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Bummer: City of Heroes Closing By Year's End

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  • Mmorpg
Last response: in News comments
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September 1, 2012 10:23:20 AM

I never played this game... but I know a lot of people DO play it. They are not saying they are not profitable... just that its something they don't want to do anymore.

They are saying F-YOU, but we are with you every step of the way?! Seems like another software company that deserves to go out of business.

The very least they SHOULD and MUST do is offer the COH servers for open source... and any client patches that would allow those people to PLAY the game they paid money for.

This is WHY I hate #)(*#$@ DRM games. If/when the company goes belly up or change owners or whatever - the game you paid $30 or $50 may NOT work if there is no Server to call home too!
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18
September 1, 2012 11:31:58 AM

I'll be dead honest. This is the ONE reason I don't enjoy playing MMORPGS. When they decide to shutdown the servers, all your hardwork and playing time plus possible future playability is gone. Down the drain. Forever flushed.

I experienced this when my local Knights Online hosting company shutdown the servers ( I believe it was around 2005 or 2006). The week before it was abruptly decided, I had finally managed to level up to 60.
My mage, I will forever miss you.
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17
September 1, 2012 12:34:40 PM

That's what happened when the business model of the game is not planned well.
Quote:

City of Heroes switched to a hybrid free-to-play subscription model in 2011, but apparently that didn't keep the MMORPG afloat.
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-4
Anonymous
September 1, 2012 12:54:53 PM

I fully expect the MMO games i play to end at some point, that is one of the great things about them, your long journey comes to an end!

This is what happens with all MMO games, its no surprise! 5yrs is a good run, longer than EA give on most of the multiplayer servers they run anyways!
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4
September 1, 2012 1:26:13 PM

Another one bites the dust. It's amazing that Ultima Online is still going.
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7
Anonymous
September 1, 2012 1:39:12 PM

This is depressing. =/ CoH is the only MMORPG I can sink my teeth into.
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2
September 1, 2012 1:53:01 PM

I read an idea on another site. When these companies decide to shutter their MMO's, they should release the server software and creation tools to the community. Then the really hardcore people can keep playing forever, and you never have that PR blackeye of "so and so shut down my favorite game ever!!"
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8
September 1, 2012 1:53:29 PM

belardoI never played this game... but I know a lot of people DO play it. They are not saying they are not profitable... just that its something they don't want to do anymore.They are saying F-YOU, but we are with you every step of the way?! Seems like another software company that deserves to go out of business.The very least they SHOULD and MUST do is offer the COH servers for open source... and any client patches that would allow those people to PLAY the game they paid money for.This is WHY I hate #)(*#$@ DRM games. If/when the company goes belly up or change owners or whatever - the game you paid $30 or $50 may NOT work if there is no Server to call home too!


coh is an mmo correct? you don't buy an mmo expecting it to last forever, you get it expecting a good time while its around.

you point is invalid here.
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9
Anonymous
September 1, 2012 2:23:07 PM

For a "profitable game" to be shut this quickly, I would first suspect internal financial fraud.
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2
September 1, 2012 3:34:53 PM

jkflipflop98I read an idea on another site. When these companies decide to shutter their MMO's, they should release the server software and creation tools to the community. Then the really hardcore people can keep playing forever, and you never have that PR blackeye of "so and so shut down my favorite game ever!!"


You'd think that would be a no-brainer. It's not like they have to worry about hacking or infringement or anything like that anymore. They're done with it and they're not making any more money from it.
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2
September 1, 2012 3:38:03 PM

I don't know if I'd say they're shutting it down too quickly. The game was released in April of 2004. That makes it an 8+ year run. As someone who started playing the game way back then, I'd say it was a great run. I rarely play it anymore, but I'd still like to hop on once in a while.

I really wish they would release the server software to the community so those of us who would like to keep playing could do so.

