Asheron's Call Updates Come To An End, Free Play On the Way

Asheron's Call Updates Come To An End, Free Play On the Way

Asherons Call 10th anniversary wallpaper

With development of the 15-year-old MMO finally coming to an end, Turbine says it hopes to allow players to run their own Asheron's Call servers.

15 years is an awfully good run for an MMO, but all good things must come to an end and it looks like the clock is ticking down on the venerable Asheron's Call. In a message posted late last month, developer Turbine revealed that future updates to the game will be limited to critical bug fixes, maintenance and "perhaps balance iterations" of the content introduced in the February update.

Turbine insisted that it has no plans to close down the game, but the writing is on the wall. The good news is that the studio plans to make both Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2 free to everyone "as a gift to our loyal players," and is also looking into ways to extend its lifespan beyond the end of official Turbine support.

"We have been working within the company to start an initiative sometime near the end of the year to allow players to run their own Asheron's Call servers," Turbine wrote.

Unfortunately, running a server is not a "user friendly experience," so part of that initiative includes creating a community among "tech savvy enthusiasts" to distribute and support the necessary tools to people who want to take on the job. "If that works out we can look into releasing tools and data files that would allow players to modify game data and create alternate content for their own Asheron's Call games," it added.

Turbine revealed last month that it had laid off an undisclosed number of employees, saying the cuts were necessary to ensure the company is "structured in a way that reflects the current and coming marketplace."

Source: Asheron's Call

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The first MMO I played that really stuck. Had the honor of playing with the best guild I've ever been in (but also an object lesson on how drama can kill even the best guilds quickly). Quit playing years ago but would check updates every so often to see what was going on. Sad to see it go. When they make it free, I might have to jump in for old times sake.

So... This is the second time in as many days I get to say "Wait, that still exists?" The first was when some bit of news about Dark Age of Camelot happened. This has that same feeling of "How has this managed to survive this long?"

Because it was and is still the best mmo i ever played, the one wow copied along with eq, content freedom and the players made that game what it was.

even with no more content it has 15 YEARS worth of monthly updates, probably 100 times more than wow or guild wars and tor put together.

Mirrorknight:
The first MMO I played that really stuck. Had the honor of playing with the best guild I've ever been in (but also an object lesson on how drama can kill even the best guilds quickly). Quit playing years ago but would check updates every so often to see what was going on. Sad to see it go. When they make it free, I might have to jump in for old times sake.

I'll have to agree on that. Asheron's Call is still my favorite MMO and online game to date. It's nice to see Turbine still treating it and its players with such respect and devotion. I have a lot of respect for studios like Turbine and CCP that are passionate about their games and really appreciate their players. I'll also be very interested to see what comes out of player-generated content if things work out.

*Ah* Asheron's Call was really the first major game I ever played. Really it was the first game my family played together; we bought two accounts so that me, my Mum and my Dad could all play together together in pairs. Ah, the hours we spent just exploring the world of Dereth.
Had some of the best creature designs too; I'm sure I was the only kid in middle school doodling Olthoi, Reed Sharks, Virindi and Lugians in my notebooks. My guild eventually migrated to WoW as did we, but I still remember the glory days of Brell Clan.
It may be creaky, and graphically dated today, but it really was innovative once, and I had a lot of love for it. Sad to see you go AC, but if these free to play servers work out, then perhaps I'll log in just to wander Dereth one last time.

I wonder how long until Dungeons & Dragons Online goes the same way... with all the staff layoffs I'm betting it wont be long.

 

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