Turbine is Resurrecting Asheron's Call 2 MMORPG

Over on the Asheron's Call forum, Turbine Entertainment has announced that it has resurrected Asheron's Call 2, the sequel MMORPG that was launched in November 2002 and then shut down in December 2005. The original, which launched in 1999 as a competitor to EverQuest, is still up and running, requiring a $12.95 monthly subscription. Unfortunately, it will be these paying customers who will have exclusive access to the resurrected sequel.

"We have opened up a new server for anyone who has an active Asheron’s Call subscription to play Asheron’s Call 2 for free!" the company said. "Although we would have loved to revisit some of our old characters with you, we were not able to bring over any of your old characters. We do, however, present this new Asheron’s Call 2 server, Dawnsong, to all active Asheron’s Call players with a paid subscription or who purchase an ACTD retail key and subscribe."

Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna, the Director of Community Relations for Turbine, said back in 2005 that the MMORPG was shut down because the game failed to achieve enough subscribers to keep the doors open.

"We spent a lot of time trying to come up with various ways to keep the game running at the subscriber level we were at, but in the end none of them worked in the long run," he said during an interview. "Once we exhausted all of our options, we made the final decision. Nobody at Turbine was happy about that, but it had to be done."

Hanna said the expansion pack, which was released just before the MMORPG was taken offline, was meant as an attempt to bring more people in the game by getting Asheron's Call 2 back on store shelves. "We advertised the game on the web and in magazines too. Unfortunately the expansion pack didn’t really grow the game," he said.

"There are many factors that contributed to AC2’s ultimate fate, and it’s really hard to single one factor out above the others," he added. "There are a lot of things that Turbine has learned from AC2, and we’re constantly applying those lessons to Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online. One of the key lessons that we learned is the customer perception of sequels in the MMO space. They end up splitting your community more so than growing it. So they are counterproductive, unlike sequels in other game genres where they can be really successful."

The new Asheron's Call 2 client, available only for Asheron's Call customers, provides access to the new Dawnsong server. Turbine said it passed initial tests, but there's still a lot of monitoring and tweaking to do to the game environment.

"We want to ensure that our players understand that. This game service will be provided as a beta for all players with an active Asheron’s Call account," Turbine said. "If you are an active paid AC1 subscriber there will be no need to create a new account for Asheron’s Call 2; you will simply log into the Asheron’s Call 2 game using your current Asheron’s Call credentials."

If you're currently subscribed to Asheron's Call, head here to grab the sequel's installer.

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  • osxsier
    Oh hell no! AC2 sucked! I think?

    I played Asherons call 1 for many years. And to this day its still the best PvP around. I loved running around on the darktide server and just doing regular things like buying comps or getting repairs. You would see a red dot show up on your radar. Suddenly, your heart instantly begins to race! Death actually means something here. If you die, you had a chance to drop your best armor, weapons and more! That thought makes you react and think differently. And the fact that it was dynamic and tactical as well, just put its PvP into a league of its own. I mean to this day, I still think about this game, lol!

    Games like WoW you cant do that. You can sit around and carebear O.o all day long and just get killed over and over by anything. But there is never a chance your going to lose any of your gear and someone will take it. And that takes alot of excitement out of it for me. If your a person that likes a game like Eve, something that actually represents some sort of reality. THen AC was the game for you.

    Ill admit, I didnt really give AC2 a chance. Because I was so wrapped up in my guild on AC1. But ill look into it. However, I just remember it as the game engine that I wish AC1 was! It looked nice. But it didnt feel like Asherons Call.
  • ChiefScooter
    Time to rebuild my Lugian Tactician!
  • kommenteer
    AC2 had its flaws, sure. But it also had so many of the nitty-gritty old-school MMO aspects that made it great. Some of the bugs were bad, but some actually enhanced the experience or provided an epic hilarity factor. While I don't think this resurrection will lead to a ton of new AC1 subscribers, I know it will at least pull me in for a month or two lol
  • Marcus52
    Back when AC2 first ran I listened to the naysayers and didn't try it. I'm not going to make that mistake this time. Sweet news!
  • Darkk
    I too played AC1 for few years and still think about the fun times I had with it. I was early beta tester for AC2 and alot of the graphics weren't finished yet so some of the buildings and terrains were half rendered. lol

    The problem was alot of the AC1 players were expecting AC2 to be the same as AC1 with better graphics. Well, AC2 is very different in terms of game dynamics which caused some frustrations. I played AC2 for a couple of months when it was finally released but like so many of AC1 players we went back to playing AC1.

    AC2 would appeal to players who never played AC1 but since WoW was running at full steam they never had enough subs to keep it going.

    Glad to see AC1 is still alive and kicking.

  • mightymaxio
    I was so happy they brought it back I have been waiting years for this day. Resubbed today just to play again, you know that game was really epic with the fact that you could also play instruments in the game which they took to LOTRO.
  • bystander
    Star Wars Galaxies had instruments, and even a class progression system based around music, before AC2.

    Anyways, I played both, and they were fun in their own way, but I doubt I'd ever play either again.
  • mightymaxio
    ^Nice try but AC2 came out in 2002, Star wars Galaxies came out in 2003
  • techguy911
    Ac2 was a cutting edge mmorpg BUT it had many bugs the servers were very unstable the reason why there was not enough subs was most people quit due to servers crashing every 10mins and the devs did not fix it every patch broke more than it fixed.
    Also many aspects were not done it was like playing an alpha and paying what did they expect.
  • bystander
    mightymaxio^Nice try but AC2 came out in 2002, Star wars Galaxies came out in 2003I wasn't trying anything, and I played both. I remembered them in the wrong order, maybe due to beta. Anyways, SWG was far and away more musical than AC2 was, but they did have instruments and a few tunes that were playable in AC2.