-Wolf sends
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2
September 1, 2012 3:45:04 PM

I think in the least they should refund all in game purchased when the doors close. That way gamers can look at using those in game credit in other NCsoft titles. This is why i'm skeptical about ever sinking money into any Free mmo's because once the game closes shop you LOOSE every thing you spent real money on and are left with nothing but memories . and lets face it even good memorioes sting when you can't relive said memories ever. At least in this regard , i think Star trek online has a great system and i'd like to see more free mmo's do this. i've bought many "real money" items in STO , with out ever using any real money really , the resource (dilithium) trading system is great and since i traded dilitium for real money credits, i never actully spent any money out of my pocket for in game goodies. Yet cryptic still sees money from this because Some one ahd to buy the points to be able to trade them. every Free mmo should have this. it's a win-win situation. sham,e that NC is closing city of heros.
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September 1, 2012 3:59:36 PM

Are you insane? Refund all the purchases of the game? Why on earth would they do that? Because you feel ripped off because you got 5 years of gameplay for $50-$60? Self entitlement is what makes you generation retarded.

I'm sorry, I'm usually level headed on Tom's, but the amount of stupidity on this post is just amazing.
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September 1, 2012 4:33:49 PM

When they say,

Quote:
but unfortunately, the continued support of the franchise no longer fits within our long term goals for the company.


What they really mean is...

Long term goals for the company = Guild Wars 2!

Eh, such is life. I'm playing GW2 now, so while I regret seeing any MMO close its doors, I'm not surprised.
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September 1, 2012 4:44:23 PM

the game started off pretty fun. the missions were pretty fair when you have a good team and theres no random PvP idiots causing hours of PvE work to go to waste.

Only issue was that the company did not fix some of the compatibility and performance issues with newer cards.

newer hardware that benchmarks nearly twice as high as older hardware should not be running the game slower (can still max everything out but it is annoying)

PS after you get to a certain point, the game basically requires a monthly fee if you want to do more than just roam the city.

Out of all of the mmo's, my favorites have been global agenda and city of heroes.

(sadly both have gotten compatibility issues)

While I no longer really play global agenda, when i did, I had to keep both a GTX 460 and GTS 250 in my PC because for some reason the GTS 250 runs the game much more smoothly (I just run the game on my other monitor)
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September 1, 2012 5:04:17 PM

Proof that F2P is not some magical get out of jail free card. Just drags the eventual out a little longer. Oh well, Good bye CoH/CoV...it was fun while it lasted!
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September 1, 2012 5:41:53 PM

Well expect to see private servers in the coming months for this game.
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September 1, 2012 6:31:07 PM

alidancoh is an mmo correct? you don't buy an mmo expecting it to last forever, you get it expecting a good time while its around. you point is invalid here.
IF I pay $10, never the less $50 for a damn game. I expect the game to work whenever I fracking want it to. 5 years, 10 years, 15 years.

Yes, if the players "go away" - then its understandable. I play UT2004 (also an 8 year old game) and there is only a few players... more than those from UT2008/3 - because the studio messed it up and made shit. There are UT2004 servers that run fine - no connection to the studio. I just bought a copy for my son for $5 so he can play online with me.

So no... MY point is valid. If the company no longer wants to support the product, they release the server software to someone else / the public. There are quite a number of OLD games that work today because of this.

The COH players will never come back as customers to that company.
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September 1, 2012 6:38:23 PM

belardoIF I pay $10, never the less $50 for a damn game. I expect the game to work whenever I fracking want it to. 5 years, 10 years, 15 years.Yes, if the players "go away" - then its understandable. I play UT2004 (also an 8 year old game) and there is only a few players... more than those from UT2008/3 - because the studio messed it up and made ***. There are UT2004 servers that run fine - no connection to the studio. I just bought a copy for my son for $5 so he can play online with me.So no... MY point is valid. If the company no longer wants to support the product, they release the server software to someone else / the public. There are quite a number of OLD games that work today because of this.The COH players will never come back as customers to that company.

