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News & Features Discussion  » City of Heroes: Gamers Rally to Save City of Heroes

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42 posts found
  garrett

MMORPG.COM Staff

Joined: 6/30/09
Posts: 239

 
OP  9/06/12 8:54:45 AM#1

Mountain View CA, September 6, 2012:  The online heroes of Paragon City are currently in an epic battle.  Not against the forces of crime and evil that they have been facing for eight years, but against the decision of a company that is preparing to turn off the game servers and end a game that has been running since April 2004.

NCsoft, the publisher of City of Heroes, announced last Friday that it is shutting down Paragon Studios, the game development studio responsible for City of Heroes.  Operation of the flagship will cease by November 30 due to a realignment of NCsoft’s focus.

To its community, City of Heroes is more than just a game, it is a vibrant, welcoming community.  City of Heroes was the first online role-playing game for many gamers, and introduced them to the wonders of flying through the skies and battling epic menaces with friends.  City of Heroes has brought together families, offered comfort during troubling times, and inspired charities that have raised nearly $30,000 for children, members of the armed forces, and to fight hunger.

The City of Heroes community quickly rallied and formed a campaign to save the game from virtual extinction.  “We’ve been saving Paragon City for eight and a half years.  It’s time to do it one more time,” said Tony Vasquez administrator of the Titan Network, an alliance of City of Heroes fan sites (http://paragonwiki.com), and one of the organizers of the Save Paragon City! campaign.

 

Check out more information here.

  ScorpionOne

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/15/06
Posts: 178

9/06/12 9:00:24 AM#2
As much as I commend their passion for something they love, I'm just not sure how much impact it will have.  Will it be enough for NCSoft to reconsider?  I don't have a crystal ball and I failed Fortune Teller 101.


  Grinnz

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/10
Posts: 277

I just ate your cat!

9/06/12 9:31:27 AM#3
I love CoX, but sometimes you just have to let go! If you do, perhaps a future development will spring forth from your sacrifice!!

  superniceguy

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/17/07
Posts: 2251

NGE, LOTRO, STO, KOTOR, Lego Star Wars > NGE 2 (SWTOR). SWG>ALL. Above hopefully subject to change.

9/06/12 9:32:33 AM#4
Originally posted by ScorpionOne
As much as I commend their passion for something they love, I'm just not sure how much impact it will have.  Will it be enough for NCSoft to reconsider?  I don't have a crystal ball and I failed Fortune Teller 101.

Hopefully. Not only is it players that are trying to save the game, but also Paragon Studios themselves. The game is far from ready to close.

If City of heroes does close, players should be more cautious about the MMOs they play, especially ones that are F2P and / or cash shops, as I have been shafted by both SWG (though its TCG shop system) and now this, from their early closures (early as both were working on future updates). As soon as the closures are announced, they shut down the shops or the billing to them, and leave you high and dry, with stuff purchased that you can not use or get more from the shops to enjoy the final days with. With MMOs that have monthly subs it is not so bad when a MMO shuts down.

CoH is the the first proper F2P game to shut down too.

Will STO shut down next?  Will it be Champions Online? Or Vanguard, DDO, GW1? LOTRO? DCUO? SWTOR? GW2? These may be working on updates, but that has not stopped NC soft wanting to shut down City of Heroes, or LA/SOE with SWG.

City of Heroes needs to be saved, so you feel safe in playing/paying other MMOs

With GW2 out, I would imagine that GW1 will drop off fast too, and be deader than CoH soon if not already, and with CoH closing, GW1 players should start to get very wary about its future.

If they are still adamant to shut this down, then they must be prepared to shut down GW1 too. If they are not prepared to have both GW1 and CoH shut down, then that adds more hope to CoH being saved. I do not see people stopping playing/paying CoH if GW1 shuts down, that will just be understood from GW2 now being out, and they see no need in having 2 GW games

  Z3R01

Novice Member

Joined: 9/09/08
Posts: 2457

MMO gamer since 1997

9/06/12 9:37:29 AM#5

 

They don't need to close this game down...

THey could have a skeleton crew run the game, merge servers. 

Im sure enough still play that NCsoft makes a profit.

Playing: None

Waiting on: None

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3319

9/06/12 9:46:48 AM#6

It's always sad to see a game close down. I was a fan of CoH, but played it off and on since it's release. It is an older game, but it has aged well, and it still has a relevant place in today's MMO landscape. That being said, I can also see the case for shutting it down to pave the way for something new.

