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.