Turbine has announced that Asheron's Call will go into what is being called "maintenance mode" after the deployment of the February content patch. Producer Severlin took to the forums to make the announcement that the team will be working on bug fixes, possible balance issues and support for the game, but no longer will supply content on a regular basis.
In addition, Severlin announced that both Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2 will be going free to play in the coming months and, most intriguingly, he said that Turbine is exploring the possibility of player-run servers to host the games.
In addition, we have been working within the company to start an initiative sometime near the end of the year to allow players to run their own Asheron’s Call servers. We intend to put the call out to tech savvy enthusiasts that love Asheron’s Call to create a community for players who want to run their own Asheron’s Call servers.
Unfortunately, setting up and running an AC server is not a user friendly experience. Enthusiasts would need some knowledge of running an SQL server, setting up the network, using our tools to configure the SQL server, installing the Asheron’s Call server with our complicated tools, and distributing the client. Our intent is to help these players build a community so these processes can be created and distributed to people interested in running an Asheron’s Call game. If that works out we can look into releasing tools and data files that would allow players to modify game data and create alternate content for their own Asheron’s Call games.
The good news is that there are no plans to shut down either Asheron's Call or Asheron's Call 2.
You can read Severlin's post on the Asheron's Call forum.