Yesterday afternoon, the MMO community raised a collective eyebrow at the realization that Astellia Online and Astellia Royal had vanished from Steam without so much as a word. Further digging provided the knowledge that the game’s Reddit was dead and spammers were picking the carcass of the official forums clean. Late last night, the company that currently owns the game finally announced the closure without any explanation.
“Before detailed announcement, we are deeply grateful to all users playing Astellia for the interest and support. Unfortunately, we have the decision to terminate Astellia service. We regretfully inform you that Astellia service will be closed on October 29th, 2021 (Fri). We would like to thank you for playing Astellia until now, and please find below for detailed schedule of service termination and refund.”
That schedule makes clear that item sales closed yesterday, though players can still use gems and purchased items, and there will be a “service termination event” beginning August 17th and running through the sunset; players can expect a 300% experience and drop rate bonus and half off cash shop stuff.
The official site has additional information, including the news that the website itself is toast the same day as the sunset and that players can apply for refunds for outstanding BENA cash starting September 28th.
Readers will recall that Astellia Online launched in September 2019 as a import from South Korea, so it’ll have made it just two years. Our take was that it was “not astonishing, but certainly not atrocious” – a “solidly average MMO” that had the misfortune of launching on the heels of Bless Online’s capsize. Within a few months, however, it was already sunsetting in Korea, merging servers, and planting stakes on Steam, where it saw an all-time peak of 1,171 concurrent players. The hand-off from its original publisher, Barunsun EA, to a blockchain company was… interesting… and the royal spinoff landed just last March, with its concurrency never topping 600 players.
Our sympathies go out to any remaining players and rank-and-file devs affected.