It's become tradition to fare well the MMOs that sunsetted in the preceding year, but that wasn't always the case. At the beginning of 2015, in saying goodbye to 2014's sunsetted games, I tried to put that into perspective.
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about how Vanguard's early stumbles foreshadowed the changing MMORPG industry. In January 2007, when Vanguard lurched its way to launch, the genre was barely a decade old; it was booming, and it had never suffered hardship on a massive scale. In the west, we'd seen only three "major" MMOs sunset (Motor City Online, Earth and Beyond, and Asheron's Call 2), and only one MMO, Anarchy Online, had "gone F2P," though we hadn't yet thought to call it yet because it was such a rare and new thing. In fact, it wasn't until 2008's first big wave of AAA, post-World of Warcraft MMOs launched and mostly flopped that MMORPG players gave much thought to the future of the genre and how WoW had reshaped (and possibly broken) it. Maybe not even then.
In 2016 and in 2015, sunsets are increasingly common, a result of market oversaturation, business model struggles, and changing gamer tastes and investment options. Let's revisit the games we lost in 2015 and consider what their sunsets portend for the year ahead.
Here's a bit of unfortunate news for Christmas: Triad Wars is closing down.
“Since the start of the Triad Wars Closed Beta this year, diligent Enforcers have run rampant through the streets of Hong Kong, killing rivals and building Empires. During this time we have gathered immense amounts of feedback, information, and data on the game. We’ve loved seeing how you’ve played Triad Wars but we know it wasn’t right for many of you so we’re letting you know today that we are going to close the beta and service on January 20th 2016 at 12 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. That’s 4 weeks from today and over this time we’re going to leave the game up and running for you to continue to enjoy but we will not be accepting any more purchases. To help you enjoy these final 4 weeks we’re going to make Gold available free of charge and we’ll shortly be posting news on the forums about how to deal with refunds of unused Gold. Thank you very much for all the testing, feedback and support!”
The game had been in beta since earlier this year.
Eager to play Triad Wars but not currently in the beta test? There's a brand-new trailer for the game just below, so you can watch that. It's not really the same as being in the testing, but it should serve as something of an analgesic for the time being.
Fair warning, however: The trailer below contains both gore and bad language. It's nothing beyond what you would expect to see in an action movie, no, but you probably don't want to sit back at work and turn it on fullscreen. Although where are you working that would even make that a consideration?
Did you like Sleeping Dogs? I sure did, and so I'm more than a little curious about Triad Wars, the online spinoff from United Front Games that's currently in testing. Fortunately for me, the devs did an AMA on Reddit yesterday that answered a few of my questions.
Topics include how the new online multiplayer title fits into the Sleeping Dogs world (it's set just prior to the original game, and players will be "part of the problem that Wei Shen was sent to clean up"), the game's engine (the proprietary Sleeping Dogs engine "with lots of nifty improvements"), and the addition of female avatars (not yet, but eventually).
UFG also says that Triad Wars is not an MMO, but that it is expanding its multiplayer features to include co-op. The dev team will be answering additional questions on Twitch this Thursday.