MMOs are not like normal games, they were NEVER meant to last forever and you should know that. You pay for now knowing it will end one day if you can't accept that then you should have never been playing an MMO to begin with. BTW MMOs and games like UT2004 are not comparable, MMOs are always up and always changing while UT2004 games are instance only and take up less resources to run. I can run a UT2004 server on one of my spare comps and it will run fine but running a large online MMO takes a massive amount of resources and money to run efficiently. As for the whole giving out the source you need to remember that these companies paid a large amount of time and spent a lot of time making the game, why should they give out all that code if they don't want too? You got your entertainment out of it, you got WAY more then your money's worth just be happy you had the game to play in the first place.
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Anonymous
September 1, 2012 7:02:18 PM

It ain't makin' enough money. That's how business works. Unhappy at the decision, but it's not an injustice. There is no law and no moral obligation for them to release the code to anyone at all. NOBODY IS GOING TO DIE IF THE CODE IS NOT RELEASED! Some people just need to grow up.
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September 1, 2012 7:57:55 PM

Did anyone else suddenly get the urge to play this game, even if though you don't already own it?
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September 1, 2012 8:44:50 PM

8 years is a lot of time, I don't think CoH had a bad performance, quite the opposite in fact. We have seen worse, even under the NCSoft flag. ¿Tabulsa Rasa, anyone?
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September 1, 2012 9:28:30 PM

draconianAnother one bites the dust. It's amazing that Ultima Online is still going.

I agree. But UO has unique features and cult following to keep it alive. UO also has the benefit of being ran well on the computing power of a calculator watch. .... just spent five minutes waxing nostalgic of my UO days. Thanks a lot! lol
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September 1, 2012 9:39:51 PM

belardoIF I pay $10, never the less $50 for a damn game. I expect the game to work whenever I fracking want it to. 5 years, 10 years, 15 years.Yes, if the players "go away" - then its understandable. I play UT2004 (also an 8 year old game) and there is only a few players... more than those from UT2008/3 - because the studio messed it up and made shit. There are UT2004 servers that run fine - no connection to the studio. I just bought a copy for my son for $5 so he can play online with me.So no... MY point is valid. If the company no longer wants to support the product, they release the server software to someone else / the public. There are quite a number of OLD games that work today because of this.The COH players will never come back as customers to that company.


If this is the attitude you have...maybe...just maybe...you should actually read the ToS before you click the "Agree" button. MMO's have a very specific ToS agreement.
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September 1, 2012 11:25:04 PM

Jeez, I didn't hear this much complaining when the developers for Amalur closed shop. Who can reasonably expect that a video game development team is supposed to stick around supporting a game for the rest of their natural lives? Gaming is one of the cheapest dollar per hour forms of entertainment I can think of, so even if you spent $60 on a game, and played regularly every week for a year and then they shut down, you've only paid 5 bux a month, which is way cheaper than pretty much anything else you can do these days. Hell, it costs $60 to take my wife and son to a 3D movie with drinks and snacks and that only lasts 2 hours tops.

Now sure, I agree that it would be nice for them to release the server code so people can keep the game going, but they certainly are not obligated to give away their work if they don't want to. Besides, it may be interesting to see what cool grand finale there may be on the last day, like with Tabula Rasa, and Star Wars Galaxies. I missed out on both of those, but I may try CoH just to see what happens when the lights go out.
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September 2, 2012 1:49:13 AM

@ Antimatter79

Just an FYI. I started playing CoH just after game release. I've been playing it for most of the last eight years, subscribed for the first six. That's $50 for the game and an average of $14/Month for my subscription or $1058 invested into this game.

Was it worth it? Absolutely! But that's only the financial side of the equation. There's also the emotional investment that goes along with the thousands of hours I poured into the game.

No, there's no legal obligation to open the server source code to the global community, but wouldn't it be nice if 10 years from now, I could fire up the old server and get my old group back together for another romp around Paragon City?

