Way back in 2014 on Old Massively, our team began covering Master x Master, a new MOBA by NCsoft, then in beta in South Korea. Like Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, MxM was to be a multi-IP title that would loop in characters from all of NCsoft’s MMO franchises, from Lineage to WildStar. By 2016, we learned it was heading westward. Perhaps the game’s biggest headlining moment – for MMO players, at least – came when NCsoft decided to add City of Heroes characters to the roster, which at the time was taken as rubbing salt in the wound of gamers who really just wanted the MMO back.
But just a few months after the western launch in 2017, NCsoft was already throwing in the towel, as many MOBAs that hadn’t already crumbled under the weight of League of Legends and Dota 2 were giving up that year thanks to the entry of PUBG and then Fortnite into the multiplayer market. At the time, NCsoft said the game simply “wasn’t enough to take on the established juggernauts” in the genre. “[U]ltimately it came down to a matter of business – we explored several options, but none of them were sustainable,” the company said. “We truly believe that MxM is special, and offered a lot of new ideas to change up the MOBA genre, but in trying to carve out a niche for itself, we failed to connect with players.”
The bummer was that several of our writers had enjoyed the game and found it to be one of the better MOBAs out there. But as MMO players well know, quality doesn’t always translate into market success. RIP, MxM.
Some of our more interesting coverage of the game during its brief run: