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Bummer: City of Heroes Closing By Year's End

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.

  • belardo
    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!
    Reply
  • myromance123
    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.
    Reply
  • digiex
    That's what happened when the business model of the game is not planned well.
    City of Heroes switched to a hybrid free-to-play subscription model in 2011, but apparently that didn't keep the MMORPG afloat.
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • Draconian
    Another one bites the dust. It's amazing that Ultima Online is still going.
    Reply
  • This is depressing. =/ CoH is the only MMORPG I can sink my teeth into.
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    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!!"
    Reply
  • alidan
    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.
    Reply
  • For a "profitable game" to be shut this quickly, I would first suspect internal financial fraud.
    Reply
  • capt_taco
    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.
    Reply