Federation 2, a text-based intergalactic trading game from the 1980s, has sunsetted


While the common assumption about text-based MMOs is that they can and will last forever, the truth is that many of these are subject to the same fates as graphical MMORPGs. So it is with the three decade-old Federation 2, which closed its doors back on October 1st.

The owners said that the shutdown was necessary due to technical reasons, including changing security requirements, health issues of the operators, and the loss of the game’s hosting company.

“The game itself has been slowly fading from its peak on AOL where it had thousands of players online all at once, the move to the internet coincided with text games going out of fashion and graphical games taking over,” the operators posted. “And so, with sorrow in our hearts, we have had to make the decision that it is time to draw the Federation era to a close.”

Launching back in the late ’80s, Federation 2 was heavily focused on an intergalactic economy and social interactions between players as they jockied for status and domination. MUD creator Richard Bartle once summed up the game as thus: “Federation 2 is a game with a pedigree, but of modest size, poor breadth, shallow depth, and little atmosphere. Nevertheless, its players are enthusiastic, its support team dedicated, and its future rosy.”

Source: Federation 2, Richard Bartle. Thanks Wilhelm!

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Sally Bowls

Per Dr. Bartle’s blog, one of the “health issues” is that Mr. Lenton is 70. (Which is not nearly as old as it was a few decades ago. ) It also referenced GDPR.

Nothing lives forever. But as founders age (going from unmarried in college to married with children or age age) and they look at their single thread, 32-bit non-GDPR/Article 11/SEST apps, I think this won’t be too uncommon.


It’s why one of the most important tasks for any non-elected leader is to find and train their successor. Without this, the project will likely be dead as soon as the leader needs to step away.

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Paragon Lost

Time, waits on no one. Was never my cup of tea back in my GEnie days but it had a decent following with many on GEnie. I was more of a Mechwarrior/Air warrior, Gemstone, DragonsGate sort of player. Did get into the Hundred Years War for a bit too back then.


So, is it half-empty or half full? ;)

Mark Jacobs

Yep, they sure did. Hell of a run.

Does make me wish my Galaxy and Dragon’s Gate were still running, if nothing else, for nostalgia’s sake.

Gratz to them for keeping it running so long thought!