NCSoft: City of Heroes Can't Be Saved

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NCSoft: City of Heroes Can't Be Saved

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A 20,000+ strong petition and a fundraiser aren't enough to save the superhero MMO from closure.

Just over a month ago, NCSoft decided to shut down Paragon Studios along with its popular superhero MMO City of Heroes. Dedicated fans immediately rallied to prevent their beloved game from being axed, building a petition with more than 20,000 signatures and starting up a "Save City of Heroes" movement. Despite their best efforts, however, the company has confirmed that the game will definitely not be resurrected.

NCSoft posted an announcement in response to the overwhelming display of dedication. The company explains that it has investigated all possible options to keep the game alive, including putting both the studio and the intellectual property rights for City of Heroes up for sale, to no avail.

"We wanted to let you know that your voices have been heard and your concerns have been taken into serious consideration," the company continued. "We appreciate the overwhelmingly constructive and positive messages in the emails, notes, and packages you've sent in support of the game...City of Heroes has a special place in all of our hearts, and we want to ensure its reputation and the memories we share for the game end on a high note.

"We will be holding events throughout the process of preparing for the game's end, and we encourage players and fans of the franchise to join forces and enjoy their time in a game that we've enjoyed supporting for more than eight years."

Members of the "Save City of Heroes" movement carried out several campaigns to show the company that there was still strong demand for the game. Fans sent capes and masks to NCSoft employees and messages to the company's CEO, and mass in-game demonstrations were held at key locations in the game's world. The movement even managed to pool together $1,400 to treat the developers to dinner at their favorite restaurant, just to show them how committed the fans were to the game's success. Alas, it was not enough to justify keeping the studio or the MMORPG alive.

City of Heroes is scheduled to go dark from November 30th.

Source: NCSoft via Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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Two Words: "Open Source"

I honestly have a serious doubt that NCsoft put any actual effort into trying to keep City of Heroes alive. This is a predictably publisher-like for them.

If player movements were up to me, I would have it that NC never hears the end of it and has to put up with the torment of over 20,000 voices until they cave. Alas, I know that the fire, while a righteous one, is going to burn out eventually...

Sleep well you paladins of justice, you masters of villainy, you caped crusaders, you masterminds of menace, you super scientists, you monstrosities of man. Where be your power and glorious battles now? They were slain by the hands of corporate greed, but we shalt remembereth thy joys well.

...Damn you, NCsoft.

Can't people just do private servers or something? I know that they're a bit sketchy at times but if it's not going to be available, then why not?

People will get over it, they always do.

Capctha: and that's the way it is

Damn straight.

yeah, it would come close to the labours of Hercules to rescue it.

keep on hoping...

Considering how NCsoft has behaved in regards to this, plus their behaviour when we start bringing certain other things into it, I'm gonna take this as the bold faced lie that it is. The only reason they are even bothering with any statements about this, is because it's been giving them negative press. You can bet that if not for that then they wouldn't have done a damn beyond hitting the "Off" button.

hazabaza1:
Can't people just do private servers or something? I know that they're a bit sketchy at times but if it's not going to be available, then why not?

And they probably will, if they don't already exist, but clearly the game still has enough support from people who wanted to see it continue and develop.

NCSoft no longer wishes to be involved supporting western MMOs. Honestly, if you're playing an NCSoft MMO like... Guild Wars 2.. I wouldn't count on them keeping the lights on for more than 5 years.

That sucks - I had a whole vigilante thing going on!

Sylveria:

hazabaza1:
Can't people just do private servers or something? I know that they're a bit sketchy at times but if it's not going to be available, then why not?

And they probably will, if they don't already exist, but clearly the game still has enough support from people who wanted to see it continue and develop.

NCSoft no longer wishes to be involved supporting western MMOs. Honestly, if you're playing an NCSoft MMO like... Guild Wars 2.. I wouldn't count on them keeping the lights on for more than 5 years.

Probably not, GW1 has a much lower player base and that has been out since 04, it and GW2 won't be gone for a longtime.

It's always painful watching a dead-eyed soulless corporation pretend to care about people. Its like watching a corpse try to read poetry.

Neino Ranatos:
I honestly have a serious doubt that NCsoft put any actual effort into trying to keep City of Heroes alive. This is a predictably publisher-like for them.

...Damn you, NCsoft.

This is my thought as well, I seriously doubt they ever tried anything.

And you know, if they can keep DCU or Champions going, they could easily keep CoH going.

