NCsoft Shuts Down City of Heroes

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NCsoft Shuts Down City of Heroes

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The venerable superhero-themed MMO will be shutting down for good before the end of the year.

"All good things must come to an end." Today, you might use that proverb to refer to the aged-but-well-liked superhero MMO, City of Heroes, and its developer, Paragon Studios, which will soon be closing its doors for good. All City of Heroes billing, including the Paragon Market in-game store have been shut down, and preparations are being made to turn off the servers before the end of the year. No reason has yet been given for the game's closure.

In a farewell post on the official City of Heroes site, Community Manager Andy Belford elaborated, "In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios. Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease and we will begin preparations to sunset the world's first, and best, Super Hero MMORPG before the end of the year."

This news will certainly come as a surprise to many players. Indeed, it may have been a surprise even to employees of the studio itself; a new powerset was released in the Paragon Market just ten days ago, and now can no longer even be purchased. While the farewell post urges players not to "dwell on the "how" or the "why"," there will no doubt be a lot of people wanting answers.

An examination of NCsoft's IR (Investor Relations) report for August 2012 may reveal some clues to those answers, however. Visible on the thirteenth page of the report, it seems that sales related to City of Heroes have remained fairly constant - in fact, they increased very slightly over mid 2011 sales. At a glance, this does not seem particularly damning, but it should be considered that City of Heroes went through a free-to-play conversion over the later half of 2011, launching officially as City of Heroes: Freedom on September 13th, 2011. Undoubtedly, this conversion was intended to increase the game's profitability and longevity, and yet the revenue barely increased. With newer, bigger NCsoft titles either just arriving or on the horizon like Guild Wars 2 and Blade and Soul, it is - unfortunately - not inconceivable that NCsoft would decide to pull the plug.

Whatever the true reasons for the game's closure, it's truly sad to see it come to an end in such a fashion. While it never achieved the runaway success of larger MMOs like World of Warcraft, it was well-received by critics and well-liked by fans, and it will be missed.

Source: City of Heroes

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I only ever played City of Heroes for 6 months, back in 2007. It was a fun MMO at the time, especially since I was playing alongside two really good friends.

It's a shame to see it go but on the other hand, it's not like I was playing it anymore. I'd say it had quite the loyal fanbase and a good run.

BZ, Paragon Studios.

City of Heroes was my first MMO, and my first real experience with a online social network, I had some damn good times in there. I tried revisiting CoH some time ago, but the game barely runs on Windows Vista (got it running once, logged out, tried logging in again, the game crashed and decided never to work again) and won't even work with Windows 7. This game did not age well at all.

Its a shame. I wanted to go back to that game so badly, but it was a ghost town when I left.

Guess its for the best, since my base would have likely been wiped after i left.

well that sucks... city of heroes was my first MMO i ever bought subscribed to and played(hell i even built my first computer just to play that game...)i loved to RP on there(aloth i am a bit embarrassed when i think back to it because of how cheesy i sounded at the time lol) and it let me put my hero that i always dreamed of bring on paper so to speak

i'm gonna miss it when it gos

This sucks. I was still playing this game alongside friends of mine 'n RPing with them. Then I got these news earlier tonight. Bleh. This ruined my friday night. :|

God damn, how many of NCSoft's MMOs have been shut down so far? I think it's like 5 now: Auto Assault, Tabula Rasa, Exsteel, Dungeon Runners... and according to Wikipedia there are 2 others. Don't they realize how much of a turnoff that is when dealing with huge investments of time like MMOs?

I've played it for a bit, never really got that into it, but it's never fun to see someone else source of fun or pleasure close down.

Ech, the beer I've had tastes bitter now, way to end friday. I still played, even now, and it was one of the few very well polished MAC MMOs out there. Truly a shame.

The Human Torch:
I tried revisiting CoH some time ago, but the game barely runs on Windows Vista (got it running once, logged out, tried logging in again, the game crashed and decided never to work again) and won't even work with Windows 7. This game did not age well at all.

I played it on and off for 2 years on a laptop running Vista, and then later on another running Windows 7, default settings, no tweaks required, and never with any problems, so I think it's a bit more likely the problem was with your pc, or a bad install. /shrug.

OT: My first MMO, and though I've been away for a while I was planning on returning soon. It's not a perfect game (none are) but I have a lot of good memories of it, and I'm shocked and saddened at how sudden this is.