It would be nice if publishers (not just NCSoft) would make a case for their product when it comes to end of life. Give the customers a choice, and a chance. Something like "This game is currently on the chopping block. Here's the minimum of what it would take for us to keep the servers turned on:" And then spell that out in terms of numbers of subs/cash shop sales/etc. Give the customers a bit of feedback on it, and then stay with it.

Now I can also see how that same idea could be abused by a company just to drive up sales and extort customers, so I like the theory, but not necessarily the implementation.

It doesn't take that much in terms of dollars to just keep the lights on an MMO - Look at Vanguard, it ran for years with very little income to it's name. Sure, it didn't see any active development, but the community was allowed to stay and hang out and play in the world. Just keeping the servers on, and having a guy to reset lost passwords and feed the gerbils doesn't take a lot in terms of paying customers.

  Ocenica

Novice Member

Joined: 7/02/12
Posts: 93

9/06/12 9:48:35 AM#7
I wish firefly would come back.
  Xstatic912

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/20/11
Posts: 367

9/06/12 9:57:15 AM#8
So NCsoft might take this studio and merge some of there staff with guild wars staff...

Makes sense since one game is way hotter and more fresh, and the arena net team is looking for more development staff..

But like when Ea took over Westwood studios and shut down Earth & Beyond months later to move the Westwood guys over to Bioware, these appeal will fall on deaf ears.. Sorry
  superniceguy

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/17/07
Posts: 2251

NGE, LOTRO, STO, KOTOR, Lego Star Wars > NGE 2 (SWTOR). SWG>ALL. Above hopefully subject to change.

9/06/12 10:04:23 AM#9
Originally posted by Xstatic912
So NCsoft might take this studio and merge some of there staff with guild wars staff...

Makes sense since one game is way hotter and more fresh, and the arena net team is looking for more development staff..

But like when Ea took over Westwood studios and shut down Earth & Beyond months later to move the Westwood guys over to Bioware, these appeal will fall on deaf ears.. Sorry

NC Soft are not merging Paragon Studios with guild wars staff. If CoH shuts down all 80 odd staff members of Paragon Studios will be laid off and unemployed.

The appeals with SWG and Earth and Beyond fell on deaf ears, because it was only the players trying to save the game,  but this time, Paragon Studios are behind this effort too

It would make more sense to shut down GW1 and move that team to GW2. GW1 will drop off now that GW2 is out, and even more if CoH shuts down. Also GW2 is not anything like a Super hero game. Having 2 GW games is stupid, but having a GW game and CoH makes more variety in their line up.

  adam_nox

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/31/06
Posts: 2051

9/06/12 10:10:13 AM#10

I wish they'd keep paragon, put CoH1 in service mode, work on a sequel of some sort.  This is really what they should have been doing after CoV came out, or possibly going rogue.  This latest xpack was just not needed.  What it needs is a reboot.

 

But just off and firing everyone.  I read someone post a good theory that perhaps NCsoft is pulling out of NA affairs altogether, which would be very interesting.

  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6588

9/06/12 10:12:36 AM#11

Interesting note, I was just reading on another site that NCSoft is one of the worst companies in the business to work for, this directly from employee input.  The leadership gets a 0% approval rating.  No wonder they are closing this game, they are completely clueless what they are doing.

 

  DashiDMV

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/10/11
Posts: 350

9/06/12 11:01:15 AM#12

Putting some cash aside just in case a Kickstarter or something pops up in the next few weeks. It's one thing if it is just players trying to keep the game alive but with the studio fighitng to save it's existence, that brings another level into this. From what I heard the studio is trying to go indie and buy or at least rent the rights to COH so that the game can stay alive.

 

As they say you don't know what you got until it's gone and no matter what I would like to see CoH and it's community around in some form as a place to always be able to go back to.

  SquireX

Novice Member

Joined: 10/25/09
Posts: 8

9/06/12 12:16:32 PM#13
Is there any truth to the rumors that Cryptic Studios (the original developers of Coh) hold certain licenses that have come due for renewal and that has played a major part in the decision to shut down CoH?  Or is that complete bunk?
  dotdotdash

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/01/11
Posts: 345

9/06/12 12:56:48 PM#14
Originally posted by SquireX
Is there any truth to the rumors that Cryptic Studios (the original developers of Coh) hold certain licenses that have come due for renewal and that has played a major part in the decision to shut down CoH?  Or is that complete bunk?