From a Developer's or Corporation's stand point, where is the harm in that?

-Wolf sends
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September 2, 2012 2:31:48 AM

So WOW will be the last of it's kind! awesome!!! now i just want to see apple dying! but damn they can milk the money from idiots like none one else!
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September 2, 2012 4:35:54 AM

NCSoft shuts down games they don't feel like running anymore. It doesn't matter if it was making a profit or not.
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September 2, 2012 9:23:50 AM

belardoIF I pay $10, never the less $50 for a damn game. I expect the game to work whenever I fracking want it to. 5 years, 10 years, 15 years.Yes, if the players "go away" - then its understandable. I play UT2004 (also an 8 year old game) and there is only a few players... more than those from UT2008/3 - because the studio messed it up and made shit. There are UT2004 servers that run fine - no connection to the studio. I just bought a copy for my son for $5 so he can play online with me.So no... MY point is valid. If the company no longer wants to support the product, they release the server software to someone else / the public. There are quite a number of OLD games that work today because of this.The COH players will never come back as customers to that company.


this is coming from me playing everquest for years, and recently losing my characters due to server closing.

by the time that happened, i had been played live servers, through servers merging, and a server wipe (test) and i can say that what makes an mmo is the community. and the community goes away long before a mmo dies.

granted there are cases like star wars galaxies where the license was up, and this one where its closed (dont know if it was a financial fail or not) but look at everquest, still active, still going, and i know that at its peak it never broke 1 million active users, i think it peaked around 350000, and probably has sub 70000 now, yet it still goes on, and is profitable, if this died due to profit, the community was gone.
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Anonymous
September 2, 2012 1:20:47 PM

To clarify, CoH isn't closing due to being unprofitable or because it had lost it's community. It is closing because NCSoft have decided to close it: the hybrid F2P model adopted last year is relevant only insofar as it failed to boost revenues from the game above what they were already, but according to some sources it was pulling in approx. $11M/year ($860K/month) for at least the past 2 years. Not great compared with some other games, but steady income and achieved WITHOUT any noticeable expenditure on promotion of the game.

As for those here who have accused some of 'whining' over the closure of the game, we aren't pissed about our game closing so much as we're pissed about losing our community. CoH's community was -is- predominantly upbeat, constructive and pleasant. There's not enough of that anywhere, and by December 1st there'll be even less.
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September 2, 2012 11:27:18 PM

zeratul600So WOW will be the last of it's kind! awesome!!! now i just want to see apple dying! but damn they can milk the money from idiots like none one else!


No, it'll probably be Rift.
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September 3, 2012 8:31:10 AM

xaedNo, it'll probably be Rift.

yep rift ^^
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Anonymous
September 3, 2012 4:29:18 PM

It is not simply the closure of the game, it is the way in which it was handled. It was, quite literally, A "bolt out of the blue". No one saw it coming. The Devs had just released more information about the next "issue:, and they were revealing plans for the next 2 issues to follow, showing that they had future plans for at least the next year. And then, suddenly, the announcement that the game is closing. And not because they were not making enough money, but because NCsoft has decided to "refocus" on other markets.

That is why people are upset. If the game was on life support, had a dwindling playerbase, horrible bugs that were receiving no attention, no communication from the devs, no hope for future improvements, then the closure would at least make som esense. As it is now, it makes very little sense.
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September 3, 2012 7:17:13 PM

i spent most of my high school years playing this game, and made some awesome online friends. i quit when i entered college, but i can only imagine how bad the players who've been playing since day one feel.

some games are a great experience, but i can only imagine they feel if they've wasted so much of their life into this game, that put out absolutely no benefit to their lives aside from entertainment. which is not bad, but of course there are those people who play continuously, and try to get every single badge and enhancement available. what a waste. they should open source it. even if it's only 100 people playing it for the next year, it would be worth it.