That said... I'm not terribly surprised that their F2P transition didn't work out for them - the 'free' model was easily the worst of the 4 or 5 F2P MMOs I've played for any length of time, more of a glorified trial than anything else with a lot of content locked behind paywalls. I've always felt more inclined to spend money on F2Ps when I don't feel like I'm being forced to spend money, oddly enough.

But still... no server mergers? No maintenance mode? I shouldn't be surprised seeing as it's NCSoft... but wow... what. the. fuck?

Poor Andy, Going from the sinking ship of Warhammer: Age of Reckoning to the now closing City of Heros... better luck next time mate.

This is a sad, sad day indeed. I've tried Champions Online and DC Universe Online and while both are good in their own ways, City of Heroes was simply the best super hero MMO available. And they couldn't picked up a worst time for this, as I was just getting the hang of the game itself.

Being NCsoft and their record of trigger happy shut downs, now I'm fearing for the fate of the first Guild Wars now that the second game is filling their bank accounts.

Oddly enough, the first Everquest seems to still going pretty strong.

City of Heroes was great for its time, but it did not age well in a post-WoW world. The UI felt so strange and uncomfortable. However, the character creation was utterly absorbing. It was hard NOT to role-play after spending an hour just picking out your costume.

Been playing on and off since issue 2... some of the best MMO RPing I've ever had... My now-wife and I played it as a duo back when we were still just dating. I have a lot of history with this game... it will be missed.

Sorry to see it go, if only because I have fond memories of costume contests. Nice article, btw, I like it when the article involves some real investigation.

Well I suppose it was a good thing I did try it once abliet it was months ago and not when it first came out. The game felt so plain that I uninstall it a day later.

I would of thought they made the ingame stuff sold in the shop free than to shut it down competely.

Pity :( It was one of the few mmos other then wow that I tried and actually enjoyed and spent some time in. Actually used a few neat different mechanics and such, kept meaning to get back to it but guess I wont be now. The character creator was bloody awesome especially considering the games age.

Idk, just really disappointing.

The game officially ends on Nov. 30th according to sources. For my wife and I, who were with the game from 2004 up until 2011 or so, it will be the end of an era. We met a lot of good people in Paragon City. We still keep up with quite a few of them out of game.

The news today was sudden and staggering, and I'm at a loss for words, except "Thanks for everything, City of Heroes."

~ Obsidius

Edit: Also, some of us current/former/soon-to-be-former CoH players have made a fleet on Star Trek Online for anyone looking for a new 2nd home: http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=373611

Always meant to try CoH, shame to see it go. It would be nice to see these F2P games (or even the P2P games) open-sourced once they are shut down by the creators, then the remaining community could continue to enjoy their games. After all, we have people reverse-engineering them as it is and I would really like to see a legit alternative to the games I may have pumped money into over the years. I know it isn't likely to happen but I can dream.

I dont understand this, I dont play it but if it's still profitable why shut it down?

As long as its adding to the bottom line then surely its a positive as well as its supporting staff, jobs etc

Scarim Coral:
Well I suppose it was a good thing I did try it once abliet it was months ago and not when it first came out. The game felt so plain that I uninstall it a day later.

I would of thought they made the ingame stuff sold in the shop free than to shut it down competely.

The problem with making the shop items free is that they would lose what revenue they are making off the game while still having to pay to keep servers online and pay staff to maintain the code and hardware. Not a very realistic expectation for a profit-driven company.

Damn, I was gonna check this out at some point. Seemed like a more in-depth version of DCUO, albeit without the awesome IP.

Infact, if it wasn't for the fact that DCUO has the DC IP to work with, I would have tried CoH much sooner.

Pipotchi:
I dont understand this, I dont play it but if it's still profitable why shut it down?

As long as its adding to the bottom line then surely its a positive as well as its supporting staff, jobs etc

Actually, yeah, this.
If a game is making enough money to support itself, there is virtually no justifiable reason to shut it down.

I rather liked CoH. So did my girlfriend and a number of friends.

Remember thine icy tanker, Max Fuyunaito. Best drummer in the land.

You know, I always wanted to play this game, but my computer overheats to much and my internet is crap.

*sigh*, goodbye City of Heroes. You're the greatest game I'll never get to play. :(

I played CoH for 6 months and it was great, the combat system and level up mechanics were far better than WoWs and made combat more fluid. The story was interesting and the party system worked well with the instance system.

