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News & Features Discussion  » Dungeon Runners: Shutting Down on New Year's Eve

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41 posts found
  MikeB Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5624

OP  9/17/09 9:37:28 AM#1

Come January 1st, 2010 Dungeon Runners will be shutting down. In a letter to the community on the official Dungeon Runners website, DR Producer & Lead Programmer Stephen Nichols informs us in a brutally honest, and yes, even slightly humorous letter that Dungeon Runners is simply not "cutting the mustard" and will be shut down.

Mr. Nichols also describes how the teams plans to resuscitate the game were unable to pan out due to the fact they were both expensive and risky; it also didn't help that two of their five developers were lost recently.

To compensate Dungeon Runners players, NCsoft is going to award all Dungeon Runners players (as of 9/16/09) with a 30-day game card, and digital copies of City of Heroes Architect Edition and Guild Wars Prophecies.

Dungeon Runners will also see some changes between now and "End Time" as Mr. Nichols put it, with XP rates to be raised significantly (5x), Mythic loot to drop more frequently, and a reduction in cost for King's Coin vendors.

Oh, and Townston will be nuked when the game shut's down.

Dungeon Runners was a unique, often satirical Diablo-esque MMORPG, spoofing the genre with things like quest text being full of nonsensical gibberish, absolutely hilarious item names and rarity classifications, and creatures such as "Bling Gnomes" which follow you around converting junk into gold for you. Of course, there's also the aforementioned generically named town, Townston.

Truly a sad day for MMOGs! We tip our hats to the developers of Dungeon Runners and wish them all the best going forward!

The announcement can be viewed here.

Have you played Dungeon Runners, or even heard of the game? Does this news come as a surprise to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB


Novice Member

Joined: 9/21/06
Posts: 32

9/17/09 9:39:45 AM#2

come january 1st 2009? doesn't that mean it should have shut down by now?  :P


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/20/07
Posts: 78

9/17/09 9:56:23 AM#3

awe... now what overly cliche MMO can I mock?

This is a sad day, I never got swept up in Dungeon Runners, but it was the epitome of MMOness.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/07/09
Posts: 112

9/17/09 10:05:53 AM#4

 i am very very sad about that..

i didnt play it allday..

but it was god damn fun to play..

it was a very very NICE thing.. it was cool for that time.. to play so cool game 4free.

it was amongst the first f2p mmorpgs in western areas.. so i am really sad about the dead of this kind of artwork!




good by when u r dead DungeonRunner.. i loved you.. (i dont like tow down view, i dont like grinding, i dont like silly names, i dont like plastic graphics, i dont like nonsense quests.. but dont ask me why.. i LOVED dungeonruner so much though ;D)


 thanks for the nice times!




Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 20

9/17/09 10:11:37 AM#5

I loved Dungeon Runners. I'm truly sad to see it go. This would be a perfect game for NCSoft to open source IMHO.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/02/07
Posts: 347

9/17/09 10:11:59 AM#6

I tried this game out but could not get past the general silliness and comedy; it became old very quickly for me.

I was also very put off by the limited top-down camera view.

It'll be interesting to see whether similarly designed games on the horizon -- Mythos and Torchlight come to mind -- are able to make a more successful go of it.

  MikeB Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5624

OP  9/17/09 10:23:18 AM#7

Doh, 2010! 2010! I hate mornings. :)

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB


Novice Member

Joined: 3/07/09
Posts: 112

9/17/09 10:52:34 AM#8

the most interesting "no sky" games for ME at the moment are DRAGONOATH (damn.. i like it.. why?) and the very very interesting "WARRIOR EPIC".. u dondt see the difference to many other games in the beginning.. but there are many very interesting things inside ;D


Novice Member

Joined: 12/13/05
Posts: 276

9/17/09 10:58:44 AM#9

What?!?!  Another NCSoft game shutting down? LOL @ these guys more and more every day. Of course this was totally expected from these losers.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/07
Posts: 6701

"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.” - Mordin Solus

9/17/09 11:00:13 AM#10

I'm suprised it took them this long to shut it down. It was fun for awhile but as they said it wasn't cutting the mustard. I would love to play another NCsoft game but Aion isn't for me and they really don't offer anything of interest for me except Guild Wars.

  User Deleted
9/17/09 11:09:11 AM#11

I'm surprised aswell, the game admittedly was very shallow and was meant to be something you enjoyed for very short play times, but even after 5 minutes I got totally bored with the whole thing, and the updates where extremly rare, so the game stagnated.



