MMOs, unfortunately, do not last forever. When they sunset and close down for good, the whole genre mourns.
Hope you got everything done you wanted to in Echo of Soul
because the fantasy MMORPG is winding down its classic servers
this Wednesday, May 23rd.
According to Aeria Games, Echo of Soul’s North American and European classic servers have been more trouble than they were worth: “While these servers have served us well, due to technical issues regarding the support of classic it is time to close the doors. We would like to thank the Echo of Soul community for standing by and making memories with us in this version.”
Don’t despair, because you can totally continue to play Echo of Soul. On the same day that it announced the classic shutdown, it also encouraged players to migrate over to its more action-packed Phoenix servers. “We would like to invite all users from classic to expand their horizons and join us in Phoenix with new maps, events, and a welcome package offer for those newly joining,” Aeria said.
Boss Key is closing down following the struggles of LawBreakers and Radical Heights, though the latter will apparently remain playable for now. Cliff Bleszinski broke the news on Twitter.
The developer Jagex is best known for various versions of RuneScape and shuttering any project that isn’t RuneScape. Ace of Spades is shutting down in July, its FunOrb game portal is shutting down sometime over the next three months, and even Chronicles: RuneScape Legends is being quietly taken down in August. In all three cases, a lack of development resources to address technical errors has been cited for the reason for taking down the games.
There are, however, abundant technical development resources for running the beta for Old School RuneScape‘s mobile version, so that’s still happening with the new always-on Android version. The core of having it always on is just what it sounds like; players can expect the servers to remain on and available at all times, rather than setting a firm end date for the beta testing. If all goes well, more players will be invited over time. So you could theoretically play one version in your phone and one version on the computer, if you really needed to do that for some reason.
There are two basic reactions I’ve seen to people who fear that their favorite MMO is going to shut down. Not people who know, people who fear it. People who see the writing that seems to be upon the wall, but with no official word. Some people fall into hardcore evangelist mode, pushing the game to everyone and trying to play as much of it as possible while the game is still alive. Others basically write the game off ahead of time and warn friends not already playing to not start, because it’s going to die in five months.
I’ve seen it happen with games from Final Fantasy XIV to WildStar, and the only game that I’ve played intensely that seems to have avoided this is City of Heroes (which actually did shut down, but absolutely no players saw it coming until it was happening). And I think it’s interesting in that situation whether you tend to do your best to push the game’s number’s up or just try to accept the death preemptively. So what about you, dear readers? How much does fear of an MMO shutdown affect your playtime?
Perfect World announced two sunsets yesterday: Four-year-old Swordsman Online and nine-year-old Jade Dynasty will close down in June. Here’s the official announcement for Swordsman players posted yesterday evening.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the shutdown of all Swordsman (SWM) servers on June 5th, 2018. On that day, your SWM character will no longer be accessible. This was a very difficult decision to make, but we are grateful for everything that you have put into the game and all the wonderful communities that have come from SWM. We no longer feel there is room for SWM to grow, but the development teams are moving on to bigger and better things! As amends to our most dedicated fans, we are making sure to offer refunds for the last few months.”
The Jade Dynasty announcement is nearly identical, with the same shutdown date and promise of refunds. Cash shop currency is no longer available for purchase; currency purchases made since February 1st will apparently be converted into Arc credit for your account.
We’re sorry to inform fans of Elite: Dangerous on Apple computers that they’re soon going to be forced to choose between the platform and the game. It’s been officially announced that support for the game on Macs will be ended with the update in Q4, toward the end of the year. Players can still log in on PCs or via accounts logged into on Bootcamp, but you’ll have to use one of those methods. This is after Mac support was first added in 2015.
Players already know that there have been technical problems preventing Horizons from launching on the platform, although their specific nature has not been explained; what matters is that further technical improvements to the game didn’t appear to be making things any better. Some players are speculating that this will also mean Horizons is bundled into the base game, but whatever the expansion changes are, you won’t be seeing them natively on a Mac. Our condolences to the players affected.
It’s been a while since we’ve talked about Echo of Soul
, but it turns out that a lot has been happening with the game since then. The last time we talked about the game was when it was preparing for its Phoenix update
, but since that happened it looks like the game has moved into having both its classic version and a Phoenix version. But not for much longer, as the game’s Classic servers are shutting down on May 23rd
The reason given is just that the Classic option was no longer financially viable, although players on Classic servers can expect nice welcome packages if they choose to hop to the Phoenix version of the game. No word on any cash shop closures or refunds, although those may simply transfer laterally. Our condolences go out to the players affected by this shutdown.