hamidon raids before the nerf were the best.
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September 3, 2012 7:21:44 PM

Tickdoff TankIt is not simply the closure of the game, it is the way in which it was handled. It was, quite literally, A "bolt out of the blue". No one saw it coming. The Devs had just released more information about the next "issue:, and they were revealing plans for the next 2 issues to follow, showing that they had future plans for at least the next year. And then, suddenly, the announcement that the game is closing. And not because they were not making enough money, but because NCsoft has decided to "refocus" on other markets.That is why people are upset. If the game was on life support, had a dwindling playerbase, horrible bugs that were receiving no attention, no communication from the devs, no hope for future improvements, then the closure would at least make som esense. As it is now, it makes very little sense.

it's a business, and if you run a business, you go where the money is. who knows, maybe they're working on a sequel? it's been nearly 10 years since the game came out, imagine what advances they could make
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September 4, 2012 5:38:41 PM

Correction/addition to the above post: the petition has over 11,000 signatures now--thank you to everyone here who signed--and this is just since Friday. The community at City of Heroes is one of the most tightly-knit and supportive I've ever seen; if anyone can pull together and fight for something they believe in, it is this community!

Some players have been bitter and rather ugly, but for the most part, players have simply decided that they've been saving Paragon City for more than eight years...it's time to do it .
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September 4, 2012 5:43:30 PM

Sorry, that should read, "...it's time to do it one more time." I tried to link to the very well-written call to arms posted by Titan Network's TonyV, but it appears I was not successful. If you'd like to read it, you can find it in tigerknight's posted link above.
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September 4, 2012 10:04:22 PM

eklipz330it's a business, and if you run a business, you go where the money is. who knows, maybe they're working on a sequel? it's been nearly 10 years since the game came out, imagine what advances they could make



Except we're talking about NCSoft. There isn't a secondary plan. The game is gone once its shut down. They will also pursue any attempts to keep it going afterwards by throwing their lawyers at you. This is game #3 they've shut down.

/e

I'm behind. This is actually the 7th.
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Anonymous
September 9, 2012 5:16:16 AM

We've started a new Youtube series centered around the shutdown of CoH, sharing our thoughts and showcasing the features of this wonderful MMO! Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q_IV8cjT3Y
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Anonymous
September 11, 2012 3:22:52 AM

Okay, I’ve had about a week to calm the *bleep!* down, wrap my head around the closure of City of Heroes, and get an action plan in place for how to proceed.

This is NOT to say that it wouldn’t be more emotionally gratifying to Leeroy Jenkins my way into NCSoft and bust heads. But that only makes ME feel better (at least until the cops taser my stupid, fat ass), and doesn’t really help fix this situation at all.

Now, to be perfectly fair, NCSoft has been an EXCELLENT shepherd for the game for the last five years or so. In a time when some companies wouldn’t even look at a game unless the publishers could guarantee WoW-style numbers of players, NCSoft has basically been tossing continuous cash infusions into CoH. A niche MMO with, at best, 130,000 players at its height.

Under their watchful eye (and open pocketbook), we’ve gotten twelve Issues (because Issue 11 was effectively already in the can by the time NCSoft purchased CoH/CoV back in November of 2007.

Was going to list them all out here but NOBODY’s going to read a 20-page long review.

If you’re interested head over here and look at what was in every issue from 12 onward. And, for a point of reference. I came into the game during Issue 12. So I’ve quite literally NEVER known the game without some of these systems and settings!

I’ve played games that don’t have half the features that CoH has just ADDED in the last four and a half years!

So, please, try not to be too harsh with NCSoft over what was purely a business decision for them. They have to make what they feel are the best decisions for themselves and their stockholders.

So, what is being done?

Currently the community is mobilizing in a coordinated, multi-front effort to attempt to save City of Heroes.

There’s been an explosion of Social Media activity on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.

