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Bummer: City of Heroes Closing By Year's End

By - Source: City of Heroes | B 41 comments

NCsoft is shutting down both Paragon Studios and the City of Heroes MMORPG.

A post over on the City of Heroes website reveals that the long-running super hero-based MMORPG will be closing its doors by the end of the year.

According Community Manager Andy Belford, the closure is the result of NCsoft shutting down developer Paragon Studios as part of a realignment in focus and publishing support. Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease, and the studio will begin preparing Paragon City's final sunset. That said, all recurring subscription billing and Paragon Market purchasing will be discontinued effective immediately.

Additional information regarding a detailed timeline for the cessation of services and what fans can expect in game in the coming weeks, the post stated.

"The team here at Paragon deserves special praise for all that we have accomplished over the last 5+ years," Bellford said. "These developers are some of the most creative and talented people in the gaming industry. By now, we've all been given this news internally, but to anyone who may be reading this message after the fact; know that your hard work and dedication has not gone unappreciated or unnoticed. To any potential studios looking to grow your team; hire these people. You won't regret it."

The blog goes on to thank the City of Heroes community for their support over the years. "You've been with us every step of the way, sharing in our challenges, encouraging us to make City of Heroes better, more than everyone else thought it could be. We couldn't have come this far without you. I implore you all, focus on the good things of CoH and Paragon Studios. Don't dwell on the "how" or the "why", but rather join us in celebrating the legacy of an amazing partnership between the players and the development team."

"Thank you, and I'll see you in the skies, one last time," the blog concludes.

City of Heroes originally launched for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X back in April 2004. It was originally developed by Cryptic Studios, but the rights were purchased by NCsoft back in 2007 and the CoH staff moved to a new location in California. The new studio became Paragon Studios in April 2009 which currently shares credit with Cryptic for the developmental work. City of Heroes switched to a hybrid free-to-play subscription model in 2011, but apparently that didn't keep the MMORPG afloat.

We've reached out to NCsoft for additional information. So long City of Heroes, and thanks for the spandex-clad memories.

UPDATE: Here's the response we received from NCsoft from NCSoft:

Both NCsoft and Paragon Studios are incredibly proud of the success of City of Heroes, but unfortunately, the continued support of the franchise no longer fits within our long term goals for the company. All employees at Paragon Studios are affected by this decision, including the management team.

We will begin the City of Heroes sun setting process immediately with the goal to officially stop our service offerings for the franchise on November 30, 2012.

This was a very tough decision to make and wish the best for all Paragon Studio employees in their next ventures.

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Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    belardo , September 1, 2012 10:23 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!
  • 17 Hide
    myromance123 , September 1, 2012 11:31 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.
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    belardo , September 1, 2012 10:23 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!
  • 17 Hide
    myromance123 , September 1, 2012 11:31 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.
  • -4 Hide
    digiex , September 1, 2012 12:34 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.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 1, 2012 12:54 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!
  • 7 Hide
    Draconian , September 1, 2012 1:26 PM
    Another one bites the dust. It's amazing that Ultima Online is still going.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 1, 2012 1:39 PM
    This is depressing. =/ CoH is the only MMORPG I can sink my teeth into.
  • 8 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , September 1, 2012 1:53 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!!"
  • 9 Hide
    alidan , September 1, 2012 1:53 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.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 1, 2012 2:23 PM
    For a "profitable game" to be shut this quickly, I would first suspect internal financial fraud.
  • 2 Hide
    capt_taco , September 1, 2012 3:34 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.
  • 2 Hide
    Wolfshadw , September 1, 2012 3:38 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
  • -8 Hide
    demonhorde665 , September 1, 2012 3:45 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.
  • 9 Hide
    snowzsan , September 1, 2012 3:59 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.
  • 0 Hide
    RipperjackAU , September 1, 2012 4:33 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.
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , September 1, 2012 4:44 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)
  • 0 Hide
    Darkerson , September 1, 2012 5:04 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!
  • 1 Hide
    nforce4max , September 1, 2012 5:41 PM
    Well expect to see private servers in the coming months for this game.
  • -6 Hide
    belardo , September 1, 2012 6:31 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.
  • 4 Hide
    Camikazi , September 1, 2012 6:38 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.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 1, 2012 7:02 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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