City of Heroes’ Homecoming rogue servers have joined the Titan Network/NCsoft negotiations

Private server group seeks status as 'legitimate operation'

    
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Exactly one month ago, tangent to our interview with the Homecoming server team that’s part now-flourishing City of Heroes rogue server community, we also spoke to Tony Vazquez, the administrator of the Titan Network. He confirmed to us once again what he’d maintained all spring and summer, almost since the first story about the rogue servers first took off: that he was engaged in discussions between Titan Network and NCsoft over some sort of future for the game that wasn’t half-hidden in the shadows. As of July, we were told, negotiations were still continuing.

But now it’s become clear that Vazquez hasn’t been alone in those negotiations, as late last night, Homecoming representatives announced that not only is the group working alongside Titan Network in the NCsoft discussions but that legitimacy for Homecoming, and potentially other community servers, is indeed on the table.

“We know things have been really quiet from us lately, and we wanted to provide an update on what we’ve been up to,” Homecoming’s GM Jimmy writes. “Homecoming and The Titan Network are working together and are in active negotiations with NCSoft in order to turn Homecoming into a legitimate operation, and we’ve been making significant strides in recent weeks. It’s our intention to involve the entire community in this process when the time comes – which is not quite yet, but we’ll certainly be shouting from the rooftops when it is – hopefully Soon™. Please hang tight for the time being, and keep killing those Skuls.”

An identical message was posted to Facebook by Vazquez. A follow-up message from Homecoming clarifies that the Homecoming servers will “remain completely free to play.” (Currently, the servers are funded through monthly donation drives.) Either way, the announcement is unlikely to shock anyone who’s been following the whole saga all along, as many MMO gamers and even our readers had surmised that Homecoming’s moves over the past months (particularly taking public donations) likely indicated those devs had some sort of behind-the-scenes approval.

We spoke to multiple members of the Homecoming Team as well as TonyV over the course of several hours Wednesday night and can confirm the accuracy of the statement, but everyone’s staying publicly mum on the details, meaning it is not entirely clear yet what “involving the community” will mean, nor who constitutes that community, nor what sort of timeframe to expect. Obviously we’ll be updating with more as we can.

Our last interview with the Homecoming team can be found here; we prodded the devs for info on the servers’ population, funding, and ongoing development, though as we noted, some of our questions were not addressed, which we assumed was down to the negotiations.

Want to see what the fuss is all about? Our Stream Team has been checking out the revivified MMO in person this summer; here’s the most recent vid:

Source: Homecoming, Discord, Facebook
In the spring of 2019, gamers uncovered a secret City of Heroes server running using the sunsetted game’s original code, which was ultimately turned over to the community. There are now multiple public and private servers for the beloved superhero MMORPG, with over 100,000 people on Homecoming alone. NCsoft has not commented publicly or taken legal action on them and is still in talks with players regarding the game’s future as of August 2019.
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