The game engine is licensed from Cryptic, which is why the Cryptic logo still appears at the bottom of the website/in the game.

 

One point: if the terms of sale state that NCSoft are not allowed to discuss the terms related to the licensing of the engine, or any negotiations related to the engine, then NCSoft would not be able to discuss that in the PR.

As crazy as that sounds, it's often something that happens. It's pretty standard for the licensor and the licensee to sign legally binding non-disclosure agreements that prevent both parties from discussing anything related to licensing agreements, including negotiations regarding the license agreement, especially where the engine is not usually license out to third-parties (which is true of the Cryptic engine).

I doubt that Cryptic would have forced the current situation on Paragon and CoX intentionally. It's more likely that they offered standard licensing terms, but NCSoft did not feel the game had enough growth potential to warrant those terms and decided to back out of it. I mean it accounts for 1% of their total sales, which is the same as Guild Wars 1. Unlike Guild Wars however CoX has no franchise potential, and doesn't resonate with NCSoft's key market in South Korea.

And it's a lame game.

  localman22

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/24/12
Posts: 4

9/06/12 3:50:10 PM#15
Originally posted by SquireX
Is there any truth to the rumors that Cryptic Studios (the original developers of Coh) hold certain licenses that have come due for renewal and that has played a major part in the decision to shut down CoH?  Or is that complete bunk?

That rumor has been specifically denied by the Community Manager, Zwillinger.  When NC Soft purchased the other half of the game from Cryptic, the purchase included a purpetual license of the game engine.

  localman22

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/24/12
Posts: 4

9/06/12 4:01:15 PM#16
Originally posted by Xstatic912
So NCsoft might take this studio and merge some of there staff with guild wars staff...

Makes sense since one game is way hotter and more fresh, and the arena net team is looking for more development staff..

But like when Ea took over Westwood studios and shut down Earth & Beyond months later to move the Westwood guys over to Bioware, these appeal will fall on deaf ears.. Sorry
 

Paragon Studios, all 80 employees, were terminated.  A few folks seem to still be around, going in game to interact with the players, doing a few things here and there, but we don't know if they are being paid on a temporary basis or if they are just doing it while looking for new jobs.  Zwillinger stated that NC Soft hosted a job fair for the employees to help them find other jobs.

There are a lot of rumors flying around about why this was done, but about all we know was that the Developers at Paragon Studios had no idea it was going to happen.  A large number of players are working to try to either reverse the decision or find some other way to keep the game operating.  The folks at Paragon Studios were great and greatly appreciated by the players for their efforts to bring things into the game that the players wanted.  While CoH was an old game, it has had a LOT of really great additions in the last couple of years -- fun new powersets, innovative gameplay and lots of improvements sought by players.  The Developers were also great at interacting with the players.

We don't know why NC Soft chose to end a game that, as far as we knew, was still making a profit.  But to many of us it was more than a game . . . it was a great community.

  dotdotdash

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/01/11
Posts: 345

9/06/12 4:29:27 PM#17
Originally posted by localman22

We don't know why NC Soft chose to end a game that, as far as we knew, was still making a profit.  But to many of us it was more than a game . . . it was a great community.

Barely.

Less than 1% of NCSoft's total revenue was coming from CoX, and it had no market penetration in Korea. Its transition to F2P failed to boost revenues significantly. You're talking about real failure as well, not supposed; where games like STO, Champion's, LotRo, AoC, etc, increased margins by hundreds of percent, CoX didn't. Revenues increased but in the magnitude of tens, rather than hundreds. The goal with the switch to F2P would have been to create a healthy number of players that would then buy into future content, but that didn't happen. The overheads involved in developing new content would have more than likely merely balanced out than made any significant margins.

  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

9/06/12 4:33:03 PM#18

If it was profitable, they wouldn't be shutting it down. End of story on that point.

 

 

All of these people that suddenly don't want to see it close probably should have been spending more money in the store to support the product they liked so much. Problem with being able to play a game for free is that if you really do so, the game can't keep going.

  HighMarshal

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 241

9/06/12 4:48:39 PM#19

What makes no sense to me is that UO, AC and EQ1 have been around for ages and you can't really tell me that they are making more money and have more players than CoH is since it went FTP.

 

NCSOFT just doesn't care about its games or its customers.

  localman22

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/24/12
Posts: 4

9/06/12 5:25:51 PM#20
 
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