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Sony Online to Shut Down Four MMOs This Year

By - Source: Sony Online Entertainment | B 15 comments

The sun has set on four MMOGs published by Sony Online Entertainment. Thanks for the memories.

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) announced on Monday that it is shutting down four MMOGs this year. Two will be unplugged on March 31 while the other two will go offline on July 31. A SOE rep said that the company is making the announcement now in the "spirit of full transparency" so that players have time to adjust to the news.

"At Sony Online Entertainment, we are always evaluating our portfolio to ensure we're providing players with the best gameplay experiences," said senior director of global communications Michele Cagle. "At times, as part of this commitment, we have to make the difficult decision to sunset a game so we can refocus our resources on other areas in the best interest of our company and player community."

The first to go are Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures and Free Realms. Although the company didn't express why with the Star Wars MMOG, the company admitted that Free Realms "reached a stage in its life cycle where players are growing up and moving on to other games."

"When we first released the game in 2009, it was one of the very first free-to-play MMO for kids and teens, and we couldn't be prouder of everything we have accomplished together in the game. While today's news might be a disappointment, we're sincerely excited about what's to come for the game before we say goodbye, including player celebration in-game events and more!" writes Steve George Producer, Sony Online Entertainment.

Steve George, the producer of Clone Wars, said that it was a difficult decision to shut down the Star Wars-themed MMOG, but knew the day would come eventually.

Meanwhile, the next two going offline on July 31 are Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and Wizardry Online. For the former, the game is one of SOE's longest-running MMOGs to date. However, the decrease in population has made justifying the resources needed to support and update the game rather difficult.

"This is an older game and we're experiencing more and more technical challenges to continue running and updating it in a way you deserve. Simply put, these are issues that cannot be fixed in the long term and as a player, we would be doing you a disservice and going against our company commitment to provide the best gameplay experiences. So given this information, sunsetting the game later this year is the inevitable conclusion," writes a company rep.

SOE didn't give any reasons for Wizardry Online, but its January 30, 2013 release date here in the Americas should provide a clue as to why.

"The opportunity to bring a new hardcore fantasy MMORPG based on the Wizardry franchise to players across North America was a great honor, and we've had some fantastic battles and experiences together in the game," writes Todd Carson, Senior Producer, Sony Online Entertainment.

SOE President John Smedley recently conducted a Reddit AMA, which can be read here.

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  • 2 Hide
    razor512 , January 28, 2014 4:43 AM
    Except for star wars, I had no idea those other games even existed.
  • 2 Hide
    Antimatter79 , January 28, 2014 4:58 AM
    Quote:
    Except for star wars, I had no idea those other games even existed.
    I played Vanguard for about two hours back when it was new--you didn't miss anything. My son and I did have a few mins of fun while he helped me decide whether I wanted my huge boobed character to be "perky or saggy".
  • -2 Hide
    cypeq , January 28, 2014 5:31 AM
    Well you have to know what are you agreeing to when buying SOE games... the will shut down even best ones when they get low profit margins.

    There is no worst company in MMO world. They just don't care about customers.
    SOE has x amount of workers and they look efficiency... so... on title A they have 2% profit and on new mmo B they have say 10% profit they move available workforce to mmo B. Making nice smelly dump on people who bonded to the game and people they play with over the years.

    In completely other mmo universe exists for example Ultima Online celebrating 15th bithday.

    EQnext is comming I only wander what is it's shutdown ETA.
  • Display all 15 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    trnddwn33 , January 28, 2014 6:20 AM
    Quote:
    Well you have to know what are you agreeing to when buying SOE games... the will shut down even best ones when they get low profit margins.There is no worst company in MMO world. They just don't care about customers.... Making nice smelly dump on people who bonded to the game and people they play with over the years.
    It's called running a business. They are not in business to lose money, although that is sometimes the result.
  • 1 Hide
    DragonChase , January 28, 2014 6:22 AM
    Quote:
    In completely other mmo universe exists for example Ultima Online celebrating 15th bithday.
    Diablo 2! all other games talk to the hand! hahaha!
  • 4 Hide
    Barantos1 , January 28, 2014 6:35 AM
    Vanguard had some amazing classes and mechanics, could have been a great game for any other company.The slogan still holds true, "SOE, where MMOs go to die"
  • 0 Hide
    Blinken , January 28, 2014 7:05 AM
    LOL, the Vision™ lives on: http://www.gucomics.com/20140124
    Brad is doing an MMO on Kickstarter: Pantheon
  • -1 Hide
    cypeq , January 28, 2014 7:15 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Well you have to know what are you agreeing to when buying SOE games... the will shut down even best ones when they get low profit margins.There is no worst company in MMO world. They just don't care about customers.... Making nice smelly dump on people who bonded to the game and people they play with over the years.
    It's called running a business. They are not in business to lose money, although that is sometimes the result.


    They should not be dealing with MMO. There comes time when you have to halt development and support only hadware not users. Sell for a 1$ to someone willing to support it. The big problem with SOE is that they run expensive third Party IPs so it's not only the service costs that they have to cover.
  • 5 Hide
    surphninja , January 28, 2014 8:06 AM
    It would be nice if they would release the source code for MMO servers that are shut down, so at least there could be some fan run servers. I'm still bummed about all of the changes that took place with Star Wars Galaxies.
  • 1 Hide
    Cazalan , January 28, 2014 8:50 AM
    If someone really wanted these MMOs to continue you could start a non-profit and ask to transfer ownership for a small royalty. It's just no one wants to take on that task.
  • 0 Hide
    skit75 , January 28, 2014 11:03 AM
    Quote:
    It would be nice if they would release the source code for MMO servers that are shut down, so at least there could be some fan run servers. I'm still bummed about all of the changes that took place with Star Wars Galaxies.
    The SWG_EMU is still alive and running on the Basilisk server last I checked. If you have your install discs for SWG, then you can play the EMU, for Free. They do accept donations for the server.
  • 0 Hide
    pauldh , January 28, 2014 5:13 PM
    Our family has six life-time memberships to Free Realms, and it will be greatly missed. It was a unique, family-friendly MMO, entertaining and diverse enough to keep mom's and dad's logging in long after the kidos went to bed. As something I could play WITH the kids, it was a relaxing change of pace from the shooters I enjoy (away from little eyes).
  • 0 Hide
    agnickolov , January 28, 2014 9:56 PM
    @DragonChase: Thankfully, Diablo II is not an MMO even if it does have closed online play mode. I'm happily playing it single player right now in fact...
  • -1 Hide
    demonhorde665 , January 30, 2014 4:31 AM
    you know i ahte hearing about these companies "sunsetting" these games , sure they are "free to play" , but keep in mind that means they all featured micro-transactions , that litterally drained thousands if not millions of people's pockets. i think game dev's owe it to those communities , to do some kind "end of support" release of the game that allows players to keep playing. IE; release the final patch and offer the server client up for free to the community. That way fans don't have to kiss their investment good bye they can then start running servers of their own.
  • 0 Hide
    cypeq , February 1, 2014 1:40 AM
    Quote:
    you know i ahte hearing about these companies "sunsetting" these games , sure they are "free to play" , but keep in mind that means they all featured micro-transactions , that litterally drained thousands if not millions of people's pockets. i think game dev's owe it to those communities , to do some kind "end of support" release of the game that allows players to keep playing. IE; release the final patch and offer the server client up for free to the community. That way fans don't have to kiss their investment good bye they can then start running servers of their own.


    Problem starts when you have starwars game and you have to pay Lucas arts million dollar a year.