Novice Member

Joined: 12/30/05
Posts: 38

9/17/09 11:26:42 AM#12

Yet another NCSoft game shut down. I'm definitely staying far away from their games. They really don't stand behind their releases. They only keep the big winners who add to their bottom line in a significant way. If it's not drawing in the huge numbers, it gets dropped very quickly. If they were more interested, they would support all of their titles and continue to breath life into them.  All of the perceptive gamers who are observing these shutdowns are not feeling particular secure in picking up a new game from NCSoft. What if the game revenue is kind low for a year? You run the risk of seeing your game get shut down before it can really have the chance to grow.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/24/06
Posts: 582

Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate™

9/17/09 11:41:29 AM#13

I loved the weapon names and classification system.  I remember my first run through there being all Whisky Tengo Foxtrot.


I'd inspect every weapon as soon as I picked it up and the humor was more entertaining than the gameplay.  Hopefully I get one of those cards and a digital download.  Always wanted to check out CoH.

LineageII | LoTRO | RFO | 9Dragons | Aion | Perfect World | Ether Saga | Dungeon Runners | GuildWars 1 and 2 | Hellgate London | tCoS | Warhammer | AoC | Tabula Rasa | SWTOR


Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 7201

9/17/09 12:22:21 PM#14

Well when every dungeon is based on the square it gets very boring fast.  Heck even decades old Diablo did not do that and different layouts for areas. 

This game was destined to die from the moment it was designed.  It reminded me of something put together as class project.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/02/07
Posts: 22

9/17/09 12:29:12 PM#15

Well I guess i can add that whopping 15 bucks every 3 months back to the budget. I enjoyed it when I had a very rough day and didnt want to think just beat on things. Bling gnome was a tad annoying but not that bad. but then again I still have all 6 games of Leisure Suit Larry lol. oh well back on the hunt for a parody game.

PS if someone finds one drop me a line :D


Novice Member

Joined: 8/25/02
Posts: 792

9/17/09 1:29:39 PM#16

This game should be re-released as a free online multiplayer game, it's a good fun RPG, shame to see it go, it didn't work as a MMO, but as a traditional online RPG with modding ability, it'd do well?

  User Deleted
9/17/09 1:35:58 PM#17
Originally posted by jawapet

awe... now what overly cliche MMO can I mock?


If you were mocking it for being overly cliche then it simply means you didn't get the joke. :)



Novice Member

Joined: 6/18/09
Posts: 76

9/17/09 4:23:10 PM#18

I was just thinking of starting the game the other day and said to myself "I have a feeling this is going to shut down soon" :( Sad to see it go.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/08
Posts: 300

9/17/09 4:46:45 PM#19

NCsoft shuts down games that either made them successful or made them lots of money. Or they dont like.

NCsoft is a terrible company to have publish your mmo.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/01/07
Posts: 1813

9/17/09 5:01:54 PM#20

Personally, I thought Dungeon Runners was a great game for what it was, a funny, casual time-waster.  I definitely think it suffered from a sorely lacking budget, adequate and effective marketing and perception.  Those are all issues I feel belong to NCSoft, not the actual developers, who were fantastic about getting the community involved in making "their game". 

Of all of those issues, perception seemed to be the biggest one, in my mind. Players would see Dungeon Runners on a site like this, assume it's a full-fledged MMO and then be upset that it wasn't. That's a big problem. Coupled with a fairly complicated, albeit very generous F2P system (one of the most generous, IMO), many players passed it by or gave up on it shortly after trying it.

The thing that always killed me was that Dungeon Runners was essentially a spiritual successor to Diablo. It had much of hte same fun mayhem and mad looting, but in a more modern package in persistent non-lobby world, fantastic group mechanics, bright, playful graphics and a wicked sense of humor. Sounds like a winner, except that it wasn't all that well embraced. Why not? After all these years, Diablo is still played widely, is still sold in stores as part of the Battle Chest and now D3 is eagerly anticipated. So why don't those same people like playing Dungeon Runners? Is it because all those folks are still playing for free on outdated machines, are too used to hacks and mods to play it the way it was designed, are so anal about the "atmosphere" of the game, that theyre unable to enjoy the actual game play (talking about the D3 color controversy)? I wish I knew..

Over the last few years, I've become personal friends with some of the people who have worked on Dungeon Runners. All but Steve are now working on different projects for different companies and I wish them well. We'll get together for more dinners and drinks sooner than later. Steve's staying with Dungeon Runners to the end, which I respect.

in the last several months, there was an unfortunate chain of events that basically led to this happening.  It's not my place to share them.  Maybe one day Steve or Mark will write a post mortem.  Who knows? It is what it is. I would have loved to see the game launched from within Facebook and playable in a browser-instantiated window a la Fusion Fall and Free Realms (something the devs were working on).  That and the convenience-item based cash shop could have make Dungeon Runners extremely successful. 

Over on the official boards, there's a lot of moaning and gnashing of teeth.  I'm glad there are players who are passionate about the game, but it is just a game.  It was fun while it lasted and will be fun until the end, when Townston blows up.


 ~Ripper McGee


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