Update: This story was a miscommunication in the media. It turns out that while the servers are staying up, Ragnarok Online’s North American servers are blocking IP addresses from Europe due to these regulations. The European servers will be unaffected. Thanks, Kelekelio!
One of the MMO industry’s long-time institutions is finally calling it a day in Europe.
Ragnarok Online announced this week that it is shutting down all of its servers on the continent as of May 25th. The odd part about this story is that this sunset is happening not because of declining population or revenue but because of a new law that the game’s operator was not able to circumvent. Operation in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States will not be affected.
The move comes because of the rollout of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation on May 25th, a law which addresses exporting personal data outside of the EU. WarpPortal apparently decided that it wasn’t worth the cost to upgrade storage security to meet the new regulations and chose to shut down the game instead.
Perhaps because the announcement was all the way back in January, but Paragon’s shutdown is scheduled to take place at the end of next week. Epic Games made the decision to pull the plug on the action MOBA due to an unsustainable playerbase and refunded all users any money they had spent on the title.
As the sun begins to set on this title, we can take a moment to ponder what might have been. Artist Dave Rapoza shared some concept art on Twitter that he had developed for the game but had never been turned into actual assets. This gallery of characters ranges from the heroic to the bizarre and gives a taste of the odd sci-fi angle the game as attempting.
“Four years ago I got the opportunity to help flesh out Paragon, the now-cancelled MOBA from Epic Games,” Rapoza wrote. “I was given free reign on the character designs, it was an awesome opportunity, but most of these never made it into the game. Hope you like it!”
At some point, the ending credits have to roll. And Devilian’s have started as of 3:00 p.m. EST today. Devil transformations are now a thing of the past. Many fans gathered in game for a final farewell before sending the game off into the sunset — except for those who have Windows 10, in which case they got to wave goodbye to the “stopped working” error.
Work on the fantasy game halted shortly after Bluehole, which owns Devilian developer Bluehole Ginno, renamed Bluehole Ginno after its newer title, PUBG. As the western publisher, Trion remained in talks to get continued support for the game (and the known Win10 issue), but I think we can see how that turned out. It is always sad to see a virtual world dissolve into oblivion. When you’re in the mood to reminisce, have a look at happier times when we took our very first look at alpha.
There’s been a trend over the past several years of games that are not MMOs but still have a pretty robust suite of online functions. Demon’s Souls, which is either the first installment in the Dark Souls series or a precursor to same depending on who you ask, is one of the many games with online functionality… until tomorrow, anyhow. The servers for the game are shutting off completely as of tomorrow, thus blocking out all online functionality.
Of course, the game remains playable, since the online components were always optional, but players who still enjoyed summoning helpful or harmful players into the game will be losing something in the process. One of the game’s bosses is also getting changed to no longer use the online functionality to summon aid, which made for a rather unique fight while it was in place. It’s a smaller sunset than that of a fully online game, but it’s a sunset nonetheless.
If you have any pressing business left in Cabal 2, don’t put it off for too long. ESTsoft announced last week that it will be sunsetting the fantasy MMO sometime in the coming months.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Cabal 2 will be closing its doors in the months ahead,” the studio said. “Unfortunately, Cabal 2 didn’t resonate with as many players as we had hoped, and its continued operation is no longer sustainable. We recognize that many of you will be disappointed by this news, and rightly so.”
ESTsoft said that it is working on further posts with more details of how the shutdown of the game in the west will unfold. As for right now, players can no longer refill eCoins and purchase duration-based items.
At the end of the game’s life, when the lights are going out and the developers drifting off to different positions, the most interesting thing that can be said of Perpetuum Online is that it was a minor miracle this MMO made it out the door in the first place.
One of the lead developers of this indie project posted a farewell notice on the site this week, looking back over the past 14 years of the game’s creation and operation.
“We started working on the game (then just called “GenXY”) in around 2004 — we genuinely had no idea what we were doing, we had no idea of the scope of it, we had no idea what it’d become or what we’d WANT it to become; we just had a faint idea that it was possible, and we started on it because we didn’t know better. Turns out, that was kinda really we needed to get it done — because if we would’ve known what’s coming, we probably never would’ve started.”