Why Fan Boys?
My first experience in game was 2 weeks before the official launch because I opted to play in the beta. Well, it wasn't too hard to get into it by pre-ordering. I played it for 7 days. During those days, I continuously heard players saying "this is boring," "the world is static," and similar complaints. These same players also reassured each other "it's only the beta, it'll change after release." Anyone who has participated in a beta can tell you that nothing will change at the release. I tried to tell people that this last couple weeks of beta will be what the receive in the release, and was blocked, attacked, and disregarded as an ignorant baffoon. This is why fanboys get a bad rap, because their game is not perfect but they refuse to admit its faults and continue to say it'll change. Personally, I believe the fanboys all deserved this.
There's no doubt in my mind that Flagship promised more than they could provide. In addition, they also made a point of charging a fee for what wasn't a true MMO. There are many workarounds to charging a fee; for example, a micro-payment system like what Nexon uses.
Is there a future for Hellgate London?
The future seems bleak, but there are options available. It's clear that the game does have a following, much like Starcraft and Diablo still have today. This is obvious to developers. If the following is deemed large enough, the game could be an easy pick-up for another company. Activision (Blizzard) and ArenaNet, are the least obvious options due to the Flagship founders' connections. It's unlikely for either Activision or ArenaNet to pick-up the game though because they have their own games to deal with unless their people believe they have enough resources to maintain the game with.
Hambitsoft and Namco on the otherhand are the major stakeholders, they could see potential in the game and may have the option to keep publishing. Namco, being the publisher, it wouldn't be an impossible option since they had a contract with Flagship, and although the contract of publication may not be public the founders still have to follow through with it. Another problem that may arise is the whole subscription issue where the players paid for lifetime subscriptions in advanced (woops!) . . . how will Namco and Flagship handle this? I'm not sure what the terms and conditions were for the lifetime subscription, but a class action lawsuit may not be too far off.
Hambitsoft would be the second option. We already know they have a lawsuit going. They may eventually have the option to expand their service worldwide to allow other people to go on. If this occurs, it's also likely that they would continue to develop it. This option, for the moment, seems to be the most likely because Flagship has officially closed its doors maintaining limited service and ending subscription.
Even with these options available, there are many small developers who may see Hellgate London as an opportunity. Look at how many MMOs have been ported from Korea and China. Many of them appear to be brought over by people fresh out of college with a limited budget and little to know experience in a major company (I'm looking at games like Magic World Online - who names a game that anyway?).
Regardless of what happens, if Hellgate London sees a new light, I'll probably end up trying it out again.