PVP was garbage though and there was 0 end game, nothing at all but farming the same types of missions you played leveling up in order to get better upgrades and a couple small raid type missions with pretty much the same loot as the other missions and no one wanted to do them.

The character creation system was the best in any game EVER. I remember spending over an hour making a single character, perfecting every nuance of her costume to something i could say was an awesome retrostyled super villain. There used to be costume contests held by the rich end game players who wanted to help out and sponsor a player started event, Lady Gear<My droid based mastermind> won every contest she ever entered and after the 6th win was invited to a super group[i think thats what a guild was called] and asked to stop entering the contest because it wasn't fair to everyone else. ^_^

There was so much about the game that I loved but I became frustrated by the lack of people that wanted to group at end game due to everyone making a small group and then charging to run other people through the top level missions which i felt cheapened the game. I finally quit after they came out with the feature for players to make their own levels which then immediately became a tool for people to make the highest and easiest missions to farm exp in so they could speed level with little effort. It was the cockroach in my pudding, it instantly repelled me from the game and i never went back though i always though about trying it again when it went free, but i decided i preferred the CoH in my memory to anything that might of changed since it went F2P.

This makes me sad because its one more games that will disappear from the world, it makes me glad that people keep the PSO blue burst servers alive, atleast thats one great mmo that will continue on for atleast alittle while longer. Farewell CoH, despite your limitations and age, you beat the crap out of all super hero mmos that tried to replace you and will stand as a symbol of people caring about their game enough to keep working on it past the time the public went after the next shiny.

Damn. The only MMO I've ever played and loved is finally being killed. Shame. I've had so many hours in it. RIP City of Heros. You will be missed.

Well that's a kick in the balls; I've spend a good portion of the last eight years in and out of Paragon City.

Considering my last few MMOs were this, Tabula Rasa, Dungeon Runners and Auto Assault I should probably stay away from NCSoft for their own sake.

This makes me sad. I am not a big fan of MMOs and although I've played many and all have disappointed me. City of Heroes was the only one that I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. I started playing right at issue 1 and only quit when it went F2P simply because I had done everything that could be done in the game about a hundred times.
Hopefully they allow me to unlock inventions again so I can go back in and have one last hurrah with my characters. Ironically, I can't even buy access to them via the Paragon Market anymore to go back in and play for the last couple months.

I pre-ordered DC Universe Online before it came out because for years I'd wanted to play CoH but never had a computer strong enough to handle it. I kept saying 'Someday, eventually...' but looks like that's not gonna happen anymore.

Ken Sapp:

Scarim Coral:
Well I suppose it was a good thing I did try it once abliet it was months ago and not when it first came out. The game felt so plain that I uninstall it a day later.

I would of thought they made the ingame stuff sold in the shop free than to shut it down competely.

The problem with making the shop items free is that they would lose what revenue they are making off the game while still having to pay to keep servers online and pay staff to maintain the code and hardware. Not a very realistic expectation for a profit-driven company.

They did it for Tabula Rasa. Made it completely free for the last month or so. Even had a big ending event.

As I've mentioned a few times on the boards here, I used to be a fairly hardcore raider in WoW - but WoW wasn't the only MMO I played. It was City of Heroes that got me onto the MMO scene.

I've more or less stopped playing MMOs for about a year now, and yet, a few months ago I was at a restaurant with someone I used to play both games with and I confessed that of all the MMOs I've tried over the years, CoH/CoV is the only one I'd really be happy to go back to.

I plan to make the most of what time I have left with City of Heroes, and make good on that confession. Its passing, while I always knew would be inevitable, is still one of my biggest disappointments so far as a gamer.

damn, I just started last month!

well not really, but that would be terrible wouldn't it?

Meh, I've been a subscriber to Champions Online for over 800 days, I went and played a little bit of CoH/V a while ago, didn't really see what the fuss was about, the combat was dull and the character creator had less options than the Champions Online. I Pre-Ordered DCUO when that came out, which was a big disappointment, it had the action-y combat which I guess was pretty cool, but the all important social aspect really wasn't there.

I've dabbled in a few MMOs, (WoW, EvE etc.) but the only one I've stuck with long enough to get a character to max level and that I keep coming back to is Champions.

Never played but it always saddens me when any games servers shut down. It's like a world being left behind :(

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