Ron Meiners is hard at work on the task of bringing the dream of Myst Online back to life in URU Live. The Cyan Worlds community manager spoke to our own Aaron Roxby at AGC.
| 1993’s Myst was an important game, but I don’t need to tell you that. If you played computer games during the 1990s, you most likely were aware of it, even if you didn’t play it. It has sold over six million units to date and was the world’s top selling computer game during most of the nineties, only to be dethroned by Will Wright and his Sims. Developer Cyan Worlds created four sequels, with the main storyline coming to a close in the appropriately titled Myst V: End of Ages. A new, massively multiplayer sequel, entitled URU Live was scheduled to be released in 2003. Unfortunately, that release never happened. Publisher Ubisoft was not happy with the number of players participating in the open beta phase and URU Live was cancelled in 2004.
This is not an unheard of tale in the volatile world of MMO publishing, and is where the story usually ends. The thing about Myst fans is that they are a passionate bunch. The URU community, those that had played the game during the beta phase, weren’t going to let it die that easily. Fans of Myst are by their nature fans of puzzles, and with URU cancelled they faced a though one. How to keep playing URU? Almost immediately, fan-run servers began to spring up. Not only did players find a way to continue playing their game, they began to independently expand it, creating new content to add to the game. Groups of URU players began to recreate their community in other virtual worlds. This phenomenon was the subject of recent dissertation by Celia Pierce.
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