So I guess this is really the end of Statesman and co. Too bad they couldn't just release it again in lesser form like RF Online.

happy_turtle:
Two Words: "Open Source"

Exactly. I don't see why they can't just hand off the server hosting responsibilities to this group.
There are Dreamcast games that STILL have online support from fans. I'm fairly certain you can still get on public servers for Phantasy Star Online

Just open source it and let fans run servers. A community that big and nerdy will have developers willing to work on it as a hobby.

It would be a huge PR win and wouldn't cost them anything since "generic superhero universe" as an IP is fundamentally worthless.

FelixG:

Neino Ranatos:
I honestly have a serious doubt that NCsoft put any actual effort into trying to keep City of Heroes alive. This is a predictably publisher-like for them.

...Damn you, NCsoft.

This is my thought as well, I seriously doubt they ever tried anything.

And you know, if they can keep DCU or Champions going, they could easily keep CoH going.

Maybe that's just it they'd rather just keep DCU or Champions going than put any effort into this. They want Paragon Studios gone completely so they can use these resources for something else they ACTUALLY care about.

...So... why can't they keep the game going? Is there something they aren't saying? ...Or maybe I'm just being paranoid, I don't trust higher ups in a situation like this...

This is really an attempt to placate the CoH community, especially with the bad publicity and their stock prices dropping despite the recent release of Guild Wars 2.

If anything, this is the perfect time to turn the heat up.

/mourn

Still sad that it's going down. I loved playing CoH/V for a long time. At least I'll have my old screenshots to look back on.

happy_turtle:
Two Words: "Open Source"

This. If they are determined to kill the game, why not just release it into the wild and see what the fans do with it? Maybe with some limited licensing deal if X group actually gets servers up and running. Beats just deleting everything and everyone like some spiteful child.

Seriously, potential X licensing fees for zero labor themselves or spiteful deletion worth $0. Wtf? Hell, Kickstarter some damn servers and let the community speak for itself.

C'mon NCsoft, just pop the lid on it already. You've got an active City of Heroes 2 trademark sitting there, and I'm pretty sure it's not just for safekeeping.

Posted before on another of these stories about how CoH/CoV was one of my favourite MMOs even when I wasn't playing it (it was an on-again off-again relationship), it's a shame that they've pulled the plug when the story was rolling strong with several unresolved things.

They could at least reveal what they'd planned for it storywise, they had long running arcs they'd been planning for months so they could easily resolve a few unanswered questions...

As it is the reccurance of these closing stories just make me sad even though I was in an off period with the game.

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my heart goes out to all those people who are sad to lose city of heroes, and id like to say that i dont play but it probably would have served them better to shut down guild wars, since i did log into that after gw2 came out just to see how many people were still playing and it was very much dead from what i saw, (like four people in lions arch) but i have to say some of the reactions to this are quite disgustingly disproportionate. like people saying "i hope ncsoft gets shut down" or "i hope everyone at ncsoft dies"

so heres a question for those people. if eight years of support isnt enough for you, what would have been acceptable? did you want to play this game for the rest of your life? its already incredibly dated and has been for awhile, you were going to need to move on at some point.

Carrots_macduff:
my heart goes out to all those people who are sad to lose city of heroes, and id like to say that i dont play but it probably would have served them better to shut down guild wars, since i did log into that after gw2 came out just to see how many people were still playing and it was very much dead from what i saw, (like four people in lions arch) but i have to say some of the reactions to this are quite disgustingly disproportionate. like people saying "i hope ncsoft gets shut down" or "i hope everyone at ncsoft dies"

so heres a question for those people. if eight years of support isnt enough for you, what would have been acceptable? did you want to play this game for the rest of your life? its already incredibly dated and has been for awhile, you were going to need to move on at some point.

That's unlikely, to be honest, if only for the Hall of Monuments. I do wonder how much control ArenaNet has over each game, compared to NCSoft.

i never got into the hall of monuments, me being a vanilla gw scrub, but what sort of rewards do you get in gw2 from it, and do you think thats enough to bring people back to the original?

