City Of Heroes Players Trying To Save The Game

I can’t remember who said it, so I can’t attribute the quote to anyone, but I agree with one online observer who said that the only community outpouring needed to save a game from destruction is enough players purchasing it. Nothing else matters, because unlike TV, whose ratings system often ignores a huge number of actual viewers, video game purchases don’t lie. If the game isn’t making money, it’s going to go away, end of story.

That said, I feel for City of Heroes players who are kind of bummed by the impending end of the game. It was announced earlier this week that the MMO’s developer Paragon Studios is being shuttered by parent company NCsoft, and the game itself will be closed by year’s end. “In a realignment of company focus and publishing support,” the official statement said, “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.”

All billing, and Paragon Market purchasing, has already been discontinued, and the game is in the process of winding down. Sad, yes, but inevitable considering the dwindling number of players. Even so, it’s understandable that players don’t want to stop, and to that end they’ve already organized a petition that as of today has 14,820 signatures. And this weekend is the first of several planned gatherings in the game designed to demonstrate demand for its continued existence. The first so-called Unity Rally will take place September 8 at 5:00 pm Eastern in Atlas Park, Virtue.

The gathering is intended as “a display of unity, an opportunity for photo ops for press releases and communications to NCsoft, and that best of all will simultaneously give a shot in the arm of morale to people who probably need it badly and deserve our unwavering support: the programmers, designers, managers, marketers, artists, testers, accountants, community relaters, moderators, administrative assistants, and everyone else with a job title that doesn’t fit neatly in the above whose incredible talents and awesome work ethic have built the world in which our imaginations live.” Fans are asked to keep it “fun and lighthearted”, and not use the occasion as an excuse to go negative.

I have no beef with these players, but I think it’s a wasted effort. Unlike successful uprisings, like Retake Mass Effect, the goal here is to stave off death, and unfortunately, as far as I can see, nothing other than sales will save the game. On the other hand, here’s a suggestion for NCsoft: why not release it into the wild and let the players host the game themselves. Let modders and amateurs in general do whatever they do, and keep it alive. No need to simply kill something that has entertained people for so many years if there’s a way to avoid it, right?

What do you think, Game Fronters? Wasted effort? Worth fighting for? Will you be participating? Do you have any solutions of your own? Sound off in comments.

Via PC Gamer

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4 Comments on City Of Heroes Players Trying To Save The Game

Axetwin

On September 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

What I want to know is of those 14k that signed the petition, how many of them are willing to continually provide significant financial support for the game? With the majority of the game locked behind the cash-shop, it really shouldnt be hard.

LTenhet

On September 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I always thought it would be a good idea to release the Server coding out to the public after you shut a server down; people spent years coding, modeling and building that game… why should it die, never to return? You give it to the people, then its almost guaranteed there will be at least one server for years to come, and people will continue to enjoy the hardwork you put into the game. Whereas if you keep it yourself, no one will be able to enjoy it again.

David

On September 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I signed it myself, and will be moving my main from it’s home server to virtue for this. Thank goodness I’ve got a ton of server transfer tokens stockpiled up that I can use for this.

Been playing the game since 2008, and following it since before then when I didn’t have a card yet. What kills me about this is how there seems to have been no warning with the devs either, as the game was in the middle of several story arcs, one of which was being forshadowed since 2007/2008. One that was clearly going to be a major event in the game, and was even given front page notice for during their revamped tutorial stage they did earlier this year (kind of the equivalent to silver surfer showing up, and giving you an idea of how screwed you’ll be when galactus shows up soon afterwards.)

Going with the Mass Effect comparison, if Mass Effect was an MMO, it’d be like shutting it down right before the reapers showed up.

Here’s hoping something can be done to keep this game going. It’s been one of my favorite MMO’s for years, and similar games like Champions and DCO just haven’t been able to compare to it.

R.J.

On September 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Petitions don’t really do much since companies ignore them knowing that many that sign it aren’t going to be paying. Or, that such people were already customers. Staging some sort gathering seems like an interesting idea, but I doubt if it will make much of a difference because, again, the company knows that these people are already customers. As Ross pointed out, the company knows the numbers of customers it has and apparently has decided that isn’t enough. As much as it stinks for those still playing, there simply aren’t enough of them, and I doubt if that will change. Potential new customers are going to stay away because they know that the game is ending.