in the interim.

Firefall may have breathed its last: The game’s website no longer works, and players report that logins for the game have stopped working, though the Steam portal is still up.

It would be an understatement to say that Firefall, which was developed by Red 5 and owned by Chinese company The9, has had a rocky year. Back in December, rumors began to circulate that Red 5 had missed payroll, followed by a brutal company meetinglate salaries, and the inevitable “reorganization” layoffs and departures. The studio shakeup was itself followed by a hurried and bug-laden Razor’s Edge patch. In May, The9 traded part of its stake in Red 5 to a Cayman Islands cashmere manufacturer and announced mobile and console ports for Firefall, but that company’s stock crashed and trading was suspended.

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Mighty Quest for Epic Loot gets execution date

The decision has been made and the order passed down from on high: Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is to be executed on October 25th. The game’s upcoming demise is part of Ubisoft cleaning house as it eliminates several online titles, including Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Phantoms and Might and Magic Duels of The Champions.

“Please be aware that in anticipation of this we will be closing the in-game and web shops,” Ubisoft posted. “Players have 60 days, beginning today, to spend all their remaining Blings before the servers and forums are shut down. Our vibrant and devoted community of players made developing the game a real pleasure and it is to you that all of us here at Ubisoft want to extend our most sincere and heartfelt thanks for all your enthusiasm and support in making the Mighty Quest for Epic Loot such a great experience.”

Mighty Quest for Epic Loot was released in February 2015 and is a tongue-in-cheek title that allowed players to build their own dungeons while heading off to plunder the other created dungeons in the realm. It also has a surprisingly good soundtrack.

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Microsoft pulls the plug on Halo Online in Russia

Sorry, Russia: Master Chief is turning his back on you after all.

Announced a year and a half ago, Halo Online had some fans of the franchise excited, even if Microsoft was only developing the game for Russia. It’s all past tense now, as the software giant has decided to kill the online shooter. Gamasutra reports that one of the local partners said that Microsoft “failed to [make] decisions on the future of the project” for quite some time now.

Halo Online wasn’t solely a Microsoft project; in fact, it was being developed jointly by 343 Industries and Saber Interactive with the plan to publish it through Innova Systems. This game should not be confused with the untitled Halo MMO which was in development in the mid-2000s and canceled around 2007.

Source: Gamasutra

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PSA: Claim your EQ and EQII loot before Legends of Norrath closes August 17

If you have played EverQuest or EverQuest II, chances are you’ve at least dabbled in Legends of Norrath — if nothing else for the chance to score some in-game loot. So you probably frowned with the announcement two months ago that the TCG was being shuttered for good and loot cards will be no more.

Well, the end is upon us, and this is your friendly reminder to get your stuff before it’s gone. The servers will shut down permanently on Wednesday, August 17th, at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Players who want to keep any of their loot from the cards for either of the two MMOs have only until that time to open packs and claim the items to ensure they will receive them in game. If you have any leftover goodies still to claim, you’ll need to download Legends of Norrath itself as the in-game access was already removed.

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Trinium Wars will sunset at the end of the the month

Get your playtime in now, folks: Trinium Wars will sunset at the end of the the month.

A spokesperson for InselGames confirmed to us that the game’s final day will be August 31st. It has already been removed from Steam.

Trinium was a remake of Jang Wook Lee’s Living After War (L.A.W.), a post-apoc MMO that betaed back in 2012 and also sunsetted. The remake launched on Steam this past March as a buy-to-play title, then went free-to-play in May.

Our condolences go out to the team and all players affected.

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Nexon shuts down Sudden Attack 2 right after launch

Sudden Attack 2 is getting a new name: Suddenly Shut Down.

Steparu reports that this MMOFPS is facing imminent termination by publisher Nexon Korea, as the servers will go offline in the country on September 29th. What’s interesting about this is that Sudden Attack 2 only recently launched, with its Korean closed beta test taking place back in April.

So what prompted this sunset? For starters the game’s developer, GameHi, ended its contract with Nexon. On top of that, apparently the studio removed its two headlining characters after inappropriate comments were made about them in the community.

There is a possibility that GameHi could be shopping around for a new operator for the title, so we’ll see what happens from here.

Source: Steparu

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Wizardry Online to sunset in Japan

Hardcore perma-death MMORPG Wizardry Online just can’t catch a break: MMO Culture reports today that the game is shutting down in Japan, five years after its launch there.

Over in the west, the game ran just a year and a half under SOE’s pre-Daybreak MMO umbrella; it was shut down here almost exactly two years ago along with Vanguard, Free Realms, and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures (though there were rumors last year that Suba Games might try to revive it).

Gamepot, the Japanese publisher, says its version will close in December thanks to poor “market conditions.”

Source: Gamepot via MMO Culture

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Atlantica Online closing down, will reopen under new management

It’s a sad and somewhat scary day for fans of Atlantica Online: All three of the game’s operators, including Nexonhave announced that they are abandoning the game due to a diminished playerbase. The ray of hope in this situation is that Atlantica’s service will be resumed under the guidance of VALOFE, an online and mobile developer.

“We’ve enjoyed our time with the Atlantica Online community, and all of the memorable experiences we shared,” the studio said. “We’ve done our best to provide you with a robust and enjoyable experience, but unfortunately we’ve been unable to maintain our player base and have seen the community dwindle.”

A detailed timetable for the closure, transfer, and reopening of Atlantica Online has not yet been posted. Players are being told that they will be able to transfer their accounts and characters to VALOFE when the game comes back online.

Source: Atlantica Online. Thanks to Kenny for the tip!

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R.I.P. PlanetSide

With barely a whisper in memory of its long-running MMOFPS, Daybreak closed down the PlanetSide servers this past weekend.

The studio had previously stated that the sunset was due to “evolving needs and technical requirements” involved with running the 2003-era game. Last year, we had listed it as one of seven MMOs that was operating on borrowed time.

To honor PlanetSide, we have two videos to share after the break. The first is a recording of the final minutes of PlanetSide (language NSFW) made by YouTuber Steven Messner, while the second is the old trailer for the game to hit you right in the feels.

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TERA’s 2016 plans include the largest BAM ever; game to sunset in China

One of TERA’s tentpole features is its crazy insane fights against plus-sized mobs, which it calls “big-ass monsters” (BAMs). Well if you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to BAMs in this game, then hang on: TERA is preparing super-BAM raids that will pit 30 players against creatures “10 times larger” than previous monsters.

This news comes courtesy of a 2016 preview. En Masse got a heads-up from Bluehole about incoming content for the MMO and passed it along to the players in the form of bullet points.

In addition to the super-BAMs, TERA will be getting a lot of guild vs. guild battles, enhanced guild perks, class balancing, UI tweaking, and a pair of new dungeons: the Castle of Lilith and the Ruin of Rakelith. All of this content should be arriving to the eastern version of the game by the end of the year.

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