I wish I could say nobody saw this coming, but unfortunately, that’s not the case: Kakao is closing down Elyon.
“Kakao Games Europe, following lengthy discussions with the game developer Bluehole Studio Inc., has made the difficult decision to terminate the live service of Elyon in Europe and North America due to the unsustainability of key performance indicators,” Kakao announced this morning. “The very low retention rate from incoming new players in combination with a declining amount of active users has made most content difficult to clear, leading us to the conclusion that we are no longer able to offer you the MMORPG experience we are striving for. For this, we deeply apologize.”
The game will therefore sunset on December 7th. Refunds will be made for unconverted KCoin purchases dating back to July 1st, though KCoin sales have now been shut down; rubies are still spendable in the cash shop. Kakao does note that the game continues in other regions and it might be challenging to circumvent IP blocks, but either way it won’t be retaining your game data past February of next year, so you’d have to start over.
Readers will recall that back in 2017 Elyon was still planned as an airship-studded steampunk-fantasy MMORPG called Ascent: Infinite Realm, and it was highly anticipated. But in 2020, Bluehole pivoted dramatically, changing the game’s name, theme, and monetization. By the time of its launch last October, MMO players were calling it TERA 2 and wondering why Bluehole had bothered; our own hands-on with the piece left us frustrated that Bluehole’s latest game merely “blended in with the MMORPG gaming furniture.” Unfortunately, player counts have remained quite low on Steam this whole period in spite of Kakao’s ongoing efforts. Now, of course, we’ll have neither Elyon nor TERA.
Today’s update is the last one for North America and Europe, though Kakao promises to “carry out some fun events” leading up to the sunset. Our condolences to the original developers and stalwart players of this one; it shouldn’t have to go down like this.