In addition, the community is coming together and coordinating these efforts on the official boards, as well as primary (if unofficial) sites like the all important Titan Network and Unleashed.

There are demonstrations going on in-game, as well as petitions, letter writing campaigns, and even attempts to somehow acquire the game, kickstart a new studio and continue.

And while we may not have Chuck *bleep!*ing Norris “allowing us to live”, there are numerous people in the community with more than a little celebrity of their own. People such as Jim Butcher, John Kovalic, Mercedes Lackey, and more. And some of them are willing to put THEMSELVES out there for the preservation of this game.

Not just for a game. Though the game itself is fairly impressive. 14 archetypes, with over a thousand legitimate powerset combinations, leading up to the possibility of literally hundreds of quadrillions of unique character builds and over ten tredecillion (10^42) possible costume combinations.

And the game was still growing…

But the MAIN reason why people are willing to put themselves out there is the community. You hear of tightly knit player communities. You even hear of communities where the devs are somewhat communicative. But nowhere NEAR the level of CoH. The relationship between players and developers was so blurry in places it was impossible to differentiate. Some players actually moved into development, others into the marketing and community support aspects. Still others actually worked on a contractual basis with Paragon Studios to help improve the game.

The general atmosphere in-game was light, fairly inviting, and VERY casual and social. You got involved as much as your comfort level allowed and nobody asked more. You could drop the game for weeks, months, and even years. Then show back up again, and having people fall all over one another bringing you up to speed on the changes.

Now, many will move on to other games. And more power to them.

Others will not. Reasons for this about and I’ll just list a few out.

Other offerings in the same genre (superheroes) are clearly inferior. Including Champions Online, which is built off a newer version of the exact same engine by the exact same company that initially build City of Heroes (NCSoft). CoH is the benchmark used for excellence in gameplay in the superhero MMO space. And all the others have fallen far short in just about every review where such comparisons were made.
Not into the pseudo-Tolkienesque fantasy genre.
Not into the spawn-camping gear-quest/grindfest that many of the Triple A MMOs embrace. Let’s face it, WoW and it’s mutant ilk are so successful because of Asia. Where nearly two billion potential players are perfectly willing to sit down in front of a computer for days on-end and grind themselves to death (sometimes quite literally). Now I’m not saying the CoH community wouldn’t welcome a million-plus player infusion. But the Asian market, traditionally, hasn’t really been receptive to American comics culture. The attempt by CoH to push into Korea was a dismal failure. And I’m not sure we want the game to become synonymous with people so addicted to gaming that they DIE before stopping.
Don’t want to start over.
Don’t want to try and push into an existing community.
Don’t want to play games where certain types of gaming (like PVP), which they may or may not like, are “required”.



Also, after the initial push, we started noticing push back from various avenues. Essentially telling CoH players trying to save the game that they were being stupid, or childish, or what-have you for wanting to rescue the community that’s been going for eight years.

I’m sorry, but these individuals are wrong. Utterly and completely. Few of the players are being childish about this situation. There is still money to be made by City of Heroes. While it may not be financially viable in NCSoft’s eyes, it all comes down to what any given proprietor is willing to settle for in the way of “profits”.

And venues like an MMO don’t HAVE to die. Look at Everquest. It’s over 13 years old and STILL going! And, like CoH did later, it even survived it’s successor product!

And, if, at the end of it all, the game still dies, we’ll have the satisfaction of knowing we did everything humanly possible to try and save the game. Rather than the regret that we could have saved it and didn’t even try.



So, for those whom have walked in the streets and flown through the skies of Paragon City with me. It’s been an honor and a privilege.

For those who’re working their butts off trying to rescue this game from oblivion, I say “welcome to the fight, we need you”.

And for the detractors who see this as immature, or selfish, and wish to shout it out from their own web venues, I say “Thank you for your acknowledgement and we’ll see who was “right” on December 1st, 2012. But, for now, I have better things to do.”
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