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TR to Close Doors

Jon Wood Posted:
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Tabula Rasa: TR to Close Doors

MMORPG.com has learned today that NCsoft's Tabula Rasa will end its service on February 28th of next year.

When we learned back on November the 11th that Richard Garriott was moving on from his work on NCsoft's Tabula Rasa to persue other interests, we wondered what the future would hold for the game that held Garriott's name. Today, MMORPG.com has learned that due to what NCsoft is calling the game's failure to meet performance expectations, Tabula Rasa's servers will be shut down on February 28th, 2009.

The letter in which the community was told of the decision applauded the development team for the improvements that it had made to the game before launch, but admitted that this was not enough to create a strong enough player base for the game to continue.

Also in the letter, the team promises to make sticking with the game until the end worth the players' time and energy and have even announced that the servers will be free to play for a little over a month, beginning on January 10th.

The game, which launched on November 2nd, 2007 meaning that when it finally closes its doors on February 28th it will have lasted a little under a year and one third, or for those number fans among you a grand total of 483 days. The game, which had an odd development process including a design move that saw the game change from high fantasy to gritty sci-fi, originally launched to relatively good reviews, but failed to meet players' expectations.

Cancellation or no, Tabula Rasa made use of a number of unique design elements that will likley influence some MMO design in the future, including its cover and combat system, which mixed an FPS feel with traditional MMO mechanics and the etical parables system which allowed players to make ethical choices in some of their missions.

Tabula Rasa is the second of NCsoft's games to be terminated after a relatively short tenure, following the closure of Auto Assault which ran since its launch in April of 2006 until its closure on August 31st of 2007 or 1 year, 4 months and 18 days.

Please find below the official NCsoft announcement:

Last November we launched what we hoped would be a ground breaking sci-fi MMO. In many ways, we think we've achieved that goal. Tabula Rasa® has some unique features that make it fun and very different from every other MMO out there. Unfortunately, the fact is that the game hasn't performed as expected. The development team has worked hard to improve the game since launch, but the game never achieved the player population we hoped for.

So it is with regret that we must announce that Tabula Rasa will end live service on February 28, 2009.

Before we end the service, we'll make Tabula Rasa servers free to play starting on January 10, 2009.

We can assure you that through the next couple of months we'll be doing some really fun things in Tabula Rasa, and we plan to make staying on a little longer worth your while. For more details about what we are doing for Tabula Rasa players, please click here.

Stay tuned for more information. We thank you for your loyal support of the game and encourage you to take us up on the benefits we're offering Tabula Rasa players.

The Tabula Rasa Team


Jon Wood