BULL
SHIT

if it was 'close to they're hearts' they wouldn't have canned the staff like they did, they wouldn't have just sprung it on every one.

they would have given us a reason, before they 'hey, we're pulling the plug' letter we got

fuck you NCsoft,

Ok I have to pose the logical question, if City of Heroes was making them money, yet they hate it because it was made by Cryptic before being sold to them, and yet they love Aion, which loses them allot of money yet they would never think of shutting it down. Why are they still alive, granted with Guild Wars 2 out now and their numbers going back into black I just can't get the logic behind this company. Guild Wars 2 has already been getting the NCSoft treatment, don't believe the bs about no grind, oh boy GW2 has it but you only get slapped in the face with it once you get to level 80 and realize some of the absurd things you have to do for your legendary weapons, which funnily enough all look awful. (Massive exception being to the Greatsword, which looked so awesome they made three versions, while the rest of the legendaries look like cartoon weapons, or tier 1 gear)

happy_turtle:
Two Words: "Open Source"

That's basically profanity to corporate entities.
They'll strangle their own babies to death before putting them up for adoption.

Denamic:

happy_turtle:
Two Words: "Open Source"

That's basically profanity to corporate entities.
They'll strangle their own babies to death before putting them up for adoption.

Well I can provide two other words that are very likely to happen if they don't approve of my first attempt.

"Reverse Engineering"

It's a bit trickier than just open source.

Paragon/NCSoft were still licensing technology from Cryptic to run the game. Cryptic probably had some sort of deal to let NCSoft/Paragon use the engine, but given that Cryptic has their own superhero MMO, they might not want to let someone else use their stuff for free while they have their own MMO for the using.

I mean, NCSoft can still huff a dong, huff all the dongs, but I don't think it's a straight up issue as letting someone else have the code...

DVS BSTrD:

FelixG:

Neino Ranatos:
I honestly have a serious doubt that NCsoft put any actual effort into trying to keep City of Heroes alive. This is a predictably publisher-like for them.

...Damn you, NCsoft.

This is my thought as well, I seriously doubt they ever tried anything.

And you know, if they can keep DCU or Champions going, they could easily keep CoH going.

Maybe that's just it they'd rather just keep DCU or Champions going than put any effort into this. They want Paragon Studios gone completely so they can use these resources for something else they ACTUALLY care about.

Ummmm.....wrong developer there, mate. DCUO is made by SOE, not NCSoft.
Even so, I'm a DCUO player and eventhough I'm a fan of it, I can admit it is badly flawed. If I can keep playing that, then I don't see why NC can't keep running CoH.

psychopez:
It's a bit trickier than just open source.

Paragon/NCSoft were still licensing technology from Cryptic to run the game. Cryptic probably had some sort of deal to let NCSoft/Paragon use the engine, but given that Cryptic has their own superhero MMO, they might not want to let someone else use their stuff for free while they have their own MMO for the using.

I mean, NCSoft can still huff a dong, huff all the dongs, but I don't think it's a straight up issue as letting someone else have the code...

Well that's all very nice, but if that really is the reason that the game's being shut down, and people are up in arms over the news, then well... why don't they TELL US THAT?!?!

Seriously, they're not under some NDA, they won't be saving any face by not telling us, and it makes their competitors look like giant assholes. Why wouldn't they tell us, if it helps us understand and makes them look a lot less like the bad guys here?

At this point... the two options are NCSoft not having a choice but being too stupid to tell the fans that, or throwing the West under the bus so they can concentrate on Eastern sales. Neither one paints them in a good light now.

I'm not positing that's the reason it's being shut down, I'm just arguing that that is one of the reasons open sourcing or releasing the code is difficult.

I've been an avid player of CoH for 6 of those 8 years, and I've never seen a better outlet for creativity, with the possible exception of Minecraft. But even that doesn't let you pretend to BE literally anything you want. Even Yahtzee admitted there was no better character creation system.

Truly, the world is about to lose something unique. v_v

If *only* 20,000 CoH people are willing to join petition, assuming those are all non-FTP, then the game is good as dead. They must have been bleeding tens of thousands over the past 2-3 years, and plotting that plunge visually would be a clear indication to cut losses by shutting down the whole operation.

As stated by NCSoft, their attempt to use FTP didn't accrue the large numbers of new players that they'd hoped. The thing about CoH is that you need people that are willing to perform the cat herding (i.e., team leading), which NCSoft didn't appreciate. The game took talent to recruit teams and keep things running in timely fashion, otherwise people would just consider the team to be fail and drop out. But running a team takes time and effort, with no real reward in return.

If NCSoft had been sly, then they would have had a handful of paid employees running teams, and who could also teach regular players solid teaming techniques. This would have had knock on effect by increasing the fun of paying customers and keep them seeing value in paying regular subscription.

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