Perfect Ten: MMOs that ghosted us after talking a big game

Our faith has been rewarded!

There’s nothing worse as a fan of games to buy into all of the hype and previews of a promising-looking project only to see that title’s studio fold, the project quietly discontinued, or finances suddenly run dry. In those cases, an exit may be quite public or so silent as to effectively vanish under the cover of night.

Today we’ll be looking at 10 such titles that ghosted the MMO community after talking a big game for several years – including some incredibly (in)famous projects to ones you totally forgot until I threw them back in your face. Let’s embark together on a bitter journey of neglect and failure. For fun!


To this day, I’m still unclear what Gothic horror Revival was supposed to be. Grimdark, that’s for sure. There was a castle at one point, live storytelling, some controversial mention of player slavery, and, y’know, “graphic sex.” But the whole package seemed really nebulous, an orbit of lofty promises and a return to true roleplaying.

Other than letting some early backers wander around in largely empty houses, not much came from this project, as it closed for good back in 2016.

I’m betting you didn’t read that last paragraph because your mind is still hung up on “graphic sex.” Sigh.

The Stomping Land

One of the poster children for Kickstarter disappointments had to be The Stomping Land. If you don’t recall this one, it was sort of in the vein of ARK: a dinosaur-saturated survival game set on an island full of sharp, pointy sticks and hopes of seeing tomorrow. The early access was a huge mess and pretty much nobody liked it, which will make the following paragraph easier to stomach.

The mouthy developer abruptly vanished from the game back in 2015, leaving fans (and backers) waiting to see if he’d ever come back from the convenience store with that promised ice cream. He never did.


We are going to see a few Kickstarter titles on this list because this is one of the sad legacies of crowdfunding: overwhelming promises, underwhelming delivery. And that was certainly seen in 2013-era TUG aka The Untitled Game. The big selling point here was emergent social gameplay in a vast sandbox with an admittedly cute design.

TUG’s subsequent history can be boiled down to “raised a ton of money from fans and investors, couldn’t make a game to match, asked for more money, and eventually went really, really quiet and hoped everyone would forget about it.” Ha ha, we never forget.


If your diet allows for the occasional binging of stupid studio drama, then loosen your belt and dig into the saga of TitanReach. This was initially pitched as a class-less, skill-based MMORPG with a player-driven economy.

That’s when its Kickstarter failed, the project nearly ran out of money, stopped paying some of its devs, tried to sell early access for $70, suspended development by summer 2021, got an angel investor, stopped development again in February 2022, was accused of misappropriating its investment capital, and recently came back under new ownership with a different name, accusations of copyright infringement, and yet another failed Kickstarter.

This title may be legitimately cursed.


Aside from being legitimately one of the most annoying video game titles to type out — trust me on this — EM-8ER is notable for several things. Just none of them is actually being a playable, functional game.

This is the brainchild of Mark Kern, who once upon a time helped to create World of Warcraft and subsequently made it his life’s goal to continually inform everyone of that fact while inserting himself into all sorts of online conversations. Then he made Firefall (pause for laughter, RIP the Firefall bus) and then promised that his follow-up, EM-8ER, would blow everyone’s minds as some sort of futuristic Mech vs. Kaiju open world MMO FPS/TPS that would span an entire world. Of course none of this got launched into a fully functional game, but if you close your eyes and think really hard, you can imagine the fun you’re having playing it right now! (Kern does claim to still be working on the game full-time.)


Wish may be one of the most intriguing unexplained mysteries of the MMO genre. This early-2000s project certainly was overhyping itself with promises of an “ultra massively multiplayer” population on a single server, GM-triggered events, and bards that would sing the praises of specific players.

But after an objectively strong 2003 beta test that sported 60,000 players, the studio abruptly announced that it was shutting down the project entirely without any clear explanation why. Later findings suggest a severe dropoff in player engagement and a lack of confidence in Wish’s financial potential, but who knows?

Project Titan

With the insane success of World of Warcraft back in the mid-aughts, there was enormous pressure on Blizzard to prove that it could strike gold in the MMO space a second time. And work indeed began on a next-gen follow-up in 2007, code-named Project Titan. Scooting as far away from the fantasy themes of WoW, Titan aimed for the superhero space instead. Players would inhabit two roles in the game: a daytime career (likened to The Sims) and nighttime excursions as super-powered individuals duking it out in a post-alien invasion Earth.

Project Titan consumed tons of Blizzard resources over the seven years of its development, but as Mike Morhaime put it, “It never came together.” The title was officially scrapped in 2014 with the assets being repurposed and repackaged into Overwatch.

Peria Chronicles

One of our most-anticipated MMORPGs for years, Peria Chronicles was a true heartbreak when Nexon announced in 2019 that the game’s beta test proved to be underwhelming and that it was shutting the project down completely.

And that’s a true shame because this was a truly ambitious sandbox that deeply emphasized player creativity and content. Players were supposed to be able to create their own dungeons and items, among other things, and enjoy them in a gorgeous cel-shaded universe. Nexon sank $8.2 million into this one, to no avail.

Project Copernicus

The tragedy of any of these titles greatly increases the nearer they were to completion, such as in the case of Project Copernicus. Developer 38 Studios had gargantuan plans for this one, including a single-player RPG prequel (which did release) and an MMO world that would rival anything that was on the market — including WoW.

And then… well, you know the rest. The game was abandoned before release, and the thought of its assets simply waiting on a dusty server somewhere (specifically, THQ Nordic) was the stuff to make any MMO gamer go mad.

Ultima Online 2… twice

Sadly, there are plenty of other titles that could go on this list, but why not close things out with a twofer? And that’s EA’s twice-aborted attempt to bring an Ultima Online sequel to market.

The first of these, the awkwardly named Ultima Worlds Online Origin, was announced to be in development in 1999 with the hopes of making it to launch a year later (that’s how we did things back in the day, kids). The big hook here was the move to 3-D in the hopes of competing with EverQuest, plopping players into an alternate Britannia of an industrial revolution. The game – and all of Origin’s other projects – were canned in 2001.

The second was the much better looking Ultima X Odyssey, a “true” Ultima successor that was revealed in 2003. It featured more cartoony graphics, moral choices, and action combat. Work on this one got to the public testing stage before its plug was pulled in the summer of 2004.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at or with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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