WildStar and Carbine are shutting down

    
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NCsoft is axing Carbine, Kotaku reported this afternoon, which means the end of MMORPG WildStar. Here’s the statement NCsoft gave to Kotaku.

“Today, we are closing Carbine Studios and will begin the process of winding WildStar down to ultimately shutter the game. WildStar players who have spent money within the game will be refunded purchases from July 1, 2018 until the payment system is shut off. We are also in the process of identifying the teams that will be doing the work to bring WildStar to a close. These decisions are very difficult to make and we are in the midst of shifting as many of our teammates as possible into other roles within the organization.”

Our hearts go out to those affected by the closure and to the players who stuck by the game no matter what.

Kotaku says that the Carbine shutdown will include 50 layoffs. It is not clear what will happen to the rumored second game those remaining in the studio were supposedly working on.

WildStar’s story is a long and tangled one. We began watching the game on Massively-that-was as far back as 2011, naming it our most anticipated MMORPG in both 2011 and 2012 thanks to its colorful, Firefly-esque themes and multi-faceted Bartle-style design. But by 2013, concern began swirling around Carbine’s apparent hardcore raiding design shifts and proposed subscription plan. When it launched in 2014, it underperformed, causing it to go free-to-play in 2015 as players left, NCsoft stopped reporting it separately in financial documents, and updates all but came to a halt.

MMORPG watchers have assumed the game is on its last legs for years now, but NCsoft seemed reluctant to sunset it prematurely, perhaps cognizant of the resentment many western MMO players still feel about its abrupt and poorly supported sunset of the by-all-accounts still profitable MMO City of Heroes in 2012.

Given the lack of game updates in recent months and the January statement that NCsoft aimed to continue to support the game, we discussed WildStar at length on a podcast just a few weeks ago; Justin, Eliot, and I chatted about our passion for the original vision of the game and how it all went so very, very wrong.

In spite of its travails, the game took home Massively OP’s Best Player Housing award in both 2016 and 2017, from both the staff and our community. Its ambition and creativity – all on display in our most recent stream of the game, from August – will be missed. Farewell, cupcake.

Source: Kotaku. With thanks to Bryan.
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Azzy Starseeker

It’s not over yet, We got almost 1000 supporters for a change.org petition! Sign it and make some noise.
https://www.change.org/p/ncsoft-wildstar-s-revival

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ionut

Still lasted more then anyone expected. People thinking it would go down since start of f2p

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Andrew Holder

Is there any chance, any help, that this game could be bought out by another studio and be allowed to continue? I absolutely love this game! Although, I have to admit, I haven’t played it very much in a long time. I was hoping, and waiting, that this game would eventually make the transition to consult at which point I would be totally engaged. But, sadly, he never did. Again, I ask, could it be possible for another studio to buy this game out ? I feel like if this game had just gone to console the way it should have from the very beginning then it would have a huge following and still be alive and well today.

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Arkady Dust

A few thoughts, though most are probably obvious.
– NCSoft continues being NCSoft. Not just the game but shutting down a studio with what seems to be no advance notice: one commenter mentioned nothing being posted in game/launcher – if Carbine knew they would have pre-written something
– These days, with cloud hosting as a service and run-anywhere runtimes, the only excuse for not offering private servers when shutting down the official one is “play the sequel”. And thats not the case here
– MMO combat needs a slow lane. Sure, some things should be challenging. But other things should be NOT challenging. MMOs are built to be played every day – and we all have off days
– A pyramid does not work without a base. Hardcore content needs an audience. Take note all you “we’re taking this one fun thing and making it an MMO by itself” people
– Drunk chua

chua_drunk.png
veldara
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veldara

The takeaway I would hope developers and publishers learn from this, would be that sci-fi mmos have a market. That the mechanics and the way the game was managed are the culprits for it’s downfall and not the setting.

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kgptzac

These decisions are very difficult to make

Fun words to say out loud when the announcement itself reads like a templated response. Just enter game title and date and another game will bite the dust.

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Yaner

I genuinely loved this game’s atmosphere, design, art style, and general gameplay. However, there was just something about the game that prevented me from getting into it long term. So many times over the past years I would play it a week or two then quit. I could never put my finger on it, but the game never had lasting appeal to me.

In any case, it’s always sad to see games like this get sunsetted. Condolences to all those involved. I hope the talented people at Carbine find places in other studios.

Theodrax
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Theodrax

So close, yet so far. I loved what this game could have been.

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Bob Dobalina

NCSoft should be praised for keeping this stillborn MMO alive for so many years after it was obvious it was never going to go anywhere.

seculaparsec
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seculaparsec

People keep mentioning Carb missing the market with “hardcore content”. “Culprit NSoft” etcetc.

The SOLE reason Wildstar failed was its lack of fun gameplay and every abillity was based around a bad aoe philosophy which threw both me and MANY others off.

The world itself and the entire lore was actually VERY promising but the aoe combat killed the game (especially in pvp)

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Chosenxeno .

Meh. I can’t speak for Combat but man the healing was